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Cat. No. CHAN 10323 Price: £10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10323 - Chagrin: The Film Music of Francis Chagrin
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Audio Sample

Available From: 15 June 2005
Chagrin arranged much of the music from Helter Skelter, a scatty comedy with an endless parade of guest stars, into the popular overture featured here. Philip Lane arranged the theme for the main female character, Eva Smith, from An Inspector Calls, into a musical portrait which reflects her emotional journey through the film. Chagrin’s music for The Colditz Story takes the form of pieces in a variety of ‘easy listening’ styles which, contrasting with the action, create a distinctly unsettling feel. Chagrin’s music catches the drama and atmosphere perfectly in the Disney film Greyfriars Bobby, which tells the story of a faithful Skye terrier who kept a vigil over his master’s grave for years after his death. Philip Lane has labelled the music from the television series The Four Just Men Theme and Main Titles – the former being the weekly introductory signature tune, utilising the Morse code rhythm for SOS as its germ idea, and the latter perhaps an earlier proposal subsequently incorporated into the library of cues throughout the series. The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra is one of six ‘Tales of Hoffnung’, produced for the BBC in the 1960s, based on characters by Gerard Hoffnung. Chagrin cleverly composed, re-composed, arranged and re-arranged music by many of the great composers to produce a witty musical montage. Chagrin obviously saw potential in the music he wrote for The Intruder for he compiled the Four Orchestral Episodes from the music, which is striking in its meticulous attention to detail. Last Holiday, JB Priestly’s story of a man diagnosed as having weeks to live, gave Chagrin a wide range of emotions to work on. The opening and closing titles feature ‘The Beggar’s Theme’ which was published at the time for violin and piano. Although only forty minutes long, the documentary The Bridge provided Chagrin with enough material for two orchestral suites entitled Yugoslav Sketches and Yugoslav Suite.

This is a wonderful introduction to a sadly neglected composer, whose spectacular music has depth and passion.
Music from the Movies

The Highlight is the music for ‘Last Holiday’ of which ‘The Beggar’s Theme’ was initially published as a violin/piano score. Palm court music and a rumbustious Samba bring to life the setting on the English south coast. Philip Lane once again has edited and arranged much of the music and written the accompanying booklet. This is an unexpected and most worthwhile issue.


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