The terrors of Stephen King's crazed canine come vividly alive to Charles Bernstein's soundtrack, now on CD!
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Doug's Tech Talk
The terrors of Stephen King's crazed canine come vividly alive to Charles Bernstein's soundtrack, now on CD! Lewis Teague directs, Don Carlos Dunaway & Lauren Currier fashion the script from King's famous novel, Jan De Bont photographs, Dee Wallace stars with Daniel Hugh-Kelly, Danny Pintauro, Ed Lauter, Christopher Stone in solid support. Already coping with marital challenges, Donna and son Tad face terrifying encounters with Cujo, the rabid dog. Trapped in their disabled vehicle on remote farm, everything climaxes with hair-raising showdown between woman and beast. Charles Bernstein creates solid musical support, sometimes underlining the action with subtle strokes, sometimes leading it with vivid dramatics. Interestingly, somewhat troubled film production truncates much of the score, moves cues into different scenes, repeats sequences (particularly looped percussion for Gary/Camber deaths), deletes others, alters mixes to remove certain instruments, other alterations. In spite of post-production tampering, Bernstein score remains detailed, multi-layered orchestral gem. Balancing with fierce action sequences and pulsating suspense are beautiful ideas for family life, the heart and soul of King's tale. Intrada release, presented from 1/4" two-track stereo session mixes courtesy Paramount Pictures, offers musical sequences as they were originally recorded by Robert Fernandez at The Burbank Studios in May 1983. Following score proper, CD includes handful of unused alternates. Daniel Schweiger writes informative liner notes, flipper cover art designed by Joe Sikoryak leads with original film campaign art. Charles Bernstein, Shirley Walker conduct. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!
15. Cujo On Hood To Sunrise II (Revised Alternate #2) (1:03)
16. Final Confrontation (1:58)
17. Revive Tad (1:48)
18. End Credits (2:55)
Total Time: 43:19
19. Cujo’s Entrance (Original) (1:21)
20. Cujo Attacks Donna & 360 In Car (Original) (1:24)
21. Cujo On Hood To Sunrise II (Original) (0:58)
22. Cujo On Hood To Sunrise II) (Revised) (1:04)
23. Cujo On Hood To Sunrise II (Revised Alternate #1) (1:04)
Total Extras Time: 6:09
Tech Talk From The Producer…
The score for Cujo as written and recorded by Charles Bernstein underwent several changes during post-production— just like the film. As it turned out, nearly one third of the cues were truncated, attached to other cues, moved to places in the film other than where they were originally intended to go— and several of them had portions re-tracked into various other scenes multiple times. In addition, there were times when the mixes were altered so as to either increase or diminish certain orchestral colors. As it turned out, the picture needed more music and certain cues ended up appearing again in sequences that were originally planned to play without score.
In particular, the cues written for Camber’s and Gary’s deaths had their percussion and electronic rhythms extracted and re-tracked multiple times into other action/suspense scenes. These were described by the composer in the cue sheets simply as “Pulses,” “Textures” and “Overlays.” “Cujo In Fog” was used more than once, as were “Cujo Attacks Car,” “360 In Car,” “Drive To Siege” and “Final Confrontation.” All of them had portions cut and re-tracked throughout the film.
But in spite of all the editing and post-production tinkering with the music, it is a credit to Bernstein that everything is remarkably cohesive. The main theme eschews the expected horror slant by emphasizing melodic string and piano colors. The suspense material draws from the piano material and includes a flexible four-note motif for the deadly canine. The action writing evolves from the suspense idiom and canine motif into aggressive, rhythmically charged excitement, all of it knit from the same cloth. And when all is said and one, Bernstein comes full circle with the richness of his strings and the initial theme.
This premiere presentation of the score on CD includes the cues as Bernstein originally composed and recorded them, in their two-track stereo mixes made by Robert Fernandez at The Burbank Studios in May 1983. The sequence follows that which was originally slated for the picture. We have made no attempt to recreate the editorial changes that were made during post-production, including the various insertions of the percussion rhythms into other sequences, the truncating of cues and the multiple instances of re-tracking.
The CD was mastered from Charles Bernstein’s own personal copy of the score, also engineered by Robert Fernandez and contained on three rolls of ¼ ̋ two-track tape. The various special re-mixed post-production “overlays” were not present as separate cues on the tapes and only appear here on the CD during the cues for which they were originally recorded.
Cujo is a frightening film. The images are frightening, the music is frightening ... and be aware, the CD follows suit.
Composed and conducted by Charles Bernstein. Recorded on May 23, 24, & 26, 1983, at The Burbank Studios Scoring Stage, Burbank, California.
VIOLIN Stuart Canin (concertmaster)
Thelma Beach Hanau
Paul C. Shure
Mari Tsumura Botnick
VIOLA David Schwartz
Alan De Veritch
Myra S. Kestenbaum
Carole S. Mukogawa
CELLO Frederick Seykora
Robert Lee Adcock
Ronald B. Cooper
Douglas L. Davis
Raymond J. Kelley
Ronald A. Leonard
BASS Arni Egilsson
Stephens La Fever
Peter A. Mercurio
WOODWINDS Lisa Edelstein
FRENCH HORN Vincent De Rosa
TROMBONE, TUBA Donald G. Waldrop
Phillip A. Teele
DRUMS/PERCUSSION Victor S. Feldman
HARP Gayle Levant
KEYBOARD Ralph Grierson
William A. Mays
ORCHESTRATORS Charles Bernstein
COPYISTS Zan Overall
Michael Glenn Kibbe
Mark L. McGraw