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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 12:55 AM   
 By:   Josh Mitchell   (Member)

I just acquired this CD today, and I'm listening to it right now for the first time.

The sheer exuberance of Moross' melodic music is a breath of fresh air to these ears.

 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 1:26 AM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I remember when I first heard the opening bars of HF. It seemed to keep building and building and building, although I was conscious that the main melody of the Main Title had not formally started yet. It's a masterful example of building anticipation and excitement through the joyous variation of the melodic idea that comes to full flower only much later in the track. The tune itself practically cries out for some words to be sung to it. In a way, it plays like the exciting overture to a "Huck Finn" musical we never saw.

I listen to my other Moross favorite, "The Big Country," often marveling at the number of catchy melodies throughout the underscore, any of which could have made a suitable Main Title theme all by itself.

Damn but that guy could write a tune!

More Moross, please!

No time like the present . . .

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 1:49 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

More Moross, please!

No time like the present . . .




To refresh everyone's memory, let’s look at what scores from Moross may be available for issue. There aren’t too many likely possibilities for new releases.

Close-Up (1948, Eagle-Lion Films) – This seems unlikely, since all music tracks from that budget studio seem to have vanished. Kritzerland was recently able to find Hugo Friedhofer’s score from Eagle-Lion’s “The Adventures of Casanova” from the same year. But that recording came from the composer’s own acetates, and I haven’t heard that the Moross estate contains many recordings. The Silva Screen Moross set has a 9-minute suite.

When I Grow Up (1951, Eagle-Lion Films) – Same situation as above, but no coverage on the Silva Screen set.

The Captive City (1953, United Artists) – Has anything from this early period survived from UA? There’s a 7-minute suite on Silva Screen.

Seven Wonders of the World (1956, Cinerama Corp.) – With the possible exception of the recent WINDJAMMER (and what exactly was the source of those tape?), no one’s yet been able to crack the Cinerama Corp. vaults for any releases from the original tracks. All we’ve had are CD releases of various LPs. “Seven Wonders” had a 10-inch LP and a German 45 EP with about 15 minutes of music, but since up to four composers worked on the film, it’s unclear how much of Moross’ music is contained therein. A 5-minute cue is on Silva Screen.

The Sharkfighters (1956, United Artists) – This is still from the ‘lost” UA years. A combined 15 minutes appear on two different Silva Screen compilations.

Wagon Train (TV) (1957-65, Revue/Universal) – With the Varese release of the Hitchcock scores, maybe getting early TV music out of Universal isn’t as farfetched as it once seemed. Reportedly, Moross did scores for 12 episodes of the series. For now, there is only about 4 minutes of Moross’ music on the Mercury Records LP and the 3-minute theme on Silva Screen. If there are no surviving score elements, some producer should try releasing that LP, from Universal Music Group.

Gunsmoke (CBS) – On the CD “Music From CBS Westerns,” there is a 10-minute suite from the “Gunsmoke” episode “Stolen Horses,” composed by Moross.

The Big Country (1958, United Artists) – Now we’re getting into the period where UA scores have survived, and indeed, we’ve got all of this one.

The Proud Rebel (1958, Samuel Goldwyn) – This received a decent sounding 56-minute release on LP and CD on the Screen Classics label (in which SAE’s Craig Spaulding was involved) and a 19-minute re-recording of some cues on Silva Screen. According to the liner notes, the Screen Classics CD was “mastered from a direct digital transfer of the original scoring session tapes recorded at the Samuel Goldwyn Studios sound facility, final monaural mix achieved on April 7, 1958.” That CD is long out of print. Since we’re not likely to see anything better come along, a re-issue would seem in order.

The Jayhawkers! (1959, Paramount) – Intrada released the complete soundtrack in 2012.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960, MGM) – FSM released the complete score in 2003.

The Mountain Road (1960, Columbia) – Complete original tracks from Columbia films of this era are rare. This one is a long-shot. Six minutes appear on Silva Screen.

Five Finger Exercise (1962, Columbia) – See “The Mountain Road” above. Five minutes on Silva Screen.

The Cardinal (1963, Columbia) – Between the various CD issues of the 40-minute RCA LP, and the 23 minutes re-recorded on Silva Screen, this relatively short score is well-represented. The film itself seems to have fallen into the hands of Warner Bros. (the DVD appeared on that label), so perhaps that is where to look for original score elements.

The War Lord (1965, Universal) – The 30-minute Decca LP and Varese CD includes 5 minutes of Hans Salter’s music. I’m sure the labels have been looking for this one at Universal.

National Geographic Special – Grizzly (1967, David L. Wolper Prod.) – Intrada released Moross’ 30-minute score for this TV production in 2003.

Lancer (1968, 20th Century Fox) - Moross scored the pilot episode and the main-title theme for this Western television series. Moross' main-title was used throughout the series run.

Rachel, Rachel (1968, Warner Bros.) – No doubt FSM or one of the other labels would have located this at Warners if it existed. This was Paul Newman’s directorial debut, which he produced for his own company. Perhaps something exists in the Newman estate. Six minutes appear on a Silva Screen re-recording.

The Valley of Gwangi (1969, Warner Bros.) – As mentioned in a number of posts, the original tracks for this have gone missing. The film itself was produced in Spain. Where were the recording sessions conducted? The film was a production of Charles H. Schneer’s Morningside Productions. Coincidentally, Sheer’s next Morningside production, 1970’s “Land Raiders,” was also produced in Spain. The complete score for that film was found in Italy and was released in 2011 by Digitmovies. Could “Gwangi” have been recorded in Italy as well, or was “Land Raiders” done there simply because composer Bruno Nicolai was Italian?

Hail, Hero (1969, National General) – This Cinema Center Films production is part of the CBS library, and any score materials should be in their archive. But nothing appeared in the on-line listing of CBS holdings to which Lukas linked us a while back.

 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2013 - 5:40 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

Very informative. Thanks, Bob!

 
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