Cat People [Classic Music for Val Lewton Films]

Cat People [Classic Music for Val Lewton Films]

by Roy Webb
     
 

Roy Webb (1888-1982) was never remotely as well established as a composer as his mentor Max Steiner, but he composed his share of good music in the course of scoring 300 movies in a career lasting more than 30 years. This collection is devoted entirely to Webb's music for the movies of Val Lewton, the producer responsible for Cat PeopleSee more details below

Overview

Roy Webb (1888-1982) was never remotely as well established as a composer as his mentor Max Steiner, but he composed his share of good music in the course of scoring 300 movies in a career lasting more than 30 years. This collection is devoted entirely to Webb's music for the movies of Val Lewton, the producer responsible for Cat People, I Walked With a Zombie, The Seventh Victim, The Body Snatcher, and Bedlam, among other notable low-budget suspense and horror movies of the early 1940s. Each of those scores is represented here, and it's a most interesting mix; no two sound alike, and each is more complex musically than meets the ear. Bedlam's music is the most traditional Hollywood music, deliberately evoking the 18th century setting of the film. Cat People and The Seventh Victim represent distinctly non-traditional suspense scores, built around memorable core motifs, dealing with their central characters' struggle with the forces of evil within and without; as it happens, Webb was at a disadvantage on The Seventh Victim in that the film's most effective musical moment was the party scene in which Johannes Brahms' "Waltz in A minor" was used to stunning effect over a telling piece of dialogue. His music for The Body Snatcher and I Walked With a Zombie are similar in that both utilize traditional folk sources as their bases: Scottish music in the case of The Body Snatcher and Haitian music in I Walked With a Zombie. The best parts of each score are represented, and they make more engaging listening than the other material, being less psychologically oriented and more extroverted, though "I Walked With a Zombie" would likely have worked better if it had included the sung material from the original film. The performance by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra under William T. Stromberg is more than competent, and the tempi and timbres of the recording capture the essentials of the original film material, which is complex enough but not always that interesting as music. It's revealing that the annotation gives about as much space to plot summaries and biographical information on Lewton as it does to the music itself. Clearly the concept behind the CD is a marketable one, even if the music itself lacks some of the substance that one is accustomed to hearing in the work of Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and others.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/13/2000
Label:
Marco Polo
UPC:
0636943512524
catalogNumber:
225125

Tracks

  1. Main Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  2. Irena  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  3. The Cat People  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  4. Irena and Oliver  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  5. Need for Help  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  6. The Evil Call  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  7. The Aftermath  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  8. Dream Sequence  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  9. Too Late  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  10. Horror Sequence  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  11. Dr. Judd Murdered  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  12. End Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  13. Main Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  14. The Quaker  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  15. Nell's Escape  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  16. End Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  17. Main Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  18. Principal's Office  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  19. Mary Sees Jacqueline  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  20. Jacqueline is Found  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  21. Jacqueline  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  22. The Pallidists' Trial  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  23. The Chase  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  24. Desirous of Death  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  25. Love Scene  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  26. End Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  27. Main Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  28. Edinburgh  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  29. The First Body  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  30. Finale  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  31. Main Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  32. Chant  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  33. Fort Holland  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  34. Zombie  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  35. Dr. Maxwell  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  36. End Title  -  Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Roy Webb   Primary Artist,Track Performer
William T. Stromberg   Conductor
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Stanislav Benacka   Bass (Vocal)
Ondrej Dobo   Bass (Vocal)
Eugen Gaal   Bass (Vocal)
Milan Jagelka   Bass (Vocal)

Technical Credits

Hubert Geschwandtner   Engineer
John Russell Morgan   Liner Notes,Score Reconstruction
Robert Wise   Liner Notes
Scott MacQueen   Liner Notes
John Morgan   Liner Notes,Score Reconstruction
Milos Betko   Producer
Curt Siodmak   Liner Notes

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