HOUSE OF USHER

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 159
Date: 1959
Time: 1:02:39
Tracks: 15
World premiere of classic Les Baxter horror score! Limited release of 1200 copies! SOLD OUT!

Price: - (Sold Out)

  • More Info
  • Track List
  • Doug's Tech Talk
  • Musicians List
  • At last! World premiere release of intense, evocative Les Baxter score for famous Roger Corman debut in series of Edgar Allan Poe tales starring Vincent Price, filmed for American International in evocatively-colored widescreen. While original session elements have long-since vanished, complete music tracks mixed into mono and assembled for film do remain. Slight variances in levels designed for later addition of dialog & effects in post-production could not be completely avoided but have been minimized during mastering of this CD. As a result, most cues have identical assemblies of film itself, albeit happily without dialog or effects! (We edited together short pieces to create better musical experience.) Every cue appears! Rare music-only elements survive courtesy MGM vaults, efforts of Taylor White of Percepto Records. Neat bonus! MGM commissioned Chace Productions to restore long-lost original "Overture", previously heard only with initial 1960 release of film in theaters. Chace provided newly-restored master to Intrada for this CD premiere as well! Les Baxter creates sometimes beautifully evocative, sometimes intensely scary score with some of his most striking and exciting music in a lengthy and successful career. Film itself was later re-titled THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER. Les Baxter conducts. Intrada Special Collection release limited to 1200 copies!
  • Play all clips

    01. Overture (3:03)
    02. Main Title (2:00)
    03. Roderick Usher (4:02)
    04. Madeline Usher (2:50)
    05. Tormented (2:24)
    06. Lute Song (1:00)
    07. Reluctance (3:58)
    08. The Sleepwalker (4:12)

    09. The Vault (2:36)
    10. The Ancestors (2:58)
    11. House Of Evil (4:53)
    12. Catalepsy (4:13)
    13. Pallbearers (2:03)
    14. Buried Alive (8:14)
    15. Fall Of The House Of Usher (13:50)

  • Tech Talk From The Producer…

    With the first of eight cinematic Edgar Allan Poe adaptations produced by Roger Corman, House of Usher was an important project for Les Baxter. As such, he pulled out all the stops, scoring for full orchestra plus large choir and writing in an idiom both soothingly tonal and frighteningly dissonant. It is a lengthy score, with music covering literally three quarters of the film’s final 85-minute running time.

    For this premiere release of Baxter’s score from House of Usher, we have edited and mastered the CD from the only surviving music elements available through MGM—the music-only dubbing masters used for the final soundtrack of the film. While these masters were complete and happily contained no sound effects or dialog, they did include the cue assemblies and crossfades used in the film as well as several quick fades at the end of some cues. These tapes also included the “potting” of various levels made by the original music editor to accommodate dialog and sound effects. These mono scoring elements were in remarkably clean shape overall, considering their frequent use with the steady re-release of the popular film over the years, including numerous foreigndubbed prints and video incarnations. For our CD, where possible, we have minimized any abrupt level changes, albeit some fluctuation in overall relative levels remains apparent. The dynamic range is reasonably crisp and effective throughout.

    For the initial presentations of the film in 1960, a three-minute “Overture” was created by Baxter to help create the right mood for audiences as the show was about to begin. This sequence was subsequently dropped from re-release prints and home video presentations. For our CD, we were fortunate enough to have access to this complete and rarely-heard overture, recently restored and newly-mastered by Chace Productions for the video department of MGM. It is included at the start of the CD.

    So let Les Baxter and his orchestra, complete with chorus, now usher you into the terrifying world of Edgar Allan Poe and his immortal tale of Roderick and the House of Usher. CD player on. Volume up. Lights out.

    —Douglass Fake



  • Composed and Conducted by Les Baxter.
    Recorded on May 3, 1960, at Samuel Goldwyn Studios.

    This soundtrack was produced in cooperation with the
    American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.


    ORCHESTRA
    MANAGER

    Jack Gruberman

    VIOLIN
    Felix Slatkin
    Herman Clebanoff
    Dave Frisina
    Joe Stepansky
    Marshal Sosson
    Irving Geller
    Eudice Shapiro
    Sam Freed
    Bill Miller
    Jerry Vinci
    Jimmy Getzoff
    Nathan Kaproff
    Erno Neufeld
    Ambrose Russo
    Anatol Kaminsky
    Harold Dicterow

    VIOLA
    Sanford Schonbach
    Milt Thomas
    Bob Ostrowski
    Virginia Majewski
    Joe DiFiore
    Norman Botnick


    CELLO
    Eleanor Slatkin
    Victor Gottlieb
    Ed Lustgarten
    Ray Kramer
    Armand Kaproff
    Justin DiTullio

    BASS
    Tony Reyes
    Milt Kestenbaum

    FLUTE/CLARINET
    Sylvia Ruderman
    Art Smith

    BASSOON
    Jack Marsh
    Ken Lowman

    FRENCH HORN
    Dick Perissi
    Sinclair Lott
    Jimmy McGee
    Wendell Hoss


    TRUMPET
    Ray Linn
    Joe Triscari
    Bob DiVall

    TROMBONE
    Karl DeKarske
    Pete Carpenter
    Marshall Cram

    TUBA
    John Bambridge

    PIANO
    Caesar Giovannini

    HARP
    Dorothy Remsen

    DRUMS/PERCUSSION
    Dale Anderson
    Hugh Anderson
    Milt Holland

    COPYIST
    Jack Gruberman