In 2004 Orange Mountain Music released an album of solo piano transcriptions of Philip Glass's Oscar and Golden Globe nominated score to 'The Hours'. These transcriptions were done by Glass's longtime Music Director, pianist Michael Riesman. His transcription of 'The Hours' proved so successful that Orange Mountain Music approached him to do a follow-up recording. The favourite to make another arrangement was Glass's haunting score to director Tod Browning's 1931 classic Dracula which starred Béla Lugosi as the world's best-known vampire. Riesman says "Dracula was an obvious choice, with its seductive moods of tempestuous fury and eerie mystery, throbbing tension and quiet lyricism." Glass's original score was commissioned as part of Universal's Classic Monsters collection in 1999 because the film, being released at a time when there was still very limited technology for sound pictures, had never had any music other than for its title sequences. Glass's scoring for string quartet was recorded (with Michael Riesman as co-producer) and toured by the Kronos Quartet. This new arrangement receives a virtuosic performance by Riesman and includes a previously unrecorded track, an epilogue, which neither appeared on the soundtrack album nor on the DVD release.
Although Philip Glass has composed music for over 30 films - among them `Candyman', `The Thin Blue Line', `The Fog of War', `The Hours', and `Undertow' (all available on Orange Mountain Music), the QATSI trilogy, `The Truman Show', `The Illusionist' and the current `Notes on a Scandal' - this score marks the first that the composer himself considers a classic. "Many films have been made based on Dracula since the original in 1931 - however, none is equal to the original in eloquence or the sheer power to move us." Dracula remains a masterpiece of the horror genre, the more so when viewed with Glass's chilling music which stays away from the obvious effects associated with such movies.
Personnel: Michael Riesman, solo piano