Frank Skinner & Hans J. Salter: Monster Music

Frank Skinner & Hans J. Salter: Monster Music

by Moscow Symphony Orchestra
     
 

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The contents of this disc comprise three film scores, for Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), and The Wolf Man (1941), that were composed by Frank Skinner and Hans J. Salter or composed by Skinner and orchestrated by Salter (Son of Frankenstein). TheSee more details below

Overview

The contents of this disc comprise three film scores, for Son of Frankenstein (1939), The Invisible Man Returns (1940), and The Wolf Man (1941), that were composed by Frank Skinner and Hans J. Salter or composed by Skinner and orchestrated by Salter (Son of Frankenstein). The music is inherently interesting, not only on its own terms, but because of the rich source that it represented for dozens of pictures that followed in Universal's output. One can find the Son of Frankenstein material repeated verbatim in features as different as Tower of London and The Scarlet Claw, among many others, although it says something about the wealth of talent -- and the way of doing business -- at Universal's music department that the "Wolf Bane" theme, the most lyrical and memorable part of The Wolf Man, was written by neither Skinner nor Salter, but by Charles Previn; and that the second most memorable theme, "The Kill," was a collaboration between Salter and Previn. The Son of Frankenstein music is the most accomplished here, an intense, brooding creation made up of dark, demonic themes, punctuated by sweeping and starting harp glissandi and sinister passages for oboe, as well as off-kilter harmonies on the brass. The Invisible Man Returns is more lyrical in nature, and far more subtle, but also less interesting, and The Wolf Man, dominated by the sounds of hunting horns and gypsy violins, stands between them as the most accessible body of horror film scoring here, though most of it is not as accomplished as music; the exceptions are Skinner's extended cues "Bela's Funeral" and "Sir John's Discovery," two of the most finely developed pieces of music in the Universal library of that era. The former track is a major piece of music restoration, written for a scene that was subsequently cut from the movie; the latter has dazzling flashes of melodic inspiration and extraordinary scoring, although it resolves itself too easily in a routine and predictable Hollywood convention. William T. Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra have outdone themselves in presenting this music with scope and dignity, though they perform Jimmy McHugh's "Universal Pictures Signature Theme" with too much dignity and restraint.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313270521
catalogNumber:
8557705
Rank:
289736

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Moscow Symphony Orchestra   Primary Artist,Performing Ensemble
John Morgan   Performing Ensemble
William T. Stromberg   Conductor

Technical Credits

John Morgan   Arranger,Liner Notes
Vitaly Ivanov   Engineer
John Russell Morgan   Liner Notes,Orchestration
Hans J. Salter   Composer
Charles Previn   Composer
Edvard Shakhnazarian   Engineer
William T. Stromberg   Arranger
Bill Whitaker   Liner Notes
John Morgan   Arranger
John Morgan   Liner Notes,Score Reconstruction

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