Frankel: The Importance of Being Earnest; Curse of the Werewolf; The Night of the Iguana; Trottie True; The Years Between; Footsteps in the Fog

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Frankel
LABELS: CPO
WORKS: The Importance of Being Earnest; Curse of the Werewolf; The Night of the Iguana; Trottie True; The Years Between; Footsteps in the Fog
PERFORMER: Queensland SO/Werner Andreas Albert
CATALOGUE NO: 999 809-2
As well as being an important symphonist who developed a unique approach to the 12-note method, Benjamin Frankel was one of the most prolific British composers of film scores from the late Forties to the early Sixties. (At least one piece, ‘Carriage and Pair’ from So Long at the Fair, became a popular light classic.) CPO’s Frankel series, which has already released the complete score to his last film, The Battle of the Bulge, here presents a selection from his other best-known productions, some of them reconstructed by ED Kennaway. They well illustrate Frankel’s versatility and melodic gift, and were well worth rescuing from obscurity, especially the most substantial items here, the subtle and evocative sequences for small orchestra from the scores to the Stewart Granger/Jean Simmons thriller Footsteps in the Fog (1955) and the Richard Burton/Ava Gardner classic The Night of the Iguana (1964). Curse of the Werewolf (1961) is reputedly the first 12-note British film score, but not in the attractive ‘Pastoral’ episode offered here. By effective contrast, the 1949 Trottie True and 1952 Importance of Being Earnest, both in their ways Edwardian costume comedies, bring out Frankel’s comic, music-hall side. The Australian orchestra, under its German conductor, has no problems with the idiom on this intriguing and enjoyable disc. Calum MacDonald

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