About this Recording
8.225167 - ARNOLD, M.: David Copperfield / The Roots of Heaven
English 

Foreword by Sir Malcolm Arnold

Foreword by Sir Malcolm Arnold

The Moscow Symphony Orchestra has given stirring performances of my music in these new recordings of The Roots of Heaven and David Copperfield.

Both films had very different subjects and I approached them each in a distinct manner. One was set in Africa and the other in Victorian England. Bill Stromberg in his conducting and John Morgan in his restoration of the scores have added lustre to my music. Whether the overture from The Roots of Heaven or the theme for Mr Micawber [from David Copperfield], they have provided the listener with colourful and enthusiastic interpretations of my scores.

I am flattered that John Morgan and Bill Stromberg have taken such an interest in my film music. To be the recipient of their skill and effort is an honour.

 

In the immediate post World War II period, Britain was fortunate to have a variety of talented composers working in their film industry. Among them: Richard Addinsell, Brian Easdale, John Greenwood and Clifton Parker, with occasional forays from the classical world, Sir Arthur Bliss, Alan Rawsthorne, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Sir William Walton, all of them adding artistic excellence to the films they scored.

However, two of the three most prodigious composers of this period whose œuvre stretched across both film and the concert hall were William Alwyn and Benjamin Frankel. Alwyn’s scores for Odd Man Out (1946) and The Rocking Horse Winner (1949) and Frankel’s for The Seventh Veil (1945) and The Man in the White Suit (1950) were vital contributions to these films. By the early 1950s, they were joined by a third, younger composer, whose name was virtually unknown in British film and who, by the end of the decade, would become internationally respected for his musical ability. Malcolm Arnold was to become one of Britain’s most admired composers. From the sound stages of Shepperton Studios to the Royal Albert Hall, his skill was to encompass every musical field.

Arnold’s keen sense of dramatic aptitude was ideally suited for marrying music to film. Whilst concurrently scoring films, he was also occupied writing symphonies, ballets and concert works. His ability to immerse himself in these various fields propelled him into a position where commissions came often, from both the concert hall and the film world. With his gregarious personality and joie de vivre came friendships with diverse composers and musicians: Howard Blake, Julian Bream, Adolph Deutsch, Benny Goodman, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Humphrey Searle, John Scott and William Walton, to name but a few. From the facility of his early scores for films such as Stolen Face (1952) and The Captain’s Paradise (1953), his reputation grew and ultimately he would be asked by American producers to score their films.

Malcolm Henry Arnold was born into a well-to-do shoe-manufacturing family in Northampton, England in 1921. Whilst growing up, Arnold’s sister exposed him to jazz and he immersed himself in this new popular music. His idol became Louis Armstrong and upon seeing him in a live performance, as a boy, he was determined that he would make the trumpet his career. Arnold was later to return a musical gift to him by composing the Fanfare for Louis, dedicated in honour of "Louis Armstrong’s 70th Birthday with admiration and gratitude."

Arnold attended the Royal College of Music (fellow composer John Addison was one of his classmates), studying not only the trumpet but composition as well. He would often spend his free time playing his trumpet in jazz bands – until his parents put a stop to it – and on one occasion, to elevate the rigour of studying, placed fish down the barrel of the College’s pipe organ. (Hopefully the statute of limitations has run-out on this particular offense. School pranks aside, his sense of humour came to good use in both future concert works – Tam O’Shanter and film music – The Belles of St Trinian’s). After leaving the Royal College, he became one of the finest trumpet players of his generation and was soon the principal trumpet for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

After another brief period of continued study in Italy in 1947, he returned to Britain and decided to pursue a career as a composer. He had immediate success with the concert work Beckus the Dandipratt and shortly thereafter was approached by a friend to score his first film, a documentary entitled Avalanche Patrol (1947). He would branch out into feature-film scores the following year with Badger’s Green. In films, Arnold was to find composing to rigid deadlines and various orchestral ensembles helpful, and this was to pay dividends in the composition and performances of his own concert works.

Arnold’s typical approach toward scoring was one of enriching a given scene and not to lessen its impact by "wallpapering" the film with needless music. He felt that No Highway in the Sky (1951) needed only main and end title music and accordingly wrote only for those segments. This resulted in the most scantily scored of Arnold’s films: one minute and fifteen seconds of music. The Bridge on the River Kwai had a running length of approximately 161 minutes, yet its scoring is sparse with only 34 minutes of music. Arnold favoured the often-quoted dictum, "Less is more."

He also carefully researched his film assignments that contained ethnic music, travelling to the island of Grenada to investigate Afro-Caribbean music for Island in the Sun (1957). This visit was also to assist him later in the year with his concert work, the Commonwealth Christmas Overture; surely, the only Christmas music that includes parts for marimba and steel guitar. It was also owing to his effort that the Indian national anthem was orchestrated and therefore he was ideally suited to compose the music for Nine Hours to Rama (1962), a film on the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Arnold went to India and investigated the necessary instruments and this added to the authenticity in his score.

Dorothy Morris, Arnold’s music secretary during the 1950s, commented on his relationship with film musicians: "I worked for many years in the music department of the Rank organization, and no one worked as well with the musicians as he. They adored Malcolm [and] he respected them. I have seen many conductors attempt to match the music to the film, but Malcolm was a genius at this. It appeared to come instinctively to him. I can remember that during our breaks, the musicians would sit in the canteen and talk about how extraordinary his music was. You didn’t often hear that from the musicians."

"Some of them [musicians] might have a pint with their lunch, but there was a famous Czech harpist whom Malcolm used quite frequently, [and] she would never take a drink. She wanted a clear head and didn’t want it to affect her playing on the recording; the music was simply too good to spoil. That was very much the sort of loyalty Malcolm inspired. My years working for him were among my happiest," recalled Morris.

A younger composer who sought-out Arnold for counsel was Howard Blake. In due course, Blake would compose the music for The Duelists and The Snowman among many others. Blake commented:

In the 1950s I lived in Brighton and Malcolm’s music was everywhere! All the family went to see The Sound Barrier, The Belles of St Trinians, and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.

The film score that really hit me in a big way was Hobson’s Choice. I can remember watching the drunk scene, where Charles Laughton lurches from puddle to puddle accompanied by the tuba, and I can remember thinking how clever this was. There was such great vitality and wit to the music, and how it gave the film such life. A little later I was entranced by Whistle Down the Wind. Such a haunting melody, and so moving and perfect for the subject.

I wrote to him and asked how one could become a composer. I can’t imagine how he had the time to do it, but he wrote back to me and asked what I had written. I sent him some of my work and a correspondence began. With the generosity that was typical of him, he invited me to lunch and gave me unreserved encouragement.

Years later, I was fortunate enough to be taken on by his own agent, who also looked after Bernard Herrmann, William Walton, Aaron Copland, and Richard Rodney Bennett. She was rather sad that he no longer wanted to compose for films, for he had been so magnificently successful. But by this time his symphonic composing had long been in full swing. Like his music, he is outrageous, earthy, hilarious and utterly unpredictable. But on every occasion I have learnt something new about music or about people or about the mind of a most unusual and brilliant man.

Another distinguished colleague, John Scott, himself the composer of many film scores (among them Antony and Cleopatra and Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes), originally began his career as a flautist. Scott said:

I got to know Sir Malcolm quite well. I was a musician who enjoyed the privilege of playing under his baton. He was an extravagant conductor who used a lot of arm and gesture. The exact opposite of Toscanini. We all admired him, knowing that he had come from the ranks of orchestral players. He was a star trumpet player, and we musicians always enjoy playing for people who understand musicians’ problems. He was loved by all.

I was a little scared of [conductor] Muir [Mathieson], but perfectly at home under Malcolm’s baton. I particularly remember playing on the River Kwai sessions. Malcolm went off for lunch leaving me to earn a little extra money leading a bunch of people who were hired to whistle the obbligato to Colonel Bogey. It was a hair-raising experience. The magic of film music and Sir Malcolm certainly had that.

Sir Malcolm has become a legend in both the film world and the concert world and there is no doubt in my mind that he has well and truly earned that right.

After working on David Lean’s The Sound Barrier (1951) and Hobson’s Choice (1954), Arnold was once again requested for the director’s The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) — he would be dubbed by some as "Master of the Lean’s Music." Rather than scoring the film with jingoistic patriotic cliché, Arnold ‘s music depicts horrid images of the British prisoners of war and the harshness of the Burmese jungle. Arnold utilized Kenneth J. Alford’s Colonel Bogey march (and as a counterpoint, added his own River Kwai March), representing the character of Colonel Nicholson and his outmoded sense of the Queensbury rules of war. Arnold’s use of Colonel Bogey supplied Alford’s widow with a handsome windfall and gave the march a new lease on life.Not only did Colonel Bogey become a surprise hit tune, but Arnold’s own River Kwai March was to be recorded numerous times. This score brought him an Academy Award, and his name was now recognized in Hollywood.

"After River Kwai, I was asked to score every war film ever made" recalled Arnold. Despite being requested for major film productions, Arnold frequently turned them down. "Some I accepted, but most I declined." These included The Vikings (scored by Mario Nascimbene and an uncredited Gerard Schurmann), Lawrence of Arabia (Maurice Jarre) and later, The Blue Max (Jerry Goldsmith) and The Rainbow (Carl Davis).

After a period of only ten years in the world of film, Arnold found himself in the enviable position of being able to pick and choose his film assignments. Unlike most American film composers, Arnold had the advantage of being a concert composer and never had to rely on films as his sole source of income. American film composer Alfred Newman suggested to him that he might consider a move to Hollywood, but Arnold was happy with the fine musicians and orchestras in Britain and thus was content to remain where he was. This of course did not prohibit Arnold from accepting and working on American films shot overseas, of which the two scores on this album are examples.

In 1958 Arnold was to score three large productions, all of them originating from Hollywood: The Key, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness and The Roots of Heaven.

The Roots of Heaven was based on a novel by French diplomat and writer Romain Gary about one man’s crusade to save African elephants from extinction. Morel, a Nazi prison camp survivor, is disillusioned with man’s inhumanity to man and becomes obsessed with protecting the great beasts. Morel tries to have a proclamation signed prohibiting elephant hunting, but he is ridiculed and soon makes his crusade personal by hunting the hunters. The theme of animal preservation was ahead of its time and the plot centering on animal extinction is quite contemporary.

Upon reading the novel, director John Huston wanted to buy the rights to the book, however producer Darryl F. Zanuck was ahead of him and had purchased them. Huston and Zanuck eventually agreed to work together and Zanuck then engaged Gary to write the original screenplay. Later, Zanuck would retain the travel writer and Huston friend Patrick Leigh-Fermor to add adventure touches to the story.

The assembled cast was an accomplished one. Zanuck had wanted William Holden as Morel, however, he was occupied with another film and Trevor Howard was ultimately signed in his stead. Although he received top billing, Errol Flynn was in fact only a supporting player. Perhaps with irony Huston cast Flynn as the drunken ex -British officer, Forsythe, who assists Morel. French singer-actress Juliette Gréco – romantically involved with Zanuck at this time – was given the rôle of Morel’s erstwhile love interest, Minna, and the cast was completed with supporting rôles by Orson Welles, Eddie Albert, Friedrich Ledebur and Paul Lukas. Additional character rôles were filled by such stalwarts as Herbert Lom, Gregoire Aslan and Francis De Wolff.

With the backing of a $4,500,000 budget from 20th Century-Fox, principal photography under cinematographer Oswald Morris, was set for January, 1958 in French Equatorial Africa (in the areas now known as Chad and Central African Republic). In Leonard Mosley’s, Zanuck: Hollywood’s Last Tycoon, when Trevor Howard discovered that insipidly hot central Africa was to be the locale for shooting, he stated, "My God, Zanuck must be off his rocker." He was not far off his mark. Even by the standards of the locals, French Equatorial Africa was thought to be an oppressively inhospitable environment. What was to give the film its element of realism and authenticity was also to be its worst enemy, the climate. As cast and crew were to discover, location photography could be a double-edged sword.

Nearly every cast and crew member came down with one type of climate related illness or another: malaria, dysentery, sunstroke and snake bites. The oppressive heat even caused mental break-downs and this affected many of the ensemble including Eddie Albert. "He just went cuckoo. He went climbing a hill in the midday sun and came back thinking he could deal with witch doctors. He couldn’t walk, he went totally nuts" related a crew member in Lawrence Grobel’s The Hustons. "Then we had an American cameraman who disappeared. The last time any of us saw him he was stark naked. And then there was a local Frenchman who became totally screaming mad and had to be shipped out [to a Paris hospital] in a straitjacket." Huston himself added, "People started dropping right and left. I remember looking around for my first assistant and finding him on the ground. I then looked around for my second assistant and found him on the ground, too."

Juliette Gréco became ill with a blood disorder and Friedrich Ledebur was infected with a serious eye ailment due to the unforgiving climate. Orson Welles avoided the fate of his co-stars, and appeared in the film only briefly, and free of charge; he was indebted to Zanuck for the financing of his screen production of Othello. His one location scene was apparently shot in the forest of Fontainebleau outside Paris, which doubled for the jungles of Africa. By the time filming was completed, hundreds of cases of illness were catalogued and delayed the shooting schedule headquartered in the outpost of Fort Archambault (and later Bangui). The Fox press department dubbed the town "Zanuckville", but as the calamities of the filming progressed, other place names, emerged. In Zanuck: Hollywood’s Last Tycoon, Trevor Howard referred to it as "Fort Despair" and Huston perhaps describing it more accurately as "the asshole of the world." "We spent six months under the worst conditions perhaps any picture has ever been shot, except maybe in combat" recited Huston. An assistant to Huston added, "The climate was appalling. It was the toughest movie I ever worked on in my life — and I spent two years on Lawrence of Arabia, which couldn’t touch what we went through on The Roots of Heaven." Juilette Gréco, among others, called the film- making experience "The Roots of Hell."

Filming had to begin early in the morning and wrap by noon as temperatures reached over the 120 degree mark. Solace was liberally taken in the form of alcoholic beverages. Huston, Zanuck, Flynn and Howard, none known for their shyness of alcohol, soon found that this was one method to fight off infection, illness and heat. Another Zanuck biographer, Mel Gussow, writes in his Don’t Say Yes Until I Finish Talking, that alcohol quantities were taken in such vast amounts that Zanuck himself quipped, "I think the liquor consumed making that picture has never been equalled in the history of the cinema". Juliette Gréco recalled, "I had to wake up early in the morning to have my make-up applied and then I would see Errol standing outside, always drinking a large glass of grapefruit juice. He drank a lot of this and one day I asked him why . He smiled and handed me the glass. It was 1/4 grapefruit juice and 3/4 vodka." Even the normally solid Howard, who could hold his drink with the best of them, was finding himself drinking more than usual, only to become so intoxicated that one day he accosted Zanuck and called him a "bitch." For Flynn, this was to be his penultimate film (his last was to be the lamentable Cuban Rebel Girls), his years of hard drinking and drug-taking were taking their toll.

With tribulations such as these, it came as a surprise that filming managed to progress at all. However, even with these adversities the major principals of the cast got on well. Gréco, being the only female member, had to rely on her male co-stars for camaraderie and perseverance. In conversation with this writer, she fondly remembered Trevor Howard. "He was a great actor. He was very supportive of me…. I loved him very much." She also found kinship with Flynn and discovered his sense of humour. While Flynn’s alcohol and drug consumption did not usually contribute to the film’s delays, occasionally his front teeth did. Gréco continued,"When he did not want to shoot a scene so early in the morning, he would take out his [capped] front tooth and say to Huston that he had lost it and could not shoot the scene." With the element of time, the film’s trials appeared to have subsided. "After so many years, you don’t remember the bad moments, only the good ones," she added.

After shooting with the principals, Huston travelled to a remote elephant preserve and shot footage of the herds in their natural habitat. After these scenes were completed, the cast and crew repaired to France prior to the onset of the June rains. Photography concluded with the interior scenes at the Studios de Boulogne, outside Paris.

Huston himself had some misgivings on the finalised script (but not Zanuck, who thought quite highly of it), feeling that the original story contained a strong philosophical and moral element, but that Leigh-Fermor’s treatment removed much of this and ended with it becoming an adventure story. If Huston had doubts about the worthiness of the script, so did the original writer Romain Gary, who had been assured by Zanuck that his script would not be altered. He was very unhappy with the finalized version and accused Zanuck of having "murdered" his story. After the film’s release, Huston accepted responsibility for its unevenness and he too admitted that the nobility of Gary’s original novel had been lost in the picture.

While some reviewers deemed the picture "well-made" and "spiritually exuberant," many more thought it "unconvincing" and Variety termed it "a disappointment," although it had praise for the talents of Howard and the supporting cast and crew.

The Roots of Heaven: The Music

After completing Carol Reed’s The Key earlier in the year, Arnold was approached to score Zanuck’s production of The Roots of Heaven (Arnold had scored Zanuck’s financially successful Island in the Sun the previous year). While Huston was finishing photography at the Studios de Boulogne, Arnold flew over to Paris to confer on the music scoring. "I went to see him in Paris, but met only briefly with him. Huston was a delightful man and I thought he was one of greatest directors that ever was. He told me the editing would soon be completed and I could start on the picture and that he was off to America. ‘Go to it kid,’ were his words to me. He didn’t provide me with much in the way of suggestions on what he wanted, so, fortunately, I was left to my own devices."

Arnold completed the score in early August and it was recorded in London over a two day period (18th and 19th August, 1958). While Huston did not specify to Arnold what he wanted musically, Zanuck was more forthcoming. His suggestions included an overture that was to be written especially for its New York première. "Zanuck said it was a big picture and that he wanted some big themes in it," Arnold recalled. After recording the music, the film print was shipped to Fox, where upon arrival Zanuck felt that the film needed additional music. Fox’s resident music director Alfred Newman took over this assignment and using Arnold’s material, scored four additional cues. After the new material was arranged, Newman sent the score to Arnold for his approval, whereupon he readily gave his consent. The new music was then quickly recorded at Fox in order to make the film’s première in New York City.

Juliette Gréco was accompanied to Africa by a group of friends from her chanteuse career, including Henri Patterson, her pianist. While on location Patterson recorded on tape native folk-songs – one of which would become the genesis for Arnold’s Elephant theme – and also wrote a short melody (in effect, only a motif) for the character of Minna. As Patterson’s talents were as a pianist, Arnold orchestrated and arranged Minna’s theme and thus it bears his unmistakable imprint. Zanuck felt the tune had "hit" potential and thereby enlisted the services of lyricist Ned Washington to pen words to it. However, the song was not used in the finished production. Only later did pop singer Johnny Nash (of "I Can see Clearly Now" fame) cover this song on a 45 record.

1 Overture

"I wrote this overture for the New York performances of The Roots of Heaven. [It’s] an overture in the old operatic sense, which features all the themes heard in the score. The music associated with the elephants is first heard as a fragment on the trumpets and at the end of the overture it is played in full." The brass lead Elephant theme eventually gives way to a buoyant and whimsical motif, replete with clarinet and percussion. This motif is succeeded by a string affected melody for Minna, punctuated with the use of celesta, before evolving into Morel’s theme. The latter is a variation of the Elephant theme, arranged in a resolute and determined manner and this finally culminates into its original incarnation for the elephants.

2 Main Title

The main-title begins in an Arnoldian fashion with a resplendent brass fanfare and progresses with celesta and strings before finishing with another flourishing of trumpets and horns.

3 Fort Lamy (first recording)

Sudanese traders enter the village of Fort Lamy and pass by the Tchadien inn. Minna (Juliette Gréco) awaits for potential customers and soon Morel (Trevor Howard) drives up to the inn and releases a beaten and chastised DeVries (Marc Doelnitz), an elephant poacher. Morel now reveals to Minna his plan to save the African elephants. Tom-toms, marimba, maracas and a solo oboe depict a sense of North-meets-Central Africa in this French colonial outpost.

4 The Great Elephants (first recording)

On the original score, this cue was simply titled "1m2" and is believed to have been intended for the first scene where the African elephants appear and are about to be shot by the poacher, DeVries. The music was ultimately not used in the film, but it is recorded here for the purposes of revealing the nobility of the Elephant theme.

5 Morel’s Retribution

Haas (Maurice Cannon), a supplier of wild animals to zoos, is loading his truck with captured chimpanzees. Nearby, he has a baby elephant hemmed into her pen. Its mother then appears and attempts to rescue her by crashing through the pen-barrier. Haas grabs his rifle and takes aim. Before he can fire, another rifle shot rings out and Haas is wounded in the backside by Morel. Morel is a man of his word; if those who insist on killing elephants continue in their effort, there will be a price to pay. The Buoyant motif commences with harp before merging with clarinet and orchestra. As the mother elephant breaks through the pen, the Elephant theme is boldly stated on brass.

6 Morel’s Camp

After applying his marksmanship to the backsides of more hunters, including bluff broadcaster Cy Sedgewick (Orson Welles), Morel is wanted by the colonial government. He escapes Fort Lamy and sets up camp in the desolate outback. Whilst most of the colonists feel contempt towards him, he slowly acquires sympathizers, among them, Peer Qvist (Friedrich Ledebur), a Danish naturalist, and the Baron, a German scientist (Olivier Hussenot). In time, St.Denis (Paul Lukas), a local government official, is sent after Morel to try and negotiate his surrender. As St. Denis arrives in the camp, piano, maracas and tom-toms predominate in the score.

7 Minna and St. Denis

St.Denis returns to Fort Lamy empty handed, without Morel. However, he has earned Morel’s admiration for his idealistic, if naive quest, to save the African herd. Minna, with her amorous charms, attempts to persuade St.Denis to reveal the whereabouts of Morel’s hidden camp. Flutes and oboes introduce Minna’s theme as she flirts with St.Denis.

8 Minna and Major Forsythe

(first recording)

After discovering the location of Morel’s hideaway, Minna asks Major Forsythe (Errol Flynn), a sympathetic ex-army officer, to help her find the remote camp. Forsythe agrees and the pair begin their expedition. This brief version of Minna’s theme is heard as she completes her bathing in a river during their trek.

9 The Jungle Clearing

Away from his camp, contemplating his next course of action, Morel arrives back to discover Minna waiting for him. This short cue begins subtly with strings and is punctuated with drum beats as Morel makes his way over the craggy landscape. Soon the drums are joined by four horns and as Morel and Minna meet again, her theme brings the track to a conclusion.

10 The Elephant Herd

Early in the morning Morel calls to Minna and from a grassy knoll they look down upon the great African plain where a large herd of elephants is migrating. The Main-Title theme returns for the first time since its introduction and then blends into a subdued interpretation of the Elephant theme.

11 Minna’s Dream

Morel and his rag-tag group are now joined by photojournalist Abe Fields (Eddie Albert), who insists on documenting their adventures. After settling into a pygmy hut for the night, Minna is awakened by a nightmare and is comforted by Morel. Xylophone and harp dominate the beginning of the cue, suggesting a hypnotic sound, eventually giving way to woodwinds and a full reading of Minna’s theme.

12 The Ivory Poachers

Forsythe is informed by a native that strangers are approaching their village. Are these the colonial soldiers sent to arrest Morel? Forsythe soon discovers the worst; these are not soldiers, but a large gang of well-armed poachers led by Morel’s nemesis, DeVries. A sense of mystery and then urgency prevail in the orchestration as Morel’s group realise their worst fears; the poachers are coming.

13 The Elephant Hunt

Morel and his band attempt to disrupt the hunters’ plans to kill masses of the elephants by placing themselves across the edge of the jungle and taking position to fire their rifles into the air, thereby alerting the beasts of the impending danger. While Morel initially succeeds in safely scattering many of the elephants, the poachers eventually have their way with the result that both Forsythe and the Baron are killed. Revenge is granted when a group of frightened elephants rampage through the trees and trample DeVries to death. Determination and struggle are present throughout this, the longest cue in the film. Morel’s theme is interspersed with violent orchestral passages representing the poachers’ actions.

14 Morel’s Capture

With the poachers triumphant, Morel and his surviving group are taken prisoner. After counting the fruits of their "victory," the poachers release Morel. He now has feelings of guilt over the loss of his friends’ lives and his failure to rescue the doomed herds. He then makes the decision to travel to the outpost of Biondi to turn himself over to the colonial authorities. As the survivors start out on their march, woodwinds present Morel’s theme before unfolding into the Main-Title theme.

15 At the Well

Morel and his native assistant Yusef (Bachir Toure) go in search of water. They discover a well and as Morel lowers his water pail, Yusef raises his rifle to his back. Morel now realizes that Yusef has been under orders to eliminate him, as he has become a thorn in the government’s side. Unable to shoot his friend, he drops his rifle.

16 The Sand Storm

Minna, ill with fever, is carried on a makeshift stretcher as the group treks through the inhospitable landscape during a sandstorm. The music mirrors the turbulent winds and blinding sand as Arnold galvanizes the orchestra through a gamut of harsh tones.

17 Return to Biondi

The journey continues with the group attempting to reach the road that leads to Biondi. They soon find it, and natives are seen travelling along the roadside. A colonial official drives past the group and realising who they are, quickly drives on to report his find. Discordant sounds from the brass again predominate as the group experiences the hostility of the arid outback.

18 Return to Biondi — Part 2

Music developed by Alfred Newman

(first recording)

On hearing that Morel is approaching, the local population quickly gathers to view the coming confrontation. Alerted now, a local police official has placed himself and armed soldiers across the road, waiting for Morel’s entry. Still ill with fever, Minna cries out for Morel to stop; his planned surrender will mean certain death. In what is undeniably the most dramatic scene in the film, Morel’s theme is presented in a bolero-like march, its staccato rhythm unified by snare drums. The music’s tension only subsides as Morel and his band approach the police official.

19 Minna’s Goodbye

Music developed by Alfred Newman

(first recording)

The climax presents itself; the soldiers with rifles at the ready face off with Morel. The police official then unexpectedly orders his men to "present arms" and then admiringly salutes Morel. Momentarily surprised, Morel now realises that his noble endeavour has finally won their respect and understanding. Rather than arresting him, the official orders the soldiers to clear the road and allows Morel and his followers their freedom. Minna and Morel then bid farewell to one another and she is taken to hospital for treatment. Minna’s theme is now revealed in a near-mournful arrangement, with the strings rendering a tender sound – a hallmark of Alfred Newman – as the two part company.

20 Finale and End Titles

Leaving Minna to be cared for, Morel and his band march off into the wilderness, perhaps once again to continue their idealist struggle. Morel’s theme returns, this time in this guise of a glorious march with brass fanfares, before segueing into the End Title and its culmination with the bold Elephant theme.

Intervening Years: 1959-1969

While The Roots of Heaven may have had an uneven reception, Arnold’s last assignment for 1958 did not; The Inn of the Sixth Happiness was not only a critical and financial success, but also gave Arnold the opportunity to compose one of his finest scores, which earned him an Ivor Novello award for best film music.

Throughout the next decade, Arnold would continue to write music for some the cinema’s most gifted directors. In 1960, Ronald Neame chose him to score Tunes of Glory, a film that showcased the talents of John Mills and Alec Guinness. Arnold’s score was peppered with both original and Scottish tunes, appropriate for a film whose subject matter was about life in a Scottish army barracks. After working with the team of Richard Attenborough and Bryan Forbes on The Angry Silence (1960), Arnold returned to write the music for their film Whistle Down the Wind in 1961. The story concerned an escaped murderer (Alan Bates) being hidden away by a group of unsuspecting children (including Hayley Mills) and Arnold’s main theme contained a distinct musical touch: the whistling voice of producer Richard Attenborough.

The Chalk Garden (1963) paired Arnold once again with director Ronald Neame, and he delivered yet another tune that was to be exploited to its fullest by adult pop artists (the "Madrigal" theme was recorded by singer Andy Williams, among many others). In 1966, The Heroes of Telemark, a Kirk Douglas vehicle helmed by Anthony Mann, provided Arnold with another opportunity to write a military score. And still later in the year, he would work on John Mills’ Sky West and Crooked, a filmed novelisation of his wife’s (Mary Hayley Bell) book about an orphaned girl (played by Hayley Mills). Arnold’s main theme consisted of a dream-like melody that was suggestive of the Andantino dance of his recently completed set of Four Cornish Dances.

By the mid 1960s, whilst film and concert hall commissions continued to be received, Arnold was to choose less cinematic assignments. He had recently remarried and had moved to Cornwall, away from the centre of the British film industry. He also wished to devote more time to writing concert works, as well as conducting Britain’s orchestras. He conducted the première of his Sixth Symphony in November of 1968 ; a work dedicated to the jazz great Charlie Parker. In the following summer, Arnold completed scoring on what was to be his penultimate film, The Reckoning. He thought well-enough of one its themes, an Irish-like tune, that he would later incorporate it into his Eighth Symphony. By the close of the decade, when he was not conducting Aaron Copland, DvorĂ¿ák and Mozart, he found himself in the unique position of performing in front of a sell-out crowd of "flower children" during a first-of-its-kind concert in 1969.

Jon Lord of the rock group Deep Purple approached Arnold and asked him to assist with the orchestration as well as to conduct Lord’s new composition Concerto for Pop Group and Orchestra, a work combining the talents of a pop band with a classically trained orchestra. Whilst many a conductor may have been repelled by the very thought of working with a pop group, Arnold relished the possibilities. During a rehearsal with Deep Purple, Arnold, wearing a wide grin on his face, asked Lord, "What does it feel like to play with us squares?"

At the Royal Albert Hall on 24th September, 1969, with a standing-room-only crowd of mostly young, pop music fans (in addition, even Sir William Walton was in attendance), Deep Purple performed their work alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Arnold in an enthusiastic concert accompanied by his Sixth Symphony. The performance was an enormous success, being televised (later issued on video) and recorded for LP.

After this event, Arnold was to return home to Cornwall to begin writing for a new assignment. He had recently been asked to score another American produced film shot in England. The film was to be based on a classic novel and was a subject close to his own heart. It was also to be his last film score.

David Copperfield: The Film

With the success of their television film Heidi (1968), the American film company Omnibus, headed by producer Frederick Brogger and his partner, actor James Franciscus, had chosen as their next topic for television adaptation, Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield. Brogger had always been interested in the novel and with the recent success of Oliver ! (1968), he felt the time was right for a new version. Also returning from Heidi would be Oscar-winning Delbert Mann, known for directing such classics as Marty (1953) and Separate Tables (1960), and he also found the project intriguing and agreed with Brogger that if the film was to be convincing they would have to shoot in England with a cast of British actors.

The film needed considerable financial backing and more than was usual for a TV film. Brogger arranged a deal: 20th Century-Fox would release the film in cinemas around the globe, while in the U.S., the television network NBC was to have the broadcast rights. Fiscal arrangements completed, the production team approached British screenwriter Jack Pulman to co-write the script with Brogger. Pulman was ideally suited, as he had already adapted numerous BBC television serials of classic novels, including Henry James’s Portrait of a Lady (1968), and later continued to work for Omnibus writing their screenplays for Jane Eyre (1970) and Kidnapped (1971).

With an 800 page novel to contend with and mindful of NBC’s concern over length (the film would have to fit into a two-hour time-slot), Brogger and Pulman decided to tell the story with David relating his life in flashbacks. In this fashion, they would be able to condense the novel into a manageable length and highlight the plot’s most dramatic scenes without losing the spirit of Dickens’s story.

The narrative begins with David returning to Yarmouth from abroad, and there he reflects (in flashbacks) upon the misfortunes that had befallen him. He recalls his marriage to young Dora and his friendships with Agnes, Emily, Mr Micawber and Steerforth. However, David is overwhelmed with the feeling of responsibility for their fates: the death of Dora, the drowning of Steerforth, Agnes’s feelings of unrequited love for him and the loss of Emily to the brothels of London.

Mann would have what he described as a "dream cast" by gathering together one of the greatest casts for a television film: Ralph Richardson, Wendy Hiller, Michael Redgrave, Edith Evans, Laurence Olivier, Emlyn Williams, Richard Attenborough, Cyril Cusack, Ron Moody, James Donald, Anna Massey, as well as the ever-reliable character actors Megs Jenkins and James Hayter. The younger cast members were to include Susan Hampshire, Pamela Franklin, Sinead Cusack, Corin Redgrave, Robin Phillips as the adult David and Alastair Mackenzie as young Davy. In Copperfield ‘ 70 a filmatic diary by George Curry, Mann stated, "Working with such a group of professionals was the experience of a lifetime for me."

Unlike The Roots of Heaven, production on David Copperfield ran almost faultlessly. Photography commenced in April 1969 with location shooting by cinematographer Mike Hodges on the coast of Southwold in Suffolk. Unfortunately, many of the early scenes had to be reshot when it was discovered that imperfect chemicals had damaged the film in developing. Apart from Suffolk, the location shooting consisted of the cliffs of Dover and London’s run-down St Katherine Docks, which were used for the Micawbers’ and Peggottys’ emigration scene. The noted costume designer Anthony Mendleson created the proper nineteenth-century clothing and set-designer Vetchinsky created the authentic Victorian sets at Pinewood.

The film was premiered in London in January, 1970, while in America it was televised on NBC on 15th March, 1970. Many British critics took umbrage that an American company had the effrontery to film something as quintessentially English as Dickens. With the repeated use of flashback scenes, many critics felt it interrupted the flow of the story and found it difficult to follow. The New York Post called it a "Disappointing new dramatization." However, not all critics agreed: "It was perfect Copperfield and perfect Dickens," said the Dallas Times-Herald. Criticism aside, Mann received a nomination for the Directors Guild Award. "David Copperfield remains a high point for me and the memory of working with that superb cast is a very special one."

David Copperfield: The Music

In August 1969, while working with Deep Purple, Arnold was approached by producers Brogger and Franciscus to score David Copperfield when John Williams, who had been contracted for the film (he had scored Heidi for them), was busy with other commitments. Arnold was an apt choice; his ability to compose quality and memorable scores was known to them. For Arnold, the occasion to work on a film production of Dickens’s famous novel was doubly opportune; he himself thought Dickens was England’s finest writer and David Copperfield was in particular among his favourite novels. In September, Arnold and Mann spotted the film together at Pinewood. In Copperfield ‘ 70, Arnold told Mann, that his score would contain "No gimmicks, no pastiche of the early nineteenth century." Mann respected Arnold’s integrity and he returned to his home in Cornwall to begin the composition.

As this was to be his final film score, Arnold gave David Copperfield one of his strongest efforts, creating once again memorable themes for both the principal and secondary characters. Years later when asked about his work on David Copperfield, Arnold recalled modestly – and with a hint of friendly sarcasm – "[it] has some good stuff in it." He completed the score in late October 1969 and was soon off on a conducting engagement in the north of England before leaving for London, where he was to record the music at Anvil studios in early November.

Director Delbert Mann has this to say on Arnold’s involvement on David Copperfield:

Sir Malcolm Arnold’s music for the 1970’s film version of David Copperfield is truly amazing. Seldom, in my experience, has music ever served a film so well.

I have worked with so many of the great film composers, none better than Malcolm. Our conferences as to where and how the music could enhance the film, what the music should say, where it should begin and where to finish, was a work of joyous collaboration throughout the entire process.

Heard today, the music, quite on its own and apart from what it did for the film, is astonishing. The drive and the compelling nature of the music, just as music, is palpable. What it does when heard with the film for which it was composed is remarkable.

Sir Malcolm, on behalf of the film, all I can say is that I am grateful. I am honoured to have been associated with you on this labour of love.

21 Main Title

A brief fanfare is presented before introducing the bittersweet theme for David in the title sequence. Lithography title cards designed to replicate the famous etching by the Dickens artist, Phiz, accompany the music.

22 Return to Yarmouth

David (Robin Phillips) has returned to England after a self-imposed exile abroad. He attempts to write an account of his past misfortunes. His life unfolds in a series of flashbacks and he sees images of the sorrow-filled moments of his life: the deaths of his mother, young wife Dora and his friend, Steerforth. David’s melancholic theme is present throughout, with the addition of heavy chimes symbolizing his mother’s funeral and dark chords when Steerforth’s body is seen.

23 Visit to Aunt Betsey &

Davy Loves Emily

Agnes (Susan Hampshire) arrives at the home of Aunt Betsey (Edith Evans) to bring news of David’s arrival back to England. Aunt Betsey urges Agnes to assist him in coming to terms with his tormented past. Meanwhile, as David walks along the beach at Yarmouth, memories of his disciplinarian schoolmaster Mr Creakle (Laurence Olivier) and his assistant Mr Tungay (Richard Attenborough) are recalled and the setting now concludes with his fond remembrance of his childhood friend, Emily. A series of "horn calls" represent the coach carrying Agnes to Dover, blending into Agnes’s theme and eventually, the motif for Aunt Betsey. When the scene segues to little Davy and Emily, a child-like rendition of his theme is heard accompanied by harp and xylophone.

24 Agnes’s Arrival & Mother’s Funeral

Agnes journeys to the White Swan Inn where David is staying. David reflects upon the death of his mother (Isobel Black). Standing by her graveside with little Davy (Alastair MacKenzie) is his stern stepfather, Mr Murdstone (James Donald), his ever-frowning sister, Jane (Anna Massey), and his nanny (Megs Jenkins). The Coach motif returns as Agnes travels to Yarmouth. Once again the funeral chimes are present when David recalls his mother’s death.

25 Mr Micawber

After the death of his mother, young Davy is sent by his stepfather to work at his bottling warehouse in London. Soon, the irrepressible Mr Micawber (Ralph Richardson) takes him under his wing and invites him home for dinner, only to hear from Mrs Micawber (Wendy Hiller) that there is no food to be found. Micawber finds himself financially embarrassed. Not however, to be deterred, the ever optimistic Micawber exclaims’ to Davy, "Something of an Extraordinary Nature is about to Turn Up!" Surprisingly, Micawber’s theme was never used in its entirety in the film. The theme is only used in a most fragmentary form and lasts but ten seconds. The version on this album has been recorded in its entirety, revelling in its jaunty dance-like fashion. With the prominent part for solo clarinet, Micawber’s theme could easily have come from one of Arnold’s clarinet concertos.

26 Memories of Dora & Steerforth

David strolls along the harbour jetty at Yarmouth as the recollection of happier times come to him; the courtship of his bride-to-be Dora (Pamela Franklin) and his days with his school friend Steerforth (Corin Redgrave). The Coach motif returns as the stage approaches the jetty. Horns and trumpets begin David’s theme and eventually they give way to a tranquil orchestral rendition of it.

27 Love for Dora

Whilst David attempts to reason with himself on his troubled marriage to the young and innocent Dora, his memory returns to the early days of their courtship and romance. David’s theme is heard in a mournful arrangement before progressing into a carefree waltz, expressing the affection between the two young lovers.

28 Mr Micawber Exposes Heep

Micawber has informed David that his employer Uriah Heep (Ron Moody) has been embezzling the investments of Aunt Betsey. Presently, David, Micawber and their friend Mr Dick (Emlyn Williams) confront Heep and he is forced to return the stolen funds. As the exposed Heep leaves his office, he threatens Micawber "I’ll pay you!" Vibrant woodwinds denote the motif of Mr Dick as he escorts the conniving Heep out of the room. The music takes a momentarily ominous tone as Heep makes his threat and then evolves into the redolent theme for Mr Micawber. Once again, Micawber’s theme was deleted in this scene, however it is performed on this recording intact.

29 Dora’s Declaration (first recording)

After David’s confrontation with Heep, he returns home to find Dora collapsed upon the floor. Ill since the stillbirth of their child, Dora is close to death. David carries her to their bedroom, where she reaffirms her love for him. Another cue truncated in the film, this is heard in full for the first time. It begins with a sudden clash of orchestral forces as David sees the helpless Dora lying on the floor and then transforms into mysterioso as David comforts her upon her death-bed.

30 Agnes Leaves David

David sees Agnes off from the inn. Travelling in her coach, Agnes recalls her death-bed visit to Dora, where she has confided in her the knowledge of Agnes’s secret love for her husband. With no anger in her forgiving heart, Dora asks Agnes to look after David. This short cue is noticed by a medley of themes and motifs; beginning with David’s and then segueing into the Coach, Dora’s and Agnes’s themes.

31 In Search of Emily (first recording)

Having wooed Emily (Sinead Cusack), Steerforth eventually rejects her, which in turn drives her to a life of prostitution. David now joins her father, Mr Peggotty (Michael Redgrave), in his quest to locate his wayward daughter. They visit one brothel after another searching for her. Emily is discovered and brought back into the family-fold with a forgiving father, grateful that she has been saved. After a brief return to David’s theme, the score gradually exhibits a forbidding sense of gloom with major chords accentuating as the pair search the ill-lit confines of the brothels. With Emily found, the orchestra exchanges darkness for affection, as father and daughter are at last reunited, and the cue ends with a brass fanfare as the scene segues into a view of the crowded London docks.

32 Emigration to Australia (first recording)

David comes down to the London docks to bid farewell to his old friends. Mr Peggotty and Emily are joined by Mr and Mrs Micawber awaiting a ship to Australia, where the two families have decided to emigrate. David’s own sense of responsibility for their previous troubles has now abated as he sees his friends’ lives reaffirmed with the prospects of a new beginning. Emily’s theme is heard as she and David recall the beguiling Steerforth, and this eventually alters as the determined Mr Micawber relates his expectations in Australia. As the friends leave in the boat launch, a brass fanfare once again returns, symbolizing the families’ optimistic future. The fanfare is briefly interrupted by a portentous tone as David sees Steerforth arriving at the dock. However, the fanfare resumes as the friends journey down the Thames and into their new lives.

33 David’s Resolution & Finale

With his life now in order, David resolves to leave his difficult past behind him. He at last comes to the realisation that his feeling for Agnes is not one of simple affection, but of romantic love. He finds Agnes walking along the cliffs of Dover and their reciprocal love is finally joined in an embrace. David’s theme initially recounts its melancholic tone, but as he contemplates his determination to begin his life anew, it takes on a warmer hue and as he meets Agnes, her theme becomes intertwined with his. The climax then evolves into the End Title, where David’s theme now returns in a majestic style, thus bringing to conclusion the finale of David Copperfield and the film career of Sir Malcolm Arnold.

Post David Copperfield

Having completed David Copperfield, Arnold withdrew from the field of film scoring, a career that had served him so well. Thus, his profession as a film composer lasted but 21 years and he left this arena at the comparably young age of 48. The constraints and tight scheduling of film scores that were at one time a catalyst for him had now become a strain. This and the ever-present trend for overly commercial "top 40" songs in films disturbed him. Whilst he enjoyed pop music, he disliked the prospects of having a song written for a film simply to sell record singles. He deemed himself a composer first and foremost; his film scoring was but a part of his compositional output. "I write music that I myself would like to hear" was his credo, whether it be for film or the concert hall.

He was to leave the seclusion of Cornwall for a new life in Dublin in the early 1970s, where he was to compose some of his most inspiring works: the Clarinet Concerto No.2 (written for Benny Goodman), the String Quartet No.2 and his most powerful orchestral statement, the dark and apocalyptic Seventh Symphony. When completed, the Seventh Symphony was a fierce tour-de-force, and it was to reflect the emotional turmoil that Arnold was experiencing at that time — acute depression, the failure of his second marriage and the autism of his youngest son. As the 1970s came to a close, he returned to England. With his personal life in trouble, his concert music output slowed considerably and he entered a long period of emotional and physical ill-health. By the mid 1980s his life was to return to more tranquil waters and eventually he moved to a village in Norfolk, where he currently resides.

Although, Sir Malcolm retired from composition in 1991, his long and active career encompassed the writing of not only over 125 feature, documentary and TV scores, but the composition of nine symphonies, eighteen concertos and numerous ballets and choral works. He was awarded a KBE (Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in January 1993. Well loved by his fellow composers and musicians, his music has seen a reemergence over the last decade with performances and new recordings of his works.

Over the last decade he has spent a good deal of time travelling to North Africa, Dubai (in the Persian Gulf), Russia and the United States, where he has attended concerts and recordings of his works, including the American première of his Ninth Symphony under the baton of Sheldon Bair in March 2000. For Sir Malcolm’s 80th birthday year, 2001, numerous performances and concerts of his works are planned.

James Cox

Personal Representative (USA) to

Sir Malcolm Arnold, KBE

 

A Personal Note by James Cox

Whilst still a boy, I recall watching classic films with my father on television. One of our perennial favourites was The Bridge on the River Kwai. I can still remember the impression the music of the film’s prelude had on me, with its violent clash of brass and timpani. At that time the film composer’s name meant little to me, however, as the years progressed, I noted with satisfaction that when I saw the name Malcolm Arnold on the screen, a distinguished score was present.

Thirty-odd years have now passed and eventually the name of Malcolm Arnold would come into my daily vocabulary. If that boy had ever contemplated he would one day meet and work for that composer, he would be as surprised as anyone. To be involved in eliciting performances and recordings of both his concert and film music has been an extraordinary experience, and none more so than when the occasion arose to record the two scores on this album.

John Morgan, Bill Stromberg and I all share a mutual friend and it was through his good efforts, that we were introduced. Perhaps I could entice John and Bill into recording some of Sir Malcolm’s film music? Well, I needed no "sales pitch" to promote this idea as they were already converts. We soon discussed what scores of Sir Malcolm’s they could possibly record; initially, our choices were somewhat restricted owing to the nature of much older British film music in general; very few manuscript scores survive.

A few pieces and segments of his film music existed in Sir Malcolm’s home as well as a few complete scores that he had he donated to the Royal College of Music. Upon trying to track down others, it occurred to us that as some of Sir Malcolm’s film assignments were composed for 20th Century-Fox; that he may have sent his conductor scores back to Hollywood after his work was recorded in England. John thereafter went on a hunting expedition at Fox. My phone soon rang and he told me the great news that he had unearthed the scores to The Roots of Heaven and David Copperfield. It was almost too good to be true. The decision as to what to record had been made for us; The Roots of Heaven was one of Sir Malcolm’s finest scores of the 1950s and as David Copperfield was not only his last effort, but equally, a potent work, these complemented one another and would make for a perfect album.

One surprise that John discovered in The Roots of Heaven score was that Alfred Newman had expanded upon Sir Malcolm’s themes when Zanuck requested additional music for the film. Especially touching was to hear Sir Malcolm tell me that Newman actually sent him these new cues for his approval. Such a gesture warmed Sir Malcolm greatly and I too should not be surprised at this act of friendship coming from one Hollywood’s consummate composers and gentlemen.

It now only remained to set a recording date and we hoped that the album could be done in 2000 in order for the release to coincide with Sir Malcolm’s 80th birthday year in 2001. In February of 2000, whilst Sir Malcolm was attending the Naxos recordings of his Symphonies No 7 & No 8 (under Andrew Penny) in Ireland, Bill was in Bournemouth, England for another Naxos recording and I was in London and Manchester for two more Arnold sessions. With our schedules conflicting, it was difficult to arrange a meeting. However, fortunately Bill and I we able to meet one evening in London’s Soho district. Bill confirmed the good news that Sir Malcolm’s film music would be recorded in Moscow in April.

Now, as I write these notes, it is January, 2001 and after hearing the performances of both these scores by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra under Bill Stromberg’s guiding hand, I can honestly say without reservation that this album is another feather-in-the-cap of John and Bill’s film music preservation efforts. I can think of no better gift than this wonderful recording for Sir Malcolm in his 80th birthday year. I hope you will agree. Happy Birthday Malcolm.

For more information on the music of Malcolm Arnold contact:

The Malcolm Arnold Society

Keith Llewellyn, Secretary

6 Walton Street,

Barnsley,

Yorkshire S75 2PE,

England

Arranger Notes

After recording Philip Sainton’s marvelous score for John Huston’s Moby Dick, conductor Bill Stromberg and I were eager to include another British composer in our Marco Polo Classic Film Music Series. We were very fortunate to connect with James Cox, Sir Malcolm Arnold’s American representative, and he provided me with videos and music tapes for many of his films.

We finally decided on recording the music from The Roots of Heaven (1958) and David Copperfield (1970)–both scores could fit on one CD relatively complete–and they show remarkable variety in locale, era, and function. Since both were 20th Century-Fox films, but recorded in England, I held little hope that the full scores could be found. A major problem common with both American and European film music is simply finding score materials. This is particularly a problem with British materials because so many of the written scores simply no longer exist at this time. To compound the problem, British film music, more often than not, did not exist in conductor-piano short scores and the fully orchestrated score was all that was used. Because photocopying in a large size was not common, multiple copies of the scores were often not produced. Also, it seems most composers who wrote film music never kept copies of their scores or even sketches. We did a preliminary search in England, where the scores were originally recorded, but to no avail. Finally, I contacted the Fox music library, and was ecstatic that the full scores not only made it back to America, but still survived.

When preparing the music for this series, I prefer going back to primary sources for a number of reasons. One is to make sure the composer’s original intentions are carried out for music that may have been tampered with in the final dubbing of the film. Often we find parts of cues, and indeed entire cues, that were omitted for any number of reasons, the most often being the re-editing of the film after the music was composed or the decision to leave out music in a scene that had been originally scored. Both The Roots of Heaven and David Copperfield had limited release on LP during the films’ initial releases, but have been out of print for many years. Furthermore, several cues in both films were truncated on the album release, which we have restored for this new recording.

In preparing the music, I came across a few cues that Alfred Newman composed for The Roots of Heaven. These cues did not replace any of the Arnold material, but were used to supplement the score – probably at the urging of producer Darryl F. Zanuck. These cues were recorded on the Fox scoring stage by Newman as last minute additions. Although the full scores for these did not survive, I thought they were important enough to include in this recording, therefore. I orchestrated two of them for this presentation. The first of these is Return to Blondi (Part 2) and is based on the Arnold thematic material; the second, Minna’s Theme, is Newman’s take on the melody by Henri Patterson.

Typical of British film music, the orchestra is modest in size. Both scores utilize double winds, four horns, three trumpets. three trombones, tuba, four percussion, harp, piano, celeste and a full complement of strings.

I want to thank Bill Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra for their wonderful and detailed interpretation of this sensitive music and bringing it to life as music away from the film. It is always a pleasure to add British film music to the Marco Polo Classic Film Music Series. Also, both Bill and I would like to echo James’s salutation in wishing Sir Malcolm a wonderful 80th birthday.

John Morgan February, 2001

John Morgan is a noted composer, arranger and film-music historian based in the Los Angeles area.

William Stromberg, in addition to his composing activities, is a highly sought after conductor for both concert and film scoring assignments.

 

 


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