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The Film Music of John Addison Soundtrack

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 April 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000OY6HWM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 125,640 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My prefered compositions from The Film Music Of John Addison are: Sleuth, Murder She Wrote, Torn Curtain and A Bridge Too Far.
I am admirer of John Addison especially for his music from the film Sleuth (1972). Sleuth would not be the same without John Addison's clever touch.
The music of this british composer is a must.
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Format: Audio CD
The Chandos film albums are a fine way to get hold of rare music and contain plenty of premier recordings (this have 5 plus a couple of suites). This one reminds me of the Clifton Parker album in that it can be quite tiring in one sitting . . . one can only take so many melodies!
Two favourites: 'Swashbuckler', which says 'cinema' to me, and 'Centennial', which brings back a fondly-remembered tv series. I remember the stirring music was a factor in me watching it in the first place.
Sound quality, as with all Chandos releases, is exemplary.
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Format: Audio CD
Interesting programme of film scores, very well performed and recorded.
Service and condition of CD both excellent, thanks.

Tony Vercoe
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Really evocative film music
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x96c47f60) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96c5f3a8) out of 5 stars Do Bother 28 April 2014
By The Quiet Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In contrast to the review by Ambergris regarding this CD, I would like to argue that this disc is worth your while. Admittedly, it would be a stretch to classify John Addison as a film composer of genius--but there is an awful lot of fun music here, and even when the music is merely workman-like it still brings pleasure. These are "true renditions" of Addison's music; they are not from the original soundtracks, but new recordings in Chandos' spectacularly engineered sound played with panache by the BBC Concert Orchestra under Rumon Gamba.

John Addison will likely be remembered in music history for one thing only: he was the composer that Alfred Hitchcock hired after he summarily fired Bernard Herrmann from "Torn Curtain," terminating a legendary director-composer collaboration. Even the scores heard here--presumably the cream of the crop--are unlikely to override that legacy. Addison was a craftsman; he was hardly a genius like Herrmann. The craftsman quality is most obvious on the tracks on the first half of the disc, featuring music from war films and the theme from the miniseries "Centennial." The music is full of rousing fanfares, lushly scored strings, and not a single unexpected key change or modulation. The "Berlin Story" track from "The Man Between" sounds as if Addison was channeling Max Steiner. It's fun, but in a Holly-wooden sort of way: people who enjoy film music will enjoy it, but don't count on it converting the classical music snobs.

But Addison clearly had a sense of humor. The lighter-hearted tracks are filled with vim and fun. There's the swanky saxophone solo and parodic electronic music from the space invasion satire "Strange Invaders"; there's faux-eighteenth century harpsichord music in the "Tom Jones" overture; a kinky and slightly off-kilter slow waltz from the kinky and highly off-kilter film "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (the 1968 British version, not the 1936 Errol Flynn classic); and the comically menacing overture from "Sleuth," among other solid tracks.

And what of "Torn Curtain"? We get the theme, which sounds miles better under Chandos' engineering than it does on the film soundtrack. The opening, which has always sounded like a surface rumble on the copies of the film I've seen, turns out to be low plectoral sounds (an out-of-tune mandolin or plucked piano) and jangling percussion before resolving into the main melody--with the saxophone lines played much more clearly and precisely than on the soundtrack. This is better than a "genuine rousing rendition" of the theme: this may be what Addison heard in his head as he was composing. Finally, the disc ends with what seems to be a concert arrangement of the theme to "Murder, She Wrote"--which here sounds almost like a mini-Chopin piano concerto (assuming Chopin enjoyed a good murder mystery when he could tear himself away from George Sand).

Don't be fooled: while this is not music for the ages, it is highly enjoyable. Maybe it is only ginger ale compared with the vintage wines of others, but who doesn't enjoy a crisp palate cleanser every once in a while? This is another valuable entry in Chandos' re-recording of British movie music, and well worth your time.
HASH(0x96e9cabc) out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to John Addison. 17 July 2016
By johnf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
John Addison is not the best-known of film composers even though he won an Academy award for Tom Jones in 1963, a counter-intuitive score that rather than being a pastiche of eighteenth century music, had it's roots in vaudeville, circus music and music for silent films. On top of that in the film it mostly was played on harpsichord and piano, perfectly in sync with Tony Richardson's quirky sensibility. Until then Addison was a composer strictly for British films; afterward he had a long career in film and television in the U.S.

No one is going to argue that Addison was one of the great film composers who created his own style of music. but he was very competent and was particularly good with complex orchestrations, which he did himself instead of passing it off to studio orchestrators, which even the great ones, excluding Bernard Herrmann, did. Like all film score composers he could write for any type of film, though his specialty seemed to be comedy films and rousing military music. His style is typically tonal and romantic with Impressionist influences and occasional hints of Walton and in Torn Curtain and Sleuth, a touch of Prokofiev-Shostakovich-Kabalevsky in a humorous mood. Overall his music is entertaining and highly enjoyable and full of high spirits and wit.

This is a collection mostly of the themes from his films, with extended "suites" from A Bridge Too Far, Strange Invaders and The Charge of the Light Brigade. This has been the general approach to film composer collections since Richard Gerhardt's famous 13-volume series on the great film composers of the 30's and 40's for RCA in the 1970's. No one would want a collection of actual original score recordings unless they were from recent films.Music coming from different decades, eras of recording and engineering, not to mention different studios, would be all over the map in terms of sound and would make a terrible collection. The music here spans the early 50's to the 80's. A single orchestra and conductor doing the music is the accepted norm for composer collections for good reason.

Addison was classically trained, as were most film composers after the first generation, and was gradually brought into film composing through his theater work with Tony Richardson and his friendship during the war with Roy Boulting, who became an important British Film producer. A number of his early British film scores are represented here, often in first recordings. He did the music for many important British New Wave (i.e. "kitchen sink") films, directed by Richardson, but none of that is here. As I recall, the music for films like The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner or A Taste of Honey was minimal and rather generic, so I guess that's why they're not here. The famous theme, A Taste of Honey came from incidental music from the stage play and was not used in the film.

Highlights include The Charge of the Light Brigade with its nod to Old Hollywood scores use of familiar national themes, the off-kilter theme to Torn Curtain, and the wickedly funny Sleuth. My favorite is the music to Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far, mostly a rousing parade-groud style march that is all dash and glory, often in direct counterpoint to what happening in the film. It's very intricate orchestration is full of harmonic complexities and poly-melodic moments. I would dare anyone to try to march to it. The real shame is that it's a bit too long to purchase as a separate MP3, because it's one of his most-known and popular works. The collection ends with what is likely his best-known piece, however slight, the Theme from Murder, She Wrote.

Considering that the complete soundtrack discs of John Addison's film scores generally are in the thirty to sixty dollar range, I'd say that this is the best introduction to his music that you will find. Though the arrangements do not always try to duplicate the film music exactly, they are well-considered. Some, like A Bridge Too Far do have identical arrangements. Chandos's sound is as excellent as ever and Rumon Gamba conducts everything with complete commitment and achieves admirable results.
HASH(0x96e9c9c0) out of 5 stars One of the lesser known but greatly talented composer of ... 1 Dec. 2014
By Groucho - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One of the lesser known but greatly talented composer of film scores. A must for anyone who is a collector of scores.
6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9743a4f8) out of 5 stars Don't Bother 8 Jan. 2009
By John Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed the music of John Addison in many films over the years. However this CD does not carry true renditions of any films original soundtrack. Most sound more like something inspired by a given title. Anyone thinking they are going to finally get to hear the genuine rousing rendition of some movie from years ago will be very disappointed.
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