Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume 215
Time = 58:53
World premiere release of U.S. score for American International Pictures horror film directed by Mario Bava, starring Boris Karloff. Many prints of film feature Italian score but MGM vaults did yield complete Les Baxter scoring masters for all but final reel (roughly five minutes). Fortunately, M&E elements (music & effects without dialog) were available, allowing entire score to be presented in excellent mono as recorded for film. Though happily without dialog, those last few minutes do have requisite footsteps, doors, horses, whatnot. (Remaining 53-minutes of score play from excellent condition scoring session rolls). Film divides into three separate tales with separate scores for each tale as well. Interestingly, Baxter writes each score with attention to overall architecture of music, allows numerous smaller pieces to connect by key, motivic structure or color perfectly from one piece to the next. Three rich, cohesive suites are the result. "The Drop Of Water" offers complex, involved score with exposed ideas for strings, woodwinds getting spotlight. "The Telephone" offers dramatic score in symphonic jazz mode with generous amount of music dropped from final production of film. "The Wurdalak" is longest score, with powerful ideas, florid Eastern Europe flavor and rich symphonic colors getting attention. Action, vampire terror, rich love theme are all on display! Great cover art plus complete cue assembly details inside booklet add to nice package. Les Baxter conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remains!
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