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 Posted:   Aug 1, 2001 - 5:54 AM   
 By:   Robyn Hood   (Member)

One of my favorite releases of the year 2000 was "The Adventures of Superman" on Varése Sarabande. I loved the show as a kid, and the music really stuck in my head...hearing it again on CD is terrific!

This was supposed to be Volume One of a three-disc set. I've heard that Varése has passed on subsequent volumes. It they have, it's a pity.

I hope and pray that FSM, or Prometheus, or Percepto will pick up the future volumes. This music is too, too good to go unreleased forever!

NP: "Cliffhangers!: Music from the Classic Republic Serials"--Various Composers

 Posted:   Aug 1, 2001 - 7:24 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I have THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN disc, but apart from the main titles, I've had a little trouble getting into the right frame of mind for it.

It has an old fashioned sound that you really have to be ready for, and I haven't played it in a long time. What are your favorite cues, and what kind of feelings do they bring about?
[This message has been edited by ZapBrannigan (edited 01 August 2001).]

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2001 - 5:30 AM   
 By:   JohnnyK   (Member)

The Mutel library cues in Vol. I are not as exciting or musically rewarding (IMO) as the Paxton library which would have appeared in Vol II.

I regret that even a subscription offer was not made by Varese. This is music I have long admired. Occasionaly, the Paxton cues still show up in BBC programs (recently, Edward on Edward, shown in the U.S. on PBS).

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2001 - 7:59 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

"I've had a little trouble getting into the right frame of mind for it."

You wouldn't say that if you grew up watching it. And I'll take "old-fashioned" any day over what passes for current fashion! I've already talked at length about this show and its music and will simply reiterate that you haven't heard rousing action/adventure music until you've heard Last Reel Fight.

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2001 - 9:24 AM   
 By:   (Member)

It's not too surprising that the "Adventures of Superman" CD neglected to include the best piece of music ever to be heard on that quaint TV series (to which I must confess to being devoted as a small child), namely Movement 7, "Allegro molto agitato e tumultuoso," of Miklos Rozsa's "Theme, Variations and Finale," Op. 13A (1933; rev. 1943.

It, along with several other snippets of Rozsa's concert music, was appropriated by the show's producers without authorization, prompting the composer to sue and win a financial settlement in court (the court judgement did not, however, mandate the producers' removal of the music from their completed episodes, where it can be heard to this day). The REAL Superman would never have approved of such larceny.

If you want to hear that part (or all)of Rozsa's "Theme, Variations and Finale," it is available on the Koch label, catalog no. 3-7191-2 H1, with James Sedares conducting the New Zealand Symphony.
[This message has been edited by (edited 02 August 2001).]

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2001 - 2:18 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I would appreciate the sources at your disposal that confirm this Rozsa business. I once heard that M. Steiner was behind some of the music, too, but as you've mentioned no liner notes nor anything else I've read cites him or Rozsa. I am anxious to hear the Rozsa piece; my ear/memory is well-tuned to the series' music and the piece would seem to be a convincer.


[This message has been edited by Howard L (edited 02 August 2001).]

 Posted:   Aug 3, 2001 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   (Member)

Dear Howard:

I recall that Pro Musica Sana, the excellent publication of the Rozsa Society, dealt with this subject briefly on at least one occasion. I, myself, have heard the Rozsa music in at least a couple of episodes of "The Adventures of Superman (one of which involved the hunt for a killer disguised as an innocent circus clown, the other having to do with somebody dressed in a bad gorilla suit). I would suggest you post a question on the Rozsa Society's "Rozsa Forum" board; I imagine that John Fitzpatrick or one of the contributors will be able to cite the specific instances of the unauthorized use of Rozsa's concert music and, perhaps, expand on the legal imbroglio that followed.
[This message has been edited by (edited 03 August 2001).]

 Posted:   Aug 3, 2001 - 6:45 AM   
 By:   Robyn Hood   (Member)

If you liked this CD, you should also pick up the PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE disk on Retrosonic Records, which features library cues that show up in later seasons of ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (and in some David L. Wolper-produced documentaries). Paul Mandell produced both CDs, and obviously, I recommend them both highly.

NP: "Quills" by Stephen Warbeck

 Posted:   Aug 4, 2001 - 2:48 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Rozsa professed to be surprised when he learned about the SUPERMAN usage, but I've never heard that he was displeased or contemplated a lawsuit. I can only assume that he (as the copyright owner) had licensed the music to somebody years earlier.

Can anybody identify the episodes (if any) in which "Men of Steel" (i.e., the eighth variation, "Moderato molto giusto") was used?

John Fitzpatrick

 Posted:   Aug 4, 2001 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   (Member)

Well, I had heard a number of times that Rozsa did sue, though perhaps it's blended in my mind over the years with the story of his litigaion over William Schumann's use of his main theme from "The Killers" in "Dragnet" (but if Rozsa'd sue over one of his film scores, then why wouldn't he do it over a concert piece which wasn't a work for hire, and which was much, much closer to his heart?).

Footnote: the movement sometimes titled "Men of Steel," was issued as one side of a 78rpm disc in the 1940s. A friend of mine had a copy, but dropped it one day, and it broke into several pieces -- so, even if the men were of steel, the record was of rather vulnerable laquer.
[This message has been edited by (edited 04 August 2001).]

 Posted:   Aug 4, 2001 - 9:32 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

"...(one of which involved the hunt for a killer disguised as an innocent circus clown..."

The meanie ("Crackers") pretending to be Rollo the Clown was portrayed by the great character actor Peter Brocco. The episode also had the guy who played Cousin Eustace in It's A Wonderful Life.

"...the other having to do with somebody dressed in a bad gorilla suit)..."

That's gotta be the one when a ditsy blond stole the diamond eye from a jungle idol. Ol' Supe tossed the big monkey around a la WWF, stamped his foot and the thing took off waving its arms & scowling">. Anyway, gonna have to pursue this Rozsa thing. Thanks for the tip.


[This message has been edited by Howard L (edited 04 August 2001).]

 Posted:   Aug 5, 2001 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

What are the sources for the litigation story?

I, too, once saw the 78 that had the two variations on it. The seventh variation was labeled "Tumult and Commotion." My understanding is that this was recording that Paxton made under license to be used as library cues. I wonder if the disruption of the normal rights process during World War II had something to do with this. The TV&F was published by the German publisher Eulenberg. Is it possible that they or some intermediary licensed the music in the absence of the composer?

 Posted:   Aug 31, 2001 - 8:16 AM   
 By:   Kimiakane   (Member)

There isn't going to be volumes 2& 3??? Aww, man. That sucks...I was waiting for those.

Crusaders of Animation Scores deserving of a CD release! Join us NOW!

 Posted:   Sep 6, 2001 - 1:29 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I listened to the entire soundtrack today and the ear suddenly found Rozsaesque moments in the cues entitled A Nightmare and Moleska's Plight. The former seemed to have a Lost Weekendish feel. And there were moments of Spreading Misterioso that reminded me very much of Mr. Goldsmith's underscoring of Spock moments in ST: TMP.

Superman certainly contains effusive action-packed cues (Brawl is another knockout--no pun intended) but there are also moments that are ferociously corny...and no less intoxicating! It's a dangerous thing to put on La Tango, e.g., when you're at work with headphones on. Too easy for colleagues to notice your bumping & grinding while you're not noticing them noticing you">


there is a truly corny Kellogg's commercial (again, no pun inten...) with the voices of George Reeves & John Hamilton in character tacked onto an unlisted track 36 that must be heard to be believed


[This message has been edited by Howard L (edited 06 September 2001).]

 Posted:   Nov 18, 2023 - 1:15 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Rozsa professed to be surprised when he learned about the SUPERMAN usage, but I've never heard that he was displeased or contemplated a lawsuit. I can only assume that he (as the copyright owner) had licensed the music to somebody years earlier.

Anyway, gonna have to pursue this Rozsa thing. Thanks for the tip.

excerpts from STARLOG SPECTACULAR #4/March 1992--

By Paul Mandell

The mystery of who wrote the music that signaled adventure and thrills for an entire generation has finally been solved.

The background music tracked into the first-season episodes of The Adventures of Superman consisted of the most ominous, nerve-shattering cues ever used for television.

For years, these cues had been credited to William Lava, Alexander Laszlo and Darrell Calker.
The truth is they were written under less-than-legitimate circumstances by Herschel Burke Gilbert, Joseph Mullendore, Herb Taylor, several French composers. and some whose identities remain a mystery.

The "Superman March" for the main and end titles was written by Leon Klatzkin specifically for the series.

A thing unto itself was Miklos Rozsa's "Tumult and Commotion." Rozsa had written it in 1933 as part of a sprawling folk piece entitled Theme, Variations and Finale, Opus 13, his first international success. In fact, it was conducted by a young and unknown Leonard Bernstein at a now-famous Carnegie Hall concert in November, 1943, when he took over for an ailing Bruno Walter. How [W.] Paxton managed to access it and rename it "Tumult and Commotion" escaped Rozsa's memory.

"Tumult" featured a booming brass section that hammered out huge, lumbering blocks of sound, like a giant's footsteps, and culminated in a dizzying, nightmarish crescendo of trombones, strings and piccolos. It became fight music in the episodes "The Golden Vulture," "The Clown Who Cried," "Jungle Devil" and "The Machine That Could Plot Crimes." Many viewers would wait anxiously to hear that piece.

 Posted:   Nov 18, 2023 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

You were on the right track, Rozsaphile. cool

More AOS discussions:

 Posted:   Nov 19, 2023 - 8:29 PM   
 By:   MMM   (Member)

Rozsa probably didn't own Theme, Variations, and Finale. It was likely published by somebody else and only they could have brought a lawsuit against somebody over the reuse of the music. It's possible the publisher approved the use and licensed it for the show. Not sure who owned the physical recording of the piece that was used in SUPERMAN.

 Posted:   Nov 20, 2023 - 6:47 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Listened to this last night and oh boy did the 12:55-14:04 mark ring dem bells all right--

 Posted:   Nov 20, 2023 - 7:30 AM   
 By:   chriss   (Member)

Beginning with the second season "Adventures of Superman" began to use the Paxton music library. Part of that library was this disc with two pieces by Rozsa including Tumult and Commotion. I have the disc in my collection.

 Posted:   Nov 20, 2023 - 8:34 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Name misspelled on the label -- not an uncommon phenomenon!

I'm always amazed by the amount of ink spilled over no. 7, just because it became library music in a kiddie TV show. Have to wonder how many of the interested parties have ever bothered to explore the rest of the piece.

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