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 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 2:47 PM   
 By:   finder4545   (Member)

Big names remain constantly at the center of attention, so that from time to time a new title comes out and a new piece, a new score, gets its place in the composer's mosaic. This doesn't happen for certain "one of a kind" scores coming from "one of a kind" composers, and superb works sink into oblivion without hope. This happened for a special score deserving in my opinion a high consideration.
Years ago, reading my "first bible" of film music, Manvell & Huntley's "Technique of Film Music" (the second being Tony Thomas' "Music for the Movies"), the name of Walter Schumann fell under my eyes and caught my attention, with his one and only title reported in the discography section, NIGHT OF THE HUNTER, leaving me to ask what kind of movie this was and even if it had been imported and dubbed in my country. Many years later I saw this wonderful movie on TV and listened to the absolutely superior score, a masterpiece perfectly paired in sound with the outstanding visual and the unusual narrative, bringing back to the silent cinema. For a long time I searched for the music score, but apart from a short selection obscured by narration, no free music was available. In the same way, another "one of a kind" score remained impressed in my mind with the same intensity, and it was Sainton's MOBY DICK. The difference between the two is well known: Sainton's had an LP album release, in the glorious era of Long Play collecting, very close to the films version, conducted by Louis Levy, and a much longer re-recording on CD in 1998 by William Stromberg; Schumann's remained simply ignored in the course of the years. As times have changed, and specialized labels (no need to mention) now take vital materials directly from the studio vaults, giving us diamonds, I wonder if someone considers NIGHT OF THE HUNTER a score worth and deserving to be resurrected from oblivion in its original shape, if originals exist, or even in the form of an isolated music track.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 4:41 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Like the film itself, Walter Schumann's score is a classic and deserving of a seperate music only release. There is a hard to find CD from Bear Family of the original LP with Charles Laughton's narration - it is worth seeking out.

Do you have the Criterion BR release of NIGHT OF THE HUNTER? It is incredibly well done set and has the fantastic "Charles Laughton Directs NIGHT OF THE HUNTER"documentary - with 2+ one half hour behind the scenes footage + outtakes. There is no isolated music track so I doubt one exists - probably lost.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Believe me, if it were possible we would have done it. I have access to some acetates that could be cleaned up - well, we think they could, but they're not complete - but I also know the gentleman who restored the film and we could probably clean up the M&E to get some of the missing stuff.

But it's a moot point because the licensing is too convoluted - you have to deal with Sony on the LP and then the studio on the actual tracks and it would never sell enough to justify the costs.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 5:27 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Bummer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 5:57 PM   
 By:   mrchriswell   (Member)

Believe me, if it were possible we would have done it. I have access to some acetates that could be cleaned up - well, we think they could, but they're not complete - but I also know the gentleman who restored the film and we could probably clean up the M&E to get some of the missing stuff.

But it's a moot point because the licensing is too convoluted - you have to deal with Sony on the LP and then the studio on the actual tracks and it would never sell enough to justify the costs.


That sucks. After collecting for so long it's hard to get me excited about new releases anymore. This would do it. And Carmen Dragon's Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Another impossibility from what I understand.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 28, 2014 - 8:16 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Enlightened self-interest compels me to mention that one of the highlights of the Criterion edition is the audio commentary recorded by second unit director Terry Sanders, UCLA restoration chief Bob Gitt, critic/historian F.X. Feeney and yours truly, author of "Heaven and Hell to Play With: The Filming of THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER." My book covers a lot about Mr. Schumann and his music. I also recommend for your reading pleasure Jeffrey Couchman's "THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER - A Biography of a Film."

For years the team of Morgan and Stromberg expressed an interest in re-recording the HUNTER score, and theoretically there's no reason why some one, some day, can't accomplish that feat, though I fear no one can ever match the singing of the Lullaby by the late, great Kittty White.

Incidentally, Schumann wrote one other superb score for Laughton -- an a capella Greek chorus for the stage adaptation of Stephen Vincent Benet's JOHN BROWN'S BODY. The culture would be immeasurably enriched if this, too, would some day be recorded on its own.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   couvee   (Member)

For me this would be a must have and instant buy. It's such a classic film and score. If only Tribute or Tadlow/Prometheus could do it. Then again, I would buy an incomplete version on Kritzerland anytime. I don't always need every single note written for a score. If only a portion survives then so be it. At least we would have that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 3:11 PM   
 By:   Jim Doherty   (Member)

I would instantly buy a copy of this score in any form, original, incomplete, or rerecorded. Along with HOUSE OF WAX, this score tops my holy grail list.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 3:20 PM   
 By:   shureman   (Member)

JOHN BROWN'S BODY was released on a Columbia 2-LP set in 1953 with Schumann conducting. I had a sealed copy of this for many years and traded it away without ever listening to it...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 3:53 PM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

I have given up on Tribute ever doing this. I would be interested if James Fitzpatrick of Tadlow would see this thread and perhaps make a comment. It is an extremely unique and beautiful score so very much deserving of a re-recording.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 29, 2014 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   films1   (Member)

The UK arrow release has a music and fx track isolated .. its truly an amazing movie.. I saw it for the first time a few months ago and it leaves a lasting impression on you . The 2 hour doc is certainly a great addition to the extras . The score is well deserving of a release and it would be great if TRIBUTE re recorded it .

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 12:45 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Shureman, you missed hearing something special. Schumann, who for years recorded with his group, The Voices of Water Schumann, had a very special genius for creating vocal music.

__

I'm surprised and thrilled to learn about that isolated M&E track in the UK edition. How I begged and pleaded with the bean-counters at Criterion to do likewise but they insisted their budget couldn't handle the extra cost.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 1:40 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

The UK arrow release has a music and fx track isolated.

released Oct. 2013.
Did you watch that version? Did you play the m/fx at all? They're usually poor quality.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 4:27 PM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

Shureman, you missed hearing something special. Schumann, who for years recorded with his group, The Voices of Water Schumann, had a very special genius for creating vocal music.

__

I'm surprised and thrilled to learn about that isolated M&E track in the UK edition. How I begged and pleaded with the bean-counters at Criterion to do likewise but they insisted their budget couldn't handle the extra cost.


Forgive my ignorance,but does this mean that once the legalities have been settled a decent CD release of this score is possible ?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 5:21 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Shureman, you missed hearing something special. Schumann, who for years recorded with his group, The Voices of Water Schumann, had a very special genius for creating vocal music.

__

I'm surprised and thrilled to learn about that isolated M&E track in the UK edition. How I begged and pleaded with the bean-counters at Criterion to do likewise but they insisted their budget couldn't handle the extra cost.


Forgive my ignorance,but does this mean that once the legalities have been settled a decent CD release of this score is possible ?


No, because who wants it with FX throughout - certainly not me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 5:31 PM   
 By:   nerfTractor   (Member)

Quite sad to hear about the difficulties. By coincidence, I have been delving into this movie quite deeply lately, watching it several times, with or without the commentary track. The score is magnificent. Schumann was a national treasure who, like Copland, only dabbled in film music. The score features quite prominently in the film, especially since the "Leaning, leaning..." hymn is such a huge part of the storytelling. We soundtrack collectors have become spoiled lately, and I guess you can't have it all, but I for one would snap up a rerelease of this score in an instant, and I'm sure many others would too, including the composer's admirers from the classical world.

 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 7:21 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)


No, because who wants it with FX throughout - certainly not me.


As with Rozsa's Quo Vadis and even Goldsmith's The Satan Bug, I'll take what I can get. If no one is willing to foot the bill for a great re-recording, I'd happily acquire a CD reissue with the LP story program on one disc and the M&E track cleaned up as good as possible on the other...I wouldn't do it for any score but for one this great...

Schumann was a national treasure who, like Copland, only dabbled in film music.

I think you're making a mistake I used to make as well, confusing Walter Schumann (who wrote Night of the Hunter and primarily worked in film scores, though sadly no others on the same lavel) with famous concert hall composer William Schuman, who wrote excellent symphonies but no film music that I know of:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Schumann
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Schuman

I'm happy to enjoy music by both, and since Night of the Hunter is such a fantastically composed score, I certainly don't blame anyone for thinking it was written by a famous concert hall composer...

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

Shureman, you missed hearing something special. Schumann, who for years recorded with his group, The Voices of Water Schumann, had a very special genius for creating vocal music.

__

I'm surprised and thrilled to learn about that isolated M&E track in the UK edition. How I begged and pleaded with the bean-counters at Criterion to do likewise but they insisted their budget couldn't handle the extra cost.


Criterion did release THE THIEF OF BAGDAD with an isolated M&E track which is a great reason to buy it(although I keep hoping it might see a Blu-ray release). I wonder why they didnt feel that NOTH deserved one , too.

I wish that the UK edition of NIGHT... was region free.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2014 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Again, it wasn't a matter of "deserve" but a matter of budget. I may not have agreed with the decision, but it was theirs to make. As it was, they were heavily invested in the project and clearly wanted to make it special, which God knows it was on many levels, what with two discs full of bells and whistles, including Bob Gitt's superb documentary with all those out-takes.

But they did have to set their limits and work within those parameters, which is why, for instance, they included only one segment from the Ed Sullivan Show live broadcast of highlights from the drama, rather than pay the full amount that would have been necessary to secure rights for the whole presentation. In the event, they decided to go with the one sequence which does not appear in the actual movie, the scene between Ben and Willa (Peter Graves and Shelley Winters) at the prison.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2014 - 12:25 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Again, it wasn't a mater of "deserve" but a matter of budget. I may not have agreed with the decision, but it was theirs to make. As it was, they were heavily invested in the project and clearly wanted to make it special, which God knows it was on many levels, what with two discs full of bells and whistles, including Bob Gitt's superb documentary with all those out-takes.

But they did have to set their limits and work within those parameters, which is why, for instance, they included only one segment from the Ed Sullivan Show live broadcast of highlights from the drama, rather than pay the full amount that would have been necessary to secure rights for the whole presentation. In the event, they decided to go with the one sequence which does not appear in the actual movie, the scene between Ben and Willa (Peter Graves and Shelley Winters) at the prison.


Preston dear, would you give me a call.

 
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