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 Posted:   Oct 27, 2019 - 4:57 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)



I've only listened to part of DRACULA (traveling right now, so my time is not all my own), and it seems less faithful to Bernard's original. This is not necessarily a criticism. There are always going to be differences between recordings of orchestral music and part of the joy of being a listener is discovering new takes on the familiar.


Well, yes and no in my opinion, Bill. We're not talking about the umpteenth concert of The Blue Danube at New Year. In general, a re-recording of a film score should be as faithful to the original (or to the composer's original intentions) as possible.

I don't want to bang on about what I perceive as "differences" - but beware, because I will do when I have the time. For the moment I'll say that the ear may hear the same piece of music differently depending on how it's balanced. For example, if we have a line in which a note goes up a semitone on one instrument at the same time as it goes down a semitone on another instrument, depending on what we hear as dominant the note will register with us as either going up or down, but rarely both. I'll have a few examples of that kind of thing prepared by next weekend, so stay tuned. Or switch off.

I wish David Huckvale had been given a little more room to expand on a couple of things in his liner notes. We all love reading about stertorious breathing sressed trochaically rather than iambically, but he gets a little perfunctory when relating the music to what's going on in the films. I'd love to know exactly what "new music" we have on the CD - music written by James Bernard but not recorded at the time. I hear more than a few passages that "seem" new to me, but I'm not sure if in one or two cases the music was dialled down so far in the films as to be almost inaudable - unusual for Hammer, I admit. In the middle of the combined cue 16 ("Aunt Lucy/ Lucy is Released), at the end of the first part we hear what is called "fortissimo brass playing a sixth". That came out of the blue on the recording. Was it actually in the film? And in the second part of the combined cue, after Lucy's staking, we get the beautiful "chromatically altered chords" suggesting her redemption. But here it comes over almost jaunty in the last few seconds, before the excellent "soothing perfect fifth" on which the cue ends.

Good to see our old pal Gaetano Malaponti credited for "Additional Reconstruction". His Midi mock-ups are excellent, and he seems almost tireless. Maybe he could find a moment to chip in here on the above matter. And I now know who "bagby" is. Mark Bagby! He did tell us who he was on this thread years ago, but I forgot. Thanks for putting up some of the dosh, Mark. And of course all due credit to Nic Raine, Leigh Phillips, James Fitz... the whole team.

Why am I giving credit to all those people when it sounds like I'm criticizing the recording? Well, because I'm not! I've done a paulpickling and heard it three times in a row. I think it's my favourite Tadlow release so far, although I can't claim to have them all. Unlike even the excellent THRILLER recordings, I can sit transfixed throughout the entire 75 mins of THE CURSE OF FRANK and DRAC without fidgeting. It's absolutely splendid. And it's almost surprising, because FRANKENSTEIN in particular is very lugubrious, but it all holds my attention from beginning to end. In fact I think that FRANK might just have the edge over DRAC on disc - and on film too, although most people might consider it the other way around.

Oh, and how could I forget - I love Lucy. So did Desi Arnaz Jr, but not in the way I mean. WE love Lucy (Lucie)! Leigh Phillips' composition based on the Dracula theme is beautiful. It gives a romantic touch to the story, almost reminding me of Kilar's (or Coppola's) approach. At first I thought it was going the "Tooth Concerto" road, but it ended up - due to the cimbalom - putting me in mind of Harry Robinson's COUNTESS DRACULA Hungarian goulash (ghoulish Hungarian?) score. Or was it THE VAMPIRE LOVERS? And there's actually a little bit of that guy Jerry Goldsmith in some of the thematic development, sort of like when JG was channeling Hebrew music. I'll ask in ZardozSpeaks style - "Would Mr Leigh Phillips admit perhaps to having been influenced by some of Mr Jerrald Goldsmith's Hebrew-influenced music in his writing of the theme?"

Great CD. The world shall hear from me again though, coz I ain't finished yet.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2019 - 7:31 AM   
 By:   paulhickling   (Member)

Ha, ha.. And here's one of those who feels that Drac has the edge on Frank. Now to be fair it's got to be because I'm much more familiar with the Dracula score, and the theme having seen the film more often, and listened to it's music more. The great releases from Silva where James Bernard was involved were never out of the machine when they were first released.

I do remember though, being disappointed with the fact that on the Silva Dracula lead album the actual Dracula Main Title seems to be the slower rendition from Prince of Darkness. I absolutely love the power of the beat of the original. Now, when I first put on the Tadlow recording I did feel that perhaps it was a tad (no pun intended!) softer (the drumbeat could be a tiny bit louder for me) than I'd have liked. But whacking up the volume when everyone's out improves that side of things quite well, especially when the brass rings out. It is SO cool.

So now I've listened to the Dracula score more than Curse, and sorry James (Bernard that is) but I've listened to Requiem for Lucy even more. If I don't have time for anything else with just a few minutes to spare, on it goes with perhaps the Dracula Main Title coming a close second.

But yes. This is one hell (there I go again) of a great recording. One of the most exciting for a long time, and with The Vikings last year I have two absolutely fantastic film score re-recordings. So thanks to James (Fitz this time) and everyone at Tadlow for the sheer amount of listening pleasure from just two examples of your output. I'm looking at more in the near future.

 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2019 - 1:04 PM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

I've only gotten fully through Curse of Frankenstein so far, along with the first 5-10 minutes of Dracula, but was actually a bit surprised how quick it seemed to go and how enjoyable it was.

That's not meant as a slam on Bernard. But he wrote very clearly for film in that he keeps things simple and clear, and often ratchets up suspense just by going up the chromatic scale with the same ideas. Works beautifully in the movies but can seem turgid and elementary on listening*.

But this has the same greater musical flow I remember from the carefully chosen Devil's Bride compilation on Silva and Nosferatu - simply feels more musically involving than some albums I love but also kind of tolerate (full scores of Devil's Bride and Taste the Blood of Dracula).

As to differences from the original film scores, I really like the idea of being just that little bit less, um, melodramatic with music that is about as melodramatic as has ever been written. But then, I'm more of a dilettante when it comes to the original movies anyway - though I've seen them each a number of times and have been dvr-ing them from TCM this month for another rewatch.

And man I love the Cushing cover pic so much that I just can't stop staring at it. Definitely one of my favorite albums this year.


(*And I say this as a lover of minimalism for nearly three decades, so who knows why it hits me that way.)

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 27, 2019 - 3:10 PM   
 By:   bagby   (Member)



I've only listened to part of DRACULA (traveling right now, so my time is not all my own), and it seems less faithful to Bernard's original. This is not necessarily a criticism. There are always going to be differences between recordings of orchestral music and part of the joy of being a listener is discovering new takes on the familiar.


Well, yes and no in my opinion, Bill. We're not talking about the umpteenth concert of The Blue Danube at New Year. In general, a re-recording of a film score should be as faithful to the original (or to the composer's original intentions) as possible.

I don't want to bang on about what I perceive as "differences" - but beware, because I will do when I have the time. For the moment I'll say that the ear may hear the same piece of music differently depending on how it's balanced. For example, if we have a line in which a note goes up a semitone on one instrument at the same time as it goes down a semitone on another instrument, depending on what we hear as dominant the note will register with us as either going up or down, but rarely both. I'll have a few examples of that kind of thing prepared by next weekend, so stay tuned. Or switch off.

I wish David Huckvale had been given a little more room to expand on a couple of things in his liner notes. We all love reading about stertorious breathing sressed trochaically rather than iambically, but he gets a little perfunctory when relating the music to what's going on in the films. I'd love to know exactly what "new music" we have on the CD - music written by James Bernard but not recorded at the time. I hear more than a few passages that "seem" new to me, but I'm not sure if in one or two cases the music was dialled down so far in the films as to be almost inaudable - unusual for Hammer, I admit. In the middle of the combined cue 16 ("Aunt Lucy/ Lucy is Released), at the end of the first part we hear what is called "fortissimo brass playing a sixth". That came out of the blue on the recording. Was it actually in the film? And in the second part of the combined cue, after Lucy's staking, we get the beautiful "chromatically altered chords" suggesting her redemption. But here it comes over almost jaunty in the last few seconds, before the excellent "soothing perfect fifth" on which the cue ends.

Good to see our old pal Gaetano Malaponti credited for "Additional Reconstruction". His Midi mock-ups are excellent, and he seems almost tireless. Maybe he could find a moment to chip in here on the above matter. And I now know who "bagby" is. Mark Bagby! He did tell us who he was on this thread years ago, but I forgot. Thanks for putting up some of the dosh, Mark. And of course all due credit to Nic Raine, Leigh Phillips, James Fitz... the whole team.

Why am I giving credit to all those people when it sounds like I'm criticizing the recording? Well, because I'm not! I've done a paulpickling and heard it three times in a row. I think it's my favourite Tadlow release so far, although I can't claim to have them all. Unlike even the excellent THRILLER recordings, I can sit transfixed throughout the entire 75 mins of THE CURSE OF FRANK and DRAC without fidgeting. It's absolutely splendid. And it's almost surprising, because FRANKENSTEIN in particular is very lugubrious, but it all holds my attention from beginning to end. In fact I think that FRANK might just have the edge over DRAC on disc - and on film too, although most people might consider it the other way around.

Oh, and how could I forget - I love Lucy. So did Desi Arnaz Jr, but not in the way I mean. WE love Lucy (Lucie)! Leigh Phillips' composition based on the Dracula theme is beautiful. It gives a romantic touch to the story, almost reminding me of Kilar's (or Coppola's) approach. At first I thought it was going the "Tooth Concerto" road, but it ended up - due to the cimbalom - putting me in mind of Harry Robinson's COUNTESS DRACULA Hungarian goulash (ghoulish Hungarian?) score. Or was it THE VAMPIRE LOVERS? And there's actually a little bit of that guy Jerry Goldsmith in some of the thematic development, sort of like when JG was channeling Hebrew music. I'll ask in ZardozSpeaks style - "Would Mr Leigh Phillips admit perhaps to having been influenced by some of Mr Jerrald Goldsmith's Hebrew-influenced music in his writing of the theme?"

Great CD. The world shall hear from me again though, coz I ain't finished yet.


Thanks for all the kind words from everyone.

I'll be the first to acknowledge the release isn't absolutely perfect in every way--because such a thing is impossible. Or perhaps it's possible but it would never get released because there's always *something* that could be done differently. Plus you've got very creative and artistic people who have their own stamp to put on things.

One of the more remarkable things to me was comparing the timing of the Dracula Main Title to the Hollingsworth-conducted original -- Raine's version was within something like a quarter-second of the original for time.

I'm just glad to have it out. I've been wanting this for 50 years. We'll see what happens after this.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 29, 2019 - 9:25 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

I listened to the whole CD in one rapt session last night. I had intended to only sample the recording -- but I was hooked from the first track -- and then the music just seemed to envelope me so that I was entranced and compelled to go on listening. A gorgeous recording.

These films and scores are part and parcel of my personality -- I was very very young when I saw them in a theater when they were first run features (only 5 or 6 years old!). Both seemed very very adult to that small-town-kid-in-a-midwestern-town. Also very exotic. If a kid can be intoxicated by movies, then these films got me drunk. That's a bit crude, but the films were just overwhelming to me.

So are these new recordings!

Thank you.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 5:56 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)



I notice that by combining tracks into longer pieces. almost suites, the Tads have taken an artistic decision. I think it works fine. It helps the flow of the music, but it played havoc with what I thought was my (failing) memory of how the cues appeared in the film. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the films at all, or at least not to be so familiar with them, because the combining of cues had me thinking, "Oh, so this is after the ten minutes of non-scored dialogue", and it had me perplexed no end. But I'll get used to that.

I said at the beginning that the Tads must have taken the artistic decison to combine tracks for a better listening experience. Was there also a conscious decision taken to "alter" the scores in any way, giving more freedom to Nic Raine to elicit his particular vision of the written scores "as heard" (and sometimes not even that, in the case of the originally deleted cues)? This may seem sort of "So what?" to most, but on first listen I detected some moments which did sound as if they'd been minimally doctored for some reason.


I think it's worth bringing this up again. I'm not referring to tempo changes here, but to what "sounds" like alterations to chords and notes. I did rabbit on in an earlier post here about how the ear may perceive the dominant note in a chord, for example.

One or two quickies - In FRANK, in the middle section of the Main Title, when the music kind of hovers agitatedly, doesn't the chord-shift go down in the original recording, whereas in the new recording it goes up?

And in DRAC for instance - The Main Title again. In the film, doesn't it go like this? -

Dum Dum Dum Dum DRA-Cu-La
Be-ware of DRA-cula
DRA-Cu-la
Watch out for DRA--Cu-La
DRAA-Cu-La (etc)

I think that in the original, the first bold "DRA-Cu-La" (Line 3 in my manuscript), is a couple of tones lower, so that "DRAA-Cu-La" (Line 5 in my manuscript) comes across as radically higher and thus more effective. In the new recording they seem to be played using exactly the same intervals, so there's no real proper build-up. Artistic decision?

And if you think I'm complaining, I have to say that I can't stop playing this. It's really brilliant. 75 minutes just sitting there each time. No feeling of overdose whatsoever.

 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 6:34 AM   
 By:   Halloween_Jack   (Member)

My copy arrived this morning from Tadlow. Quite simply an outstanding release. Such a treat to be able to hear the entire score played fantastically well, in such fantastic fidelity too (glad to hear no obvious signs of too much limiting - dynamics given free & glorious reign, as they should be). Listening to it straight through and I can already tell it’s going to get played a lot in the future. In short, every horror and film score film fan needs this in their collection! Bravo and thanks to everyone concerned. My only complaint... I want all Hammer’s scores (The Devil Rides Out in particular) re-recorded and in top notch quality too. Right now. This minute! wink

 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 7:38 AM   
 By:   LeighPhillips   (Member)



I notice that by combining tracks into longer pieces. almost suites, the Tads have taken an artistic decision. I think it works fine. It helps the flow of the music, but it played havoc with what I thought was my (failing) memory of how the cues appeared in the film. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the films at all, or at least not to be so familiar with them, because the combining of cues had me thinking, "Oh, so this is after the ten minutes of non-scored dialogue", and it had me perplexed no end. But I'll get used to that.

I said at the beginning that the Tads must have taken the artistic decison to combine tracks for a better listening experience. Was there also a conscious decision taken to "alter" the scores in any way, giving more freedom to Nic Raine to elicit his particular vision of the written scores "as heard" (and sometimes not even that, in the case of the originally deleted cues)? This may seem sort of "So what?" to most, but on first listen I detected some moments which did sound as if they'd been minimally doctored for some reason.


I think it's worth bringing this up again. I'm not referring to tempo changes here, but to what "sounds" like alterations to chords and notes. I did rabbit on in an earlier post here about how the ear may perceive the dominant note in a chord, for example.

One or two quickies - In FRANK, in the middle section of the Main Title, when the music kind of hovers agitatedly, doesn't the chord-shift go down in the original recording, whereas in the new recording it goes up?

And in DRAC for instance - The Main Title again. In the film, doesn't it go like this? -

Dum Dum Dum Dum DRA-Cu-La
Be-ware of DRA-cula
DRA-Cu-la
Watch out for DRA--Cu-La
DRAA-Cu-La (etc)

I think that in the original, the first bold "DRA-Cu-La" (Line 3 in my manuscript), is a couple of tones lower, so that "DRAA-Cu-La" (Line 5 in my manuscript) comes across as radically higher and thus more effective. In the new recording they seem to be played using exactly the same intervals, so there's no real proper build-up. Artistic decision?

And if you think I'm complaining, I have to say that I can't stop playing this. It's really brilliant. 75 minutes just sitting there each time. No feeling of overdose whatsoever.


Good queries, Graham; but definitely zero licence taken with the dots.

The first pinnacle note of the '58 Dracula statement is a concert D, same as the Tadlow, which subsequently rises to concert F etc. - so no difference between the new and old (in that respect).

With Frankenstein (as per Dracula), JB's manuscripts were used as source material, so it's all pretty verbatim (except for dynamic info - of which there is very little on the original charts - so a lot of this was added at the reconstruction stage). This isn't to say that changes weren't made on the stage, when the soundtrack was first recorded; but we (when dots are available) tend to favour the composer's first iteration of cues (this used to happen a lot on the Rozsa projects).

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)



I notice that by combining tracks into longer pieces. almost suites, the Tads have taken an artistic decision. I think it works fine. It helps the flow of the music, but it played havoc with what I thought was my (failing) memory of how the cues appeared in the film. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the films at all, or at least not to be so familiar with them, because the combining of cues had me thinking, "Oh, so this is after the ten minutes of non-scored dialogue", and it had me perplexed no end. But I'll get used to that.

I said at the beginning that the Tads must have taken the artistic decison to combine tracks for a better listening experience. Was there also a conscious decision taken to "alter" the scores in any way, giving more freedom to Nic Raine to elicit his particular vision of the written scores "as heard" (and sometimes not even that, in the case of the originally deleted cues)? This may seem sort of "So what?" to most, but on first listen I detected some moments which did sound as if they'd been minimally doctored for some reason.


I think it's worth bringing this up again. I'm not referring to tempo changes here, but to what "sounds" like alterations to chords and notes. I did rabbit on in an earlier post here about how the ear may perceive the dominant note in a chord, for example.

One or two quickies - In FRANK, in the middle section of the Main Title, when the music kind of hovers agitatedly, doesn't the chord-shift go down in the original recording, whereas in the new recording it goes up?

And in DRAC for instance - The Main Title again. In the film, doesn't it go like this? -

Dum Dum Dum Dum DRA-Cu-La
Be-ware of DRA-cula
DRA-Cu-la
Watch out for DRA--Cu-La
DRAA-Cu-La (etc)

I think that in the original, the first bold "DRA-Cu-La" (Line 3 in my manuscript), is a couple of tones lower, so that "DRAA-Cu-La" (Line 5 in my manuscript) comes across as radically higher and thus more effective. In the new recording they seem to be played using exactly the same intervals, so there's no real proper build-up. Artistic decision?

And if you think I'm complaining, I have to say that I can't stop playing this. It's really brilliant. 75 minutes just sitting there each time. No feeling of overdose whatsoever.


(THAT WAS ME)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS LEIGH)

Good queries, Graham; but definitely zero licence taken with the dots.

The first pinnacle note of the '58 Dracula statement is a concert D, same as the Tadlow, which subsequently rises to concert F etc. - so no difference between the new and old (in that respect).

With Frankenstein (as per Dracula), JB's manuscripts were used as source material, so it's all pretty verbatim (except for dynamic info - of which there is very little on the original charts - so a lot of this was added at the reconstruction stage). This isn't to say that changes weren't made on the stage, when the soundtrack was first recorded; but we (when dots are available) tend to favour the composer's first iteration of cues (this used to happen a lot on the Rozsa projects).

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 3:20 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)



I notice that by combining tracks into longer pieces. almost suites, the Tads have taken an artistic decision. I think it works fine. It helps the flow of the music, but it played havoc with what I thought was my (failing) memory of how the cues appeared in the film. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the films at all, or at least not to be so familiar with them, because the combining of cues had me thinking, "Oh, so this is after the ten minutes of non-scored dialogue", and it had me perplexed no end. But I'll get used to that.

I said at the beginning that the Tads must have taken the artistic decison to combine tracks for a better listening experience. Was there also a conscious decision taken to "alter" the scores in any way, giving more freedom to Nic Raine to elicit his particular vision of the written scores "as heard" (and sometimes not even that, in the case of the originally deleted cues)? This may seem sort of "So what?" to most, but on first listen I detected some moments which did sound as if they'd been minimally doctored for some reason.


I think it's worth bringing this up again. I'm not referring to tempo changes here, but to what "sounds" like alterations to chords and notes. I did rabbit on in an earlier post here about how the ear may perceive the dominant note in a chord, for example.

One or two quickies - In FRANK, in the middle section of the Main Title, when the music kind of hovers agitatedly, doesn't the chord-shift go down in the original recording, whereas in the new recording it goes up?

And in DRAC for instance - The Main Title again. In the film, doesn't it go like this? -

Dum Dum Dum Dum DRA-Cu-La
Be-ware of DRA-cula
DRA-Cu-la
Watch out for DRA--Cu-La
DRAA-Cu-La (etc)

I think that in the original, the first bold "DRA-Cu-La" (Line 3 in my manuscript), is a couple of tones lower, so that "DRAA-Cu-La" (Line 5 in my manuscript) comes across as radically higher and thus more effective. In the new recording they seem to be played using exactly the same intervals, so there's no real proper build-up. Artistic decision?

And if you think I'm complaining, I have to say that I can't stop playing this. It's really brilliant. 75 minutes just sitting there each time. No feeling of overdose whatsoever.


(THAT WAS ME)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS LEIGH)

Good queries, Graham; but definitely zero licence taken with the dots.

The first pinnacle note of the '58 Dracula statement is a concert D, same as the Tadlow, which subsequently rises to concert F etc. - so no difference between the new and old (in that respect).

With Frankenstein (as per Dracula), JB's manuscripts were used as source material, so it's all pretty verbatim (except for dynamic info - of which there is very little on the original charts - so a lot of this was added at the reconstruction stage). This isn't to say that changes weren't made on the stage, when the soundtrack was first recorded; but we (when dots are available) tend to favour the composer's first iteration of cues (this used to happen a lot on the Rozsa projects).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS ME AGAIN)

Thanks Leigh. So zero licence taken with the dots. Still, the first pinnacle note of the DRAA-cu-la statement - a concert D subsequently rising to concert F - is not of course just one note played by one instrument. So I suppose what I'm hearing is more (or less) accentuation on the counterpoint. Different recording facilities, different balancing etc. I notice you and the team deliberately got the duff note played on the original recording to be played correctly this time - although as a purist I think you should have had the guy squeak that high trumpet just like sixty-plus years ago.

Interesting info on the FRANK score too - and your policy in general - of tending to favour the composer's first iteration of cues if it's "in the dots", even if later revised, for example as late as at the actual recording session.

Whatever, this recording is a total treat, and I intend to get home early from work tomorrow (Halloween), sit in the big armchair, pour myself a wee dram and crank up the volume. I still can't get over how well it all flows for the complete running time of the two scores, including the charming final track. No glancing at watches or mind drifting off. Top-notch, compelling stuff.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 3:31 PM   
 By:   bagby   (Member)



I notice that by combining tracks into longer pieces. almost suites, the Tads have taken an artistic decision. I think it works fine. It helps the flow of the music, but it played havoc with what I thought was my (failing) memory of how the cues appeared in the film. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the films at all, or at least not to be so familiar with them, because the combining of cues had me thinking, "Oh, so this is after the ten minutes of non-scored dialogue", and it had me perplexed no end. But I'll get used to that.

I said at the beginning that the Tads must have taken the artistic decison to combine tracks for a better listening experience. Was there also a conscious decision taken to "alter" the scores in any way, giving more freedom to Nic Raine to elicit his particular vision of the written scores "as heard" (and sometimes not even that, in the case of the originally deleted cues)? This may seem sort of "So what?" to most, but on first listen I detected some moments which did sound as if they'd been minimally doctored for some reason.


I think it's worth bringing this up again. I'm not referring to tempo changes here, but to what "sounds" like alterations to chords and notes. I did rabbit on in an earlier post here about how the ear may perceive the dominant note in a chord, for example.

One or two quickies - In FRANK, in the middle section of the Main Title, when the music kind of hovers agitatedly, doesn't the chord-shift go down in the original recording, whereas in the new recording it goes up?

And in DRAC for instance - The Main Title again. In the film, doesn't it go like this? -

Dum Dum Dum Dum DRA-Cu-La
Be-ware of DRA-cula
DRA-Cu-la
Watch out for DRA--Cu-La
DRAA-Cu-La (etc)

I think that in the original, the first bold "DRA-Cu-La" (Line 3 in my manuscript), is a couple of tones lower, so that "DRAA-Cu-La" (Line 5 in my manuscript) comes across as radically higher and thus more effective. In the new recording they seem to be played using exactly the same intervals, so there's no real proper build-up. Artistic decision?

And if you think I'm complaining, I have to say that I can't stop playing this. It's really brilliant. 75 minutes just sitting there each time. No feeling of overdose whatsoever.


(THAT WAS ME)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS LEIGH)

Good queries, Graham; but definitely zero licence taken with the dots.

The first pinnacle note of the '58 Dracula statement is a concert D, same as the Tadlow, which subsequently rises to concert F etc. - so no difference between the new and old (in that respect).

With Frankenstein (as per Dracula), JB's manuscripts were used as source material, so it's all pretty verbatim (except for dynamic info - of which there is very little on the original charts - so a lot of this was added at the reconstruction stage). This isn't to say that changes weren't made on the stage, when the soundtrack was first recorded; but we (when dots are available) tend to favour the composer's first iteration of cues (this used to happen a lot on the Rozsa projects).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS ME AGAIN)

Thanks Leigh. So zero licence taken with the dots. Still, the first pinnacle note of the DRAA-cu-la statement - a concert D subsequently rising to concert F - is not of course just one note played by one instrument. So I suppose what I'm hearing is more (or less) accentuation on the counterpoint. Different recording facilities, different balancing etc. I notice you and the team deliberately got the duff note played on the original recording to be played correctly this time - although as a purist I think you should have had the guy squeak that high trumpet just like sixty-plus years ago.

Interesting info on the FRANK score too - and your policy in general - of tending to favour the composer's first iteration of cues if it's "in the dots", even if later revised, for example as late as at the actual recording session.

Whatever, this recording is a total treat, and I intend to get home early from work tomorrow (Halloween), sit in the big armchair, pour myself a wee dram and crank up the volume. I still can't get over how well it all flows for the complete running time of the two scores, including the charming final track. No glancing at watches or mind drifting off. Top-notch, compelling stuff.


To join the fray here, I think what you're hearing in that first line is a couple of things. (It's Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum DRAC-U-la, by the way; five notes, then the Dracula motif.) I think Maestro Raine took it a bit more legato (smoothly) than the Hollingsworth more staccato approach. Also, the bass drum is really timed with each note (probably to help hide the fact it was a fairly small orchestra) and it's quite prominent in the mix. So if our version is Dum.Dum.Dum.Dum.Dum.DRAC.u.la, the original is more along the lines of Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-DRAC-u-la.

Also, if you look at the waveforms of the files, the original is in mono and the recording has been very normalized--it's more DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM-DRAC-u-la, and ours would be Dum.Dum.Dum.DuM.DUM.DRAC.u.la. It does build in volume.

The snare drum under the string section middle is also really prominent in the original and less so in ours.

Different performances, etc., as you say. Still mighty fine.

Maybe an alternate version of the main title would have been fun to do--hey, this take, flub this note, Mr. Trumpet Player, will you?

 
 Posted:   Oct 30, 2019 - 10:42 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Just listened to it for a second time. I really like the Frankenstein score. I'll be giving that one plenty of plays. Top marks for sound and performance. I reserve judgement on Dracula which is a bit too bombastic for my liking. The Rhapsody for Lucy is excellent.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 31, 2019 - 5:20 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)



I notice that by combining tracks into longer pieces. almost suites, the Tads have taken an artistic decision. I think it works fine. It helps the flow of the music, but it played havoc with what I thought was my (failing) memory of how the cues appeared in the film. Perhaps it would be better not to have seen the films at all, or at least not to be so familiar with them, because the combining of cues had me thinking, "Oh, so this is after the ten minutes of non-scored dialogue", and it had me perplexed no end. But I'll get used to that.

I said at the beginning that the Tads must have taken the artistic decison to combine tracks for a better listening experience. Was there also a conscious decision taken to "alter" the scores in any way, giving more freedom to Nic Raine to elicit his particular vision of the written scores "as heard" (and sometimes not even that, in the case of the originally deleted cues)? This may seem sort of "So what?" to most, but on first listen I detected some moments which did sound as if they'd been minimally doctored for some reason.


I think it's worth bringing this up again. I'm not referring to tempo changes here, but to what "sounds" like alterations to chords and notes. I did rabbit on in an earlier post here about how the ear may perceive the dominant note in a chord, for example.

One or two quickies - In FRANK, in the middle section of the Main Title, when the music kind of hovers agitatedly, doesn't the chord-shift go down in the original recording, whereas in the new recording it goes up?

And in DRAC for instance - The Main Title again. In the film, doesn't it go like this? -

Dum Dum Dum Dum DRA-Cu-La
Be-ware of DRA-cula
DRA-Cu-la
Watch out for DRA--Cu-La
DRAA-Cu-La (etc)

I think that in the original, the first bold "DRA-Cu-La" (Line 3 in my manuscript), is a couple of tones lower, so that "DRAA-Cu-La" (Line 5 in my manuscript) comes across as radically higher and thus more effective. In the new recording they seem to be played using exactly the same intervals, so there's no real proper build-up. Artistic decision?

And if you think I'm complaining, I have to say that I can't stop playing this. It's really brilliant. 75 minutes just sitting there each time. No feeling of overdose whatsoever.


(THAT WAS ME)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS LEIGH)

Good queries, Graham; but definitely zero licence taken with the dots.

The first pinnacle note of the '58 Dracula statement is a concert D, same as the Tadlow, which subsequently rises to concert F etc. - so no difference between the new and old (in that respect).

With Frankenstein (as per Dracula), JB's manuscripts were used as source material, so it's all pretty verbatim (except for dynamic info - of which there is very little on the original charts - so a lot of this was added at the reconstruction stage). This isn't to say that changes weren't made on the stage, when the soundtrack was first recorded; but we (when dots are available) tend to favour the composer's first iteration of cues (this used to happen a lot on the Rozsa projects).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS ME AGAIN)

Thanks Leigh. So zero licence taken with the dots. Still, the first pinnacle note of the DRAA-cu-la statement - a concert D subsequently rising to concert F - is not of course just one note played by one instrument. So I suppose what I'm hearing is more (or less) accentuation on the counterpoint. Different recording facilities, different balancing etc. I notice you and the team deliberately got the duff note played on the original recording to be played correctly this time - although as a purist I think you should have had the guy squeak that high trumpet just like sixty-plus years ago.

Interesting info on the FRANK score too - and your policy in general - of tending to favour the composer's first iteration of cues if it's "in the dots", even if later revised, for example as late as at the actual recording session.

Whatever, this recording is a total treat, and I intend to get home early from work tomorrow (Halloween), sit in the big armchair, pour myself a wee dram and crank up the volume. I still can't get over how well it all flows for the complete running time of the two scores, including the charming final track. No glancing at watches or mind drifting off. Top-notch, compelling stuff.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(AND THIS IS BAGBY)

To join the fray here, I think what you're hearing in that first line is a couple of things. (It's Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum DRAC-U-la, by the way; five notes, then the Dracula motif.) I think Maestro Raine took it a bit more legato (smoothly) than the Hollingsworth more staccato approach. Also, the bass drum is really timed with each note (probably to help hide the fact it was a fairly small orchestra) and it's quite prominent in the mix. So if our version is Dum.Dum.Dum.Dum.Dum.DRAC.u.la, the original is more along the lines of Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-Dum-DRAC-u-la.

Also, if you look at the waveforms of the files, the original is in mono and the recording has been very normalized--it's more DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM-DUM-DRAC-u-la, and ours would be Dum.Dum.Dum.DuM.DUM.DRAC.u.la. It does build in volume.

The snare drum under the string section middle is also really prominent in the original and less so in ours.

Different performances, etc., as you say. Still mighty fine.

Maybe an alternate version of the main title would have been fun to do--hey, this take, flub this note, Mr. Trumpet Player, will you?


Good comments there, bagby. Yes, I forgot one Dum in the first ascending build-up to the Drac theme. I think you're right in that it seems less staccato and more legato under the baton of Nic Raine, but I forgot about how in the original mono recording there would be a kind of flattening out of the sound. Less breathing space, which brings me onto my next point -

I really love how this music sounds "organic" (copyright 2019, Chris Kilt-Man). It seems to breathe in and out, undulating even in its moments of silence. It's really immediately noticeable throughout the Main Titles for THE CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN - the music rises and dips, gathering power then slowly releasing it. It's like The Creature's bandaged breathing when he's in that aquarium and the bolt of lightning brings him to life.

I babbled on earlier about how the suite form works wonderfully well for the music, but played havoc with my trying to match it up with what was happening on-screen. I've just had a quick look at all the opening preamble with Jonathan Harker in DRACULA, and although I've seen the film umpteen times, I hadn't really noticed how many breaks in the score there are between his arrival at the castle and his eventual demise.

I wanted then to go back and try to match up the music on the CD with the separate cues in the film (same with FRANK - especially where the "unused" pieces would go), but now I don't think I can be arsed, and will allow the films and the soundtracks to exist happily as separate entities.

More rabbits to follow.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 31, 2019 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   bagby   (Member)

John Mansell's review:

https://jonman492000.wordpress.com/tag/james-bernard/

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 9, 2019 - 2:07 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

John Mansell's review:

https://jonman492000.wordpress.com/tag/james-bernard/


John Mansell's review sounds very on-the-fence. "If you like James Bernard you'll probably love it, if you don't you probably won't. I'll leave it up to the listener to decide."

I'd say that if you like James Bernard, you will be PARTICULARLY nitpicky about this release. I love old Jimmy B, and I do love this re-recording more and more each time, so there. And I'm VERY particular. See my earlier rabbits for more details about very slight nitpicks, which ended up not amounting to a hill of Heinz Baked Beans in my mind. Love this recording, more so now that I'm used to it.

Somebody please clear something up for me. You can start with the kitchen and the patio (those guests have absolutely NO manners, leaving empty bottles of champagne in the topiary of my hedges) and after that tell me something I used to know bit which I have forgotten -

In the music for the disintegration of Dracula, the music follows the always-thought-to-have-been-complete cut of the film. It sounds totally "right". And yet in the letters between Hammer producer Tony Hinds and the British censor John Trevelyan, the latter insisted on cutting the "too horrific" scene of Dracula clawing at his face. We know that this footage finally did appear in Japan about six years ago and has been (partially) reinstated - but not completely, due to "sound synch" issues - for the subsequent Blu Ray releases. Hinds "pleaded" (in his way) with the censor, saying that if they cut that scene they would have to go the the expense of re-scoring it in order to make it fit. Personally I think this was a classic bit of Hinds bullshittery - the film hadn't been scored to picture at that moment - they rarely (ever?) were until the censors approved the final cut.

So in the end there was a kind of compromise and Hammer agreed to cut the face-clawing scene. Then James Bernard came in and scored it to what we all saw and loved. But it still beggars the question - What did Japanese audiiences hear in 1958 to cover the extended sequence?

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 9, 2019 - 3:17 PM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)


But it still beggars the question - What did Japanese audiiences hear in 1958 to cover the extended sequence?


They heard Hinds' Heinz Baked Beans bullshittery.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 9, 2019 - 5:29 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)



John Mansell's review sounds very on-the-fence. "If you like James Bernard you'll probably love it, if you don't you probably won't. I'll leave it up to the listener to decide."


I suppose I like James Bernard, who I'd never heard a note of to me memory before this disc came out.

 
 Posted:   Nov 9, 2019 - 11:37 PM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)

Another marvellous recording by Tadlow of two scores I'd never heard before. This is my first James Bernard recording and I'm damn sure it won't be my last.

 
 Posted:   Nov 10, 2019 - 12:10 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

But it still beggars the question - What did Japanese audiiences hear in 1958 to cover the extended sequence?

That's not hard to find out—the surviving reels of the Japanese version (which were used to restore the film) are included on the Blu-Ray.

Cheers

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 10, 2019 - 12:56 AM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Graham, in YouTube, there is a video clip which offers a side-by-side comparison between the 'raw' Japanese footage and the 2012 U.K. restoration.

It's titled: Dracula (1958) Finale - Japanese vs UK 2012 Versions.

 
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