Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 2:43 AM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

This is an amazing archival project and, of course, anyone who has an interest in Golden Age scoring will likely be picking it up. Certainly I will.

In some unexpected way, I guess I'm only "one degree of separation" from a group of these music tracks. Lukas, Doug, Roger and the others have been working on this project for many years, but in a warp of time, I'm probably the first one in the greater FSM clan to have heard some of this music in session master form! ......I'm old now, and the occasion was, by my reckoning, more than 50 years ago!!!

I think I've told this story before, but with the release of this wonderful box set, it's worth recounting again. I believe the year was 1966. I was then working at Saul Bass in the film wing, and our project of the moment was MGM's big roadshow film, GRAND PRIX, which was then in post-production at the studio.

Every day during this period I would drive over to MGM from our offices on Sunset in Hollywood, and deliver to MGM's optical department the workprints and timings for the latest batch of opticals Bass was creating for the titles and racing scenes of the film. At this point in time, the late fall of 1966, the studio was way behind on the post-production of the film, so there were crews in the optical, editing, sound mixing, and negative cutting departments working throughout the night.

Once I had our daily footage elements delivered to optical, I had to wait several hours until the previous night's optical work that had been done for us was finally delivered from the Metrocolor lab on the lot to the optical department. It was set up in the small screening room nearby for us and I and all the optical people made notes regarding their previous night's work--- what was OK, or what needed to be re-done---and then the work print of the opticals would be handed to me and I carried it back to the Bass offices where we screened it again, and I wrote out our comments to accompany the next day's delivery of new material to MGM.

So.....when I was at MGM for hours on end, waiting for the footage to come out of the lab, I had relatively nothing to do. So I'd visit with various people I knew in some of the technical departments and chat with them. I was about 26 then, so there was plenty of information I was eager to soak up!

On some days I took my lunch and in these off-moments I wandered around the lot. One day, I found myself on the MGM music scoring stage, Stage 1. No one was recording that day, but of course, the whole studio was always running, and the doors were rarely locked. So I wandered in.

Entering the scoring stage (in those days) you first stepped from the outside into a very small chamber, which was probably a sound baffle from outside noises. The door within the chamber led to the sound recording mixers room which ran nearly the full length of the building and adjoined, with a glass partition, the scoring stage. Another heavy door led from the mixing room into the scoring stage, so the stage itself was fairly well sound-proofed from outside noises.

On an opposite wall, in a large area behind the scoring mixer's consoles there was a storage area that looked interesting so I checked that out. There were many, many heavy wooden crates stored and piled in this area. It turned out these were all 16" Vitaphone discs for many of MGM's early sound films from the 1928-1931 period. I recognized some of the titles and was impressed that they were still extant. On other shelves there were rows and rows of 16" radio transcription discs. In the '40s and early '50s MGM was involved in producing radio shows based on some of their films, including the "Maisie" and "Andy Hardy" series, and other guest star driven dramatic shows.....and these were master discs, stampers, etc.

Around this time I heard music emanating from a small room nearby, also off the mixing room.

I looked in and there was a guy sitting in a chair reading a newspaper and having his lunch, too, while the music played. He was surrounded by optical 35mm film playback machines, 16" disc cutter and playback machines, and quarter and half-inch mag recording machines. He seemed surprised to see anyone around, but was very friendly and willing to answer questions.

I asked him what he was doing. He told me that he was one of the recording mixers, but when no scores were being recorded on the stage, his fill-in job was to transfer the raw session master music tracks pulled from the vaults onto new magnetic protection masters for archiving. Some of the optical nitrate material had already deteriorated by the 1960s, but, like the picture material, MGM was making an effort to transfer and save as much as they could of the ancillary elements beyond the actual sound and picture reels of the final product. And so he was transferring these music tracks, just as they were originally recorded. This day it was optical film, other days it might be Vitaphone discs, acetate playback discs, or whatever.

The music sounded glorious---it was vaguely familiar---and, upon questioning, he told me these were the surviving tracks from Franz Waxman's score for CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS. I had time to burn, and so I remember sitting down, having my bag lunch, and listening to nearly all of Waxman's score for the film. Probably all of what we'll hear on Intrada's new CD.

In 1966 I was impressed by the quality of these original sound elements which had been recorded 30 years earlier and was stunned that they still existed. He told me that MGM still had a great deal of its music library and was moving as fast as they could to transfer the material before the originals were totally lost to deterioration.

In retrospect, what we are able to have on CD today is the result of the day-to-day work of now anonymous technical people who expended their hours saving the elements.

I know that there is still a lot more of this kind of material in the WB/Turner vaults to be exposed, but it will require that fans speak up, promote it, and then actually purchase it, if Intrada or someone else takes a flyer on it. There's certainly more Kaper, Stothart, Snell, Ward, Amfitheatrof, Hayton, Salinger, and others at MGM----including Oscar nominated scores---for major and minor films---and, of course, Korngold and Steiner elements from Warners. Modern mixing and mastering technology has also made much of this rare old material sound surprisingly good, too.

I look forward to hearing the Waxman MGM/WB/RKO materials on this new CD set---and the COURAGEOUS bit of it will even revive memories for me of a wonderful day more than 50 years ago when I first heard it.





 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 3:08 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Beautiful story, Manderley. You need to produce a set of CDs with somebody just interviewing you. You'd be magic for DVD bonus stuff too, with all these historical anecdotes.

Good to see Franz getting some limelight again.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 3:41 AM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

What a terrific release to end 2017! As I live in the UK, I have pre-ordered this from Music Box Records in France to avoid the loathsome import duty we have to pay here in order to get things from the USA.

https://www.musicbox-records.com/en/cd-soundtracks/5466-captains-courageous-the-franz-waxman-collection.html?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=Newsletter_Store_5122017&utm_medium=email

Alistair


I’ve never had to pay customs charges for anything I’ve bought from Intrada or any other record label.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 4:07 AM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

Holy #%$&! A must-have!

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 4:31 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

What a terrific release to end 2017! As I live in the UK, I have pre-ordered this from Music Box Records in France to avoid the loathsome import duty we have to pay here in order to get things from the USA.

https://www.musicbox-records.com/en/cd-soundtracks/5466-captains-courageous-the-franz-waxman-collection.html?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=Newsletter_Store_5122017&utm_medium=email

Alistair


I’ve never had to pay customs charges for anything I’ve bought from Intrada or any other record label.



I have!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

I cannot find a very old thread of mine about a cue from 'DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE', but it was many years ago. I'm certain someone will hear it also, now that the score is released. There is a cue that is distinctly, The theme from 'JAWS', written by Waxman some 34 years before 'Jaws'. I don't recall when it appeared in the film, or if it appeared more than once, but when you hear it, it may be a revelation of sorts.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 5:42 AM   
 By:   CDDA   (Member)

Probably this theme is the one in the track 22 from the CD 1, Walk Through The Park And A Letter To Miss B.
Also the track The Chase from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn resemble Jaws theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:06 AM   
 By:   patmos.beje   (Member)


I am not a huge fan of Waxman although I have many of his scores on CD and admire several of them. I recall seeing several of the films on the Box set when broadcast on UK television especially in the 1970s and 1980s, with Suspicion being broadcast most regularly including several times in the 2000s. Absolutely none of the scores made any lasting impression on me. Nonetheless, an immediate order for me to support Intrada in its efforts on behalf of Golden Age composers. I am expecting to enjoy several of them detached from their films.

I am impressed that 8 of the films were correctly guessed on this forum.

So far no Intrada CD which I have ordered has attracted attention from Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (the UK Tax authority), requiring payment of taxes before being released by the UK Post Office and droppoing through my letter box in Scotland. A four CD box might not be so fortunate!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:15 AM   
 By:   alintgen   (Member)

Yes, the sequence that is virtually identical to Jaws is also included in Christopher Palmer’s suite from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As in Jaws, the music implies danger as Hyde stalks the bar girl. Waxman was a major influence on Williams. Note how the string trails in the “Flight theme” from The Spirit of Saint Louis closely resemble the harp trills in E.T.

This album is historic in its importance to film music aficionados.

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:27 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Thank you for your story, Manderley. When is your book coming out?! I'd buy it in an L.A. minute. smile

Waxman is a top-drawer composer whose music has been growing on me for decades. Watching Jekyll/Hyde last year, I was glad to have Mauceri's suite available, but especially interested in hearing this one.

Too many riches this month, will have to wait for the new year to dip into the past, but happy to support this one.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:28 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

This is an amazing accomplishment featuring scores I never thought would see the light of day. Enthusiastically ordered!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:33 AM   
 By:   nz   (Member)

GREAT!!!!!Already ordered it!But one question:WHERE'S "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"?????????

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   Carburetor Float   (Member)

GREAT!!!!!Already ordered it!But one question:WHERE'S "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"?????????

Sorry but...the man made about 144 soundtracks and passed away at only 60 years of age! Let's consider, there are many scores, and these 11 are very important! Let's not be too picky, fellow, especially after a wonderful work of Intrada's boys!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:44 AM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

Saw this this morning and almost died.
It also explains why the stereo Count Your Blessings has not been released till now.
Awesome !!!!!

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:46 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

GREAT!!!!!Already ordered it!But one question:WHERE'S "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"?????????

THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION, VOLUME 2

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 6:57 AM   
 By:   Carburetor Float   (Member)

GREAT!!!!!Already ordered it!But one question:WHERE'S "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"?????????

THE FRANZ WAXMAN COLLECTION, VOLUME 2


I know you know that, LC, but ... he's probably wanting the original film score ...

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 7:00 AM   
 By:   Carburetor Float   (Member)

Anyway, no doubt, when I listen to the CD, I will not forget this musical moment thanks to you L.C. smile

Blame it on Hitchcock for bookending their appearance with the painting. I agree the music indicates a comic touch, like the detective is abit of nitwit. I like the tinkling, but Hitch's decision to add humor doesnt work for me because there's so much foreboding in the cue/scene. It's the failure by Hitch that makes it memorable, and it's well that Waxman didnt overdo it. Or maybe Hitch wanted the audience to be perplexed in the same way the character was perplexed.
Bottom line, judging from the track names, I'm not sure it's included.



Now, because of his detailed observation, I am addicted to this part, from so much listening ...... I hope this has it in the Box! smile

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 7:20 AM   
 By:   Lukas Kendall   (Member)


Manderley, thank you for the story behind those 1/4" tapes. We used those all the time on the FSM CDs of vintage M-G-M scores and I always wondered exactly when they were made!

Lukas

 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

GREAT!!!!!Already ordered it!But one question:WHERE'S "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY"?????????

Intrada's blurb states that every cue that survived is included...I am 99% certain that they aren't saying these are the only Waxman scores to survive in the Turner/Rhino archive, but that every surviving cue from each respective score is included. I suspect there were more than four discs of surviving Waxman material, and if this sells maybe there will be a Vol. 2 some day. I remember that at least one cue from Philadelphia Story was included on some MGM compilation from the Rhino label back in the 90s.

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 5, 2017 - 7:32 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Waxman . . . and Manderly . . . and Lukas . . . and Intrada. Thanks!

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2018 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.