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Cat. No. CHAN 10418 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10418 - Addison: The Film Music of John Addison
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Available From: 01 May 2007
John Addison is ranked as one of the most prolific and diverse film composers to come out of Britain. Following service in the British Armed Forces during WWII, he became a popular concert hall composer and entered the film industry in the late 1940s. He is known for his familiarity with diverse musical genres, ranging from light classical to brooding jazz, and for some of the most important scores to war films during the 1950s and 1960s, of which a plethora are found on this outstanding disc.

The rise of Addison to prominence in Hollywood during the 1960s came with his winning the Academy Award for Best Score for his contribution to Tom Jones. The often bawdy masterpiece, owes much to Addison’s inventive musical conceptions, which veered between music-hall silliness and neo-classical counterpoint and influenced a later collaboration between Tony Richardson and Addison: The Charge of the Light Brigade, starring Trevor Howard and John Gielgud. However, it was for his earlier war film scores that Addison earned his respect. These soundtracks included Reach for the Sky, starring Kenneth More, and I Was Monty’s Double, with John Mills. His later soundtrack for Richard Attenborough’s A Bridge Too Far, a march-dominated score, saw him win a BAFTA Award. These renowned scores are much beloved by enthusiasts of war movies for their ability to convey the impact on both soldiers and civilians during war-time.

In 1976, Addison moved to the United States and started writing music for such television series as Murder, She Wrote for which he won an Emmy. Amongst his other television output is the music for the mammoth series Centennial, which here receives its premiere recording. Addison’s scores frequently pay homage to the time-honoured tradition in film music, which dates back to the silent film era, of alluding to well-known tunes and indulging in innocent tunefulness, yet the scores have achieved iconic status and contributed to turning many of the films into the national treasures that they are today.

This new addition to the Chandos Movies label, which has been greatly anticipated, is sure to be a highlight amongst its many gems.

This is a well-stocked tribute to a versatile composer who hadn’t until now received his due.

Gamba gets his usual dazzling and dynamic playing from the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Chandos sonics have never sounded more all-embracing. An outstanding addition to the distinguished Chandos film music series. Let’s hope a second volume is gestating, as well as a possible survey of Addison’s concert work.
Fanfare (USA)

There’s something infectiously uplifting, almost jovial about the music of John Addison, and its presence can be felt throughout this marvellous compilation of newly recorded themes and suites, among them five premieres… All told, a triumphant tribute to the late composer.
Film Review

Another fine film music CD from the enterprising Chandos label… Bravo Chandos!
Journal into Melody

I have very much enjoyed listening to this CD. Yes, it is definitely film music – dramatic, colourful, brooding, stirring, romantic – but it is of a very high quality indeed, many of the pieces ranking as fine concert pieces. Addison did not merely have a good theme which he expanded by dull material into something a bit longer, but made the works into pieces of music of satisfying length and construction.
Light Music Society Newsletter


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