Silva Screen Records present earlier composers who were masters of music on Hitchcock films, and later films with Bernard Herrmann on the second CD. The "CONCERTO FOR ORCHESTRA" is Miklos Rozsa's haunting theme which lasts over nine minutes is something from heaven. "STRANGERS ON THE TRAIN" the Dimitri Tiomkin contribution is also an outstanding track which can move the unmoveable with the heart-racing pounding sounds that the two composers generate. Both composers Rozsa and Tiomkin have a list of accomplishments a mile long, but to hear their music on a Hitchcock film is pure geneious in film making and scoring.
Reynold da Silva's Silva Screen Records has been constructing a series of "essential" collections of major film composers' scores usually by making new recordings of portions of those scores or compiling recordings previously made for other projects, most often employing the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. For this Michel Legrand album, the label has actually enlisted Legrand as conductor of the Flemish Radio Orchestra (whose contributions are not noted until you examine the CD booklet), with a few additional jazz musicians, plus Legrand himself on piano and (during the extended suite from The Go-Between) harpsichord. Still, these are new recordings, made in December 2004, and should not be confused with actual soundtrack recordings. Legrand oversees excerpts from some of his most popular scores, leaning heavily on the major themes, such as "I Will Wait for You" from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, "Theme from Summer of '42," and "The Windmills of Your Mind" from The Thomas Crown Affair.
Fahrenheit 451 (1966) was François Truffaut's highly stylised adaptation of Ray Bradbury's dystopian science fiction classic, a vision of a future in which firemen burn books. Herrmann wrote music for strings, harp and percussion, a gracefully chill, urgently rhythmic portrait of a sterile world. The finale, "The Road", blossoms into one of Herrmann's finest melodies, a heartbreakingly lovely homage to the indominability of the human spirit. The expanded suite of 10 selections was specially realised for this album. The Man In The Grey Flannel Suit (1956) and Tender Is The Night (1962) are rare Herrmann gems, achingly lovely melodies aptly presented beside the more famous and utterly captivating "Andante Cantabile" from The Ghost And Mrs Muir (1947). The suite from Anna And The King Of Siam (1946) marks one of Hollywood's earliest ventures into world music, with Herrmann extensively researching Siamese music before composing this glittering, majestic and deeply imaginative work.
The Ninth Gate, Roman Polanski's supernatural thriller about a book that can summon the devil, features an appropriately tense and eerie score by Wojciech Kilar, who also composed the award-winning music for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Sumi Jo's ethereal, operatic vocals grace "The Theme From The Ninth Gate," and the City of Prague Philharmonic and Chorus lend a brooding, Old World feel to pieces like "Corso" and "Bernie Is Dead." Piano and strings contribute to the ghostly, romantic aura of "Liana," while "Plane to Spain," "Chateau Saint Martin," and "The Motorbike" add to the score's continental atmosphere. Suspenseful in its own right, Kilar's music for The Ninth Gate reaffirms his skill as a film composer.