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Cat. No. CHAN 10306 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10306 - The Film Music of Stanley Black
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Available From: 11 April 2005
"Stanley Black scored approximately 200 films. He also introduced concert-hall audiences and record buyers to a wide range of music – from both cinematic and classical repertoires – through his work as a conductor, which included posts with the BBC Dance Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra (of which he was the first non-American conductor). Black’s film and conducting work were but two sides of a multi-faceted career, which began when the BBC performed one of his orchestral compositions when he was only twelve; while still a teenager he won an award for arranging from Melody Maker magazine and was soon in demand as a jazz pianist. In this capacity he worked alongside American musicians of the stature of Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins during their rare visits to England, and played extensively for British dance bands before joining the staff of the BBC in 1944 and producing music for literally thousands of radio programmes. His film work begin in earnest after 1948 and in 1958 he became music director at Elstree studios, continuing to work there into the 1970s.

Much of Stanley Black’s inventive scoring for horror films and comedies in the 1950s and 1960s has been in danger of sinking into obscurity because many of the projects on which he worked – apart from those featuring international stars such as Cliff Richard (The Young Ones) and Peter Sellers (Battle of the Sexes) – have largely disappeared from view on account of the inevitable dating of the production styles they embody. The present compilation offers a timely reminder of the resourcefulness and versatility brought to the screen by an experienced film composer, even when confronted with sometimes mediocre dramatic material.


As the CD notes by Mervyn Cooke aptly put it, this music represents ‘a lost age of innocently witty film writing’. As ever Chandos has done this repertoire proud with a luminous and full-bodied recording.

Stanley Black was an unsung stalwart of British film music who died in 2002. Here he is remembered in some fine premiere recordings by Chandos. Horror scores such as the preposterous ‘Blood of the Vampire’, the cross-channel swimming drama ‘Stormy Crossing’, and highly effective good-time caper music for Cliff Richard’s ‘The Young Ones’ are all highlights from an enterprising disc. Barry Wordsworth steers the BBC Concert Orchestra with unerring agility.
BBC Music Magazine

Light music at its finest, from a conductor and orchestra fully at home in this idiom.
Gramophone on CHAN 10115 (Langford)

These very sympathetic performances, in excellent sound, preserve a piece of Old England – something to be treasured.
International Record Review on CHAN 10115 (Langford)

Excellent playing makes this a valuable addition to the Chandos Film Library.
Suffolk & Norfolk Life


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