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Cat. No. CHAN 10279 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10279 - The Film Music of Clifton Parker
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Available From: 10 January 2005
One of Clifton Parkerís first film scores was Western Approaches, a wartime documentary about the struggle of a merchant vessel crew to survive after being torpedoed. After scoring the film Parker adapted some of the music into a memorable tone poem entitled Seascape. Because of this success of this work, which sold particularly well on record, and because of his swirling and surging orchestrations, Parker was asked to write an abundance of maritime yarns. Among his most successful were Treasure Island, The Blue Lagoon and Sink the Bismarck!.

Treasure Island was the first of Parkerís three scores for Walt Disney, and it was a successful and definitive version of the Stevenson classic. The Blue Lagoon is the story of two children shipwrecked on a desert island for ten years. The score for this intriguing drama filmed against exotic Fijian locations was originally issued on 78rpm records. This is perhaps one of the composerís main scores that film music fans have wanted to see re-issued. Sink the Bismarck! was one of Parkerís most respected scores, the main theme of which has been recorded and published a number of times. The film relates the Royal Navy campaign of 1941 to target and destroy the feared German battleship Bismarck. The March heard here is famously regal and so patriotic that some audiences were reported to be standing up for the end title, mistaking it for the National Anthem!

The Sword and the Rose was another historical adventure for Disney, set at the court of Henry VIII. Parker supplied on-scene music for the court dancing Ė original music in the style of the Tudor period.

Clifton Parker was also much in demand for his thriller scores, and his Night of the Demon is particularly powerful. Underrated on its initial release, this essay in the occult has become something of a cult classic in recent years, thanks mainly to Jacques Tourneurís subtle direction and Clifton Parkerís score.


The indefatigable Philip Lane, who has arranged and edited Parkerís music, is one of the heroes of this recording; the orhers are the BBC Concert Orchestra, replacing their northern colleagues, the BBC Philharmonic, in this series. They play with huge gusto under Rumon Gamba. The booklet with excellent documentation, stills from the films and a charming photograph of the composer and colleague Muir Mathieson with Jean Simmons, on whose every word they seem to be hanging, is a pleasure in its own right.

Clifton Parker was truly inspirational in producing descriptive and engaging music. The music is always interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.. Chandosí usual high production standards include lavish sleeve notesÖ highly recommended.
Music from the Movies

This is an uncommonly well-programmed survey, but there is nothing atypical about Rumon Gambaís spirited performances. He seems incapable of treating films scores with anything less than total respect and enthusiasm, and the BBC players respond in kind. First-rate restorations from Philip Lane combine with excellent notes and gorgeous sound to complete an attractive release. Donít overlook it because the composerís name is not a familiar one. Gamba might just convince you that it should be.
American Record Guide


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