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Scary Movies

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October 31, 2003

It's Halloween and time from music from classic (and not-so-classic) scary movies.

Selection Source Performer(s) Comments
Main Title The Fury (OS 1978) Orchestra conducted by John Williams Brian De Palma’s thriller about a young woman with telekinetic powers (Amy Irving) exploited by unscrupulous men has been described as a violent triumph of style over substance (big surprise there...) but it has a wonderfully atmospheric score as the ominous main title music clearly indicates.
Prelude (from King Kong) Cinema Century 2000 (1999) City of Prague Philharmonic conducted by Nic Raine The score for this seminal 1933 monster movie is by Vienna-born Max Steiner, who would later earn Oscars for his music for The Informer (1935), Now, Voyager (1942) and Since You Went Away (1944). He is best known, however, for his work on box office hits such as Gone With the Wind (1939), The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), Casablanca (1943) and many others. His last score was for Two on a Guillotine, six years before his death in 1971.
In the Forest; Appearance of the Beast La Belle et la Bête (Beauty and the Beast) (1994) Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Axios Chorus conducted by Adriano This is from the first-ever complete recording of Georges Auric’s score for the classic 1946 film by Jean Cocteau. Although best known as a classical composer, Auric wrote scores for nearly 100 French, British and (eventually) American films from 1930 through 1969. He was part of “Le Groupe des Six”, a collective of avant-garde composers is 1920’s France. The others were Darius Milhaud, Artur Honneger, Francis Poulenc, Germaine Talleferre and Louis Durey
Theme from The Fog The Fog (OS 1980) John Carpenter This is from an expanded edition of the original soundtrack for this not-terribly-successful ghost story. Carpenter directed and performed his own synthesized score. This release includes track not on the original version as well as an interview with star Jamie Lee Curtis.
The Shining Theme Dr. Strangelove – Music from the Films of Stanley Kubrick (1999) Mark Ayres Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King best seller has original music by Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos and Rachel Elkind, along with selections from works by Bartok, Penderecki and Ligeti. The Main Theme is a creepy little electronic essay that incorporates the Latin chant Dies Irae, traditionally used by composers to represent death.
Duel with the Skeleton (from The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad) Bernard Herrmann – Great Film Music (1996) National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bernard Herrmann Bernard Herrman was a master of orchestral color and his scores are marked by inventive use of conventional instruments as well as unusual instruments used for special sonic effects. Herrmann’s score for the 1958 adventure film uses a conventional orchestra heavily augmented with extra percussion for exotic effects. To accompany Sinbad’s sword fight with an animated skeleton, stereophonic xylophones take center stage accompanied by the brasses.

Acronyms and other mysteries defined:

OC: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.

OS: Unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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