The score is pure Jerry Goldsmith, but the main theme for The List of Adrian Messenger certainly sounds to me like it was inspired in part by the Kurt Weill cabaret-for-orchestra idiom.
Goldsmith - The List of Adrian Messenger
It sounds definitively like Jerry from the first note--he was such a fookin modernist-- but then the Brecht sound kicks in. Love it. I also hear in the opening strains what sounds like the Wild, Wild World of Animals theme! I excel at superficial associations, sir. I'm off to hear the Bowie now.
Thanks to Bob DiMucci for his contributions, as well.
I'm looking for film scores that evoke the Threepenny Opera sound and the era of the Weimar Republic. I'd also welcome non-film score suggestions outside of the proper Brecht-Weill works.
Jim, you'd do very well to hear Brecht-Weill's "Surabaya Johnny" from the indifferently-received musical "Happy End". This version by Ute Lemper is actually far better, IMO, than Lotte Lenya (who was married to Brecht). This song and this version of it will knock your sox off - it did mine! I ADORE IT and it always brings me to my knees:
I went back and listened to the performance linked above, enjoyed it, and then proceeded to listen to Ute Lemper's other takes on the song: She never does it quite the same way twice, and each different rendition is wonderful in its own way. What a performer!
I've mentioned this score on another thread, but jazz composer/arranger Carla Bley (who beautifully interpreted Weill's Lost in the Stars on the Hal Wilner-produced Kurt Weill album, Lost in the Stars) scored a French movie in 1983 called Mortelle Randonnee, only released on a Mercury lp in France. Weill's influence permeates much of her earlier work. P.S. Her pianist on the album is the young Arturo O'Farrill, son of Chico and future composer/band leader.
As Adriano wrote in the notes for the Marco Polo recording :
More than any other film score by the composer, this contains typical devices of the film and theatre music of the 1920s and 1930s, making it sound at times like Hindemith or Kurt Weill. The “Idea” itself, its lyrical leitmotif stated and developed at the beginning by a solo of 39 bars for Ondes Martenot, is represented by the silhouette of an immortal, naked girl, inspiring mankind and leading revolt against all kinds of oppression.
The Marco Polo recording isn't available on YouTube, but there's another one :
"Shot with His Own Gun" is one of the better vocal performances I've heard from Elvis Costello, but then I'm not a fan.
The piano sounds more like an Italian Western/bordello piano, which put me off at first, but the performance by Costello and pianist Steve Nieve persevered and "won me over", so to speak.
I think that what you are picking up from the piano has more to do with the bright, brittle, tinny tone of the piano - a sound that I personally do not like, but one that Elton John made millions off of.
That same piano part played on a warmer-sounding grand piano would have a much different effect.