HAMMER, ADVENTURE AND ROMANCE: Audio CD, James Bernard, Kenneth Alwyn, May 7 1996.




Track List:


1. Vampire Rhapsody, for piano and orchestra - From Kiss of the Vampire.
2. Ayesha - She Who Must Be Obeyed - From She Done Him Wrong.
3. Desert Quest & Bedouin Attack - From She Done Him Wrong.
4. In the Kingdom of She - Processional - From She Done Him Wrong.
5. In The Kingdom of She - The Cruelty of She - From She Done Him Wrong.
6. The Eternal Flame & The Destruction of She - From She Done Him Wrong.
7. Christina - From Frankenstein Created Woman.
8. The Power of Evil - From the DeVil Rides Out.
9. Invocation to the Devil / Dance Frenzy / Incarnation - The Goat of Mend.
10. Awakening and Absolution - From the DeVil Rides Out.
11. Love Theme - From the Scars of Dracula.
12. Introduction & Death of the Monster - From the Quatermass Expirement.
13. Radiation & Requiem - From X-The Unknown.
14. Defeat Of The Aliens - From Quatermass II.
15. Finale - From Quatermass II.


Condition: Good no backcover, London Studios Music Libary Copy.


Album notes:
James Bernard has proven time and again that he has an amazing grasp of the requirements of writing music for horror films; his extensive work for the Hammer operation in the 1950s and 1960s is often more serious and interesting than the films it accompanied, and there is a direct refusal to use the music to mock either the genre or individual films. This Silva America release delves mainly into the horror and science fiction end of Bernard's work for Hammer, with a quick side trip into the fantasy-adventure of She. Though the album is made up of selected cues, it is remarkably even and quite compelling; the opening "Vampire Rhapsody," with Paul Bateman on piano, tilts expectations away from the simpleminded. The level is maintained thereafter, with some splendid orchestral performances from both the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir. Bernard himself provided the arrangements for the suites, which doubtless contributes to the quality of the performances. The recording is excellent, with a full-bodied orchestral stage and a clean bass. Highs seem deliberately muted in some pieces, which would be in keeping with the material; Bateman's piano on "Vampire Rhapsody," on the other hand, is given room to cut through across its entire range, and is well separated from the body of the orchestra. In sum, this is one of the best treatments of James Bernard's work available to date. It is hoped that many more will eventually follow. ~ Steven McDonald.

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