Film Score Monthly
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2006 - 11:45 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

It is not fun having the flu nor ending up in the hospital after a second attack that they would diagnose as vertigo. As if it wasn't bad enough having EACH and EVERY friend yuk it up at my Hitchcockian expense, the right ear is clogged most of the time and I'm left wondering if film music will ever sound the same again.

Ah, I sound as a sympathy grabber. I have actually come to celebrate the moment when I turned on TCM and fortuitously caught the last 1/2 hour of The Ghost And Mrs. Muir. Just the tonic for a miserable day in The Chair. Since the day was gone from a normal- activity-point-of-view, I even opened up a package that was sent from across the years ago and that remained unopened. Until this flu day.

Oh man, the man from Scoreway was right. That harmonica from Pinchcliffe Grand Prix had me in a pure Barry and Goldsmithian swoon. Threw me right back into a luscious Jerry/Tommy Morgan Twilight Zone frame of mind. And what a lovely mindframe. But Thor, I then went to track one and around the 1:16 mark proceeded to get utterly blown away by Leif Halvorsen's The Crop. At that moment I was thrust into the sound of the great outdoors and a feeling very akin to the 'wintry night/Stepmom effect of long ago. It is a sound of summer(?) which I can compare favorably to that emanating from Allan Gray's great The African Queen.

Oh my. The ear may not be the same but the mind's ear remains active. And one of these days I'm going to finally listen to the entire CD. So far, so good!

 Posted:   Sep 9, 2006 - 8:26 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Oh, Howard, my man! Here I'm sitting in front of the computer on the other side of the world, also struggling with a flu that just won't leave my body. So imagine my surprise upon reading your thread title. smile

Anyway, I'm glad you've discovered some gems on the NORWEGIAN FILM MUSIC compilation. PINCHCLIFFE will always stand as my favourite film theme of all time for both nostalgical and musical reasons. Here is one case where my appreciation of a piece of film music partially has to do with how connected I was to it as a kid, much like your own usual mode of appreciation(?). Check out this thread for more info on PINCHCLIFFE:

I know what you mean re: THE CROP from 1:16 and onwards. Woodwinds mimic bird chirps and then it all swells into those large open intervals, inspired by Norwegian folk music. Too bad Halvorsen never did another score.

Music can really work as medicine for our soul when we're down with disease. Perhaps even with psychosomatic effects.


 Posted:   Sep 9, 2006 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

Hey Thor, do you have a track list for that Norwegian Film Music compilation?

Is it a CDR you made yourself?

 Posted:   Sep 9, 2006 - 10:51 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yes, it's a CD-R I made myself:

1. MARKENS GRØDE aka THE CROP (1921) - Leif Halvorsen
2. GJEST BAARDSEN (1939) - A.K. Nielsen
4. ENGLANDSFARERE (1946) - Gunnar Sønstevold
5. TROST I TAKLAMPA (1954) - Maj Sønstevold
6. LINE aka THE PASSIONATE DEMONS (1961) - Egil Monn-Iversen
7. SKRIFT I SNE aka SCRIPT IN THE SNOW (1966) - Egil Monn-Iversen
9. NORSKE BYGGEKLOSSER (1972) - Egil Monn-Iversen
10. FLÅKLYPA GRAND PRIX aka PINCHCLIFFE GRAND PRIX (1975) - Bent Fabricius Bjerre
11. RØD SNØ (1985) - Egil Monn-Iversen
12. ADJØ SOLIDARITET aka GOODBYE SOLIDARITY (1985) - Svein Gundersen
13. BLACKOUT (1986) - Øistein Boassen and Morten Halle
14. PELLE EROBREREN aka PELLE THE CONQUEROR (1987) - Stefan Nilsson
15. KVITEBJØRN KONG VALOMON aka THE POLAR BEAR KING (1991) - Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud
16. TELEGRAFISTEN aka THE TELEGRAPHIST (1993) - Randall Meyers
17. THE KON-TIKI MAN (1993) - Ragnar Bjerkreim
18. VESTAVIND (1994) - Egil Monn-Iversen
19. TI KNIVER I HJERTET aka CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO DIE (1994) - Magne Furuholmen and Kjetil Bjerkestrand
20. PAKTEN aka THE SUNSET BOYS (1995) - Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud
21. SKJÆRGÅRDSDOKTOREN (1997) - Stefan Nilsson
22. SOFIES VERDEN aka SOPHIE'S WORLD (1999) - Randall Meyers
23. SORIA MORIA (2000) - Egil Monn-Iversen
24. BE - SKITNE, SYNDIGE MEG (2000) - Tore Stabell Kulø
25. BONUS TRACK: "DAYDREAM" (1969) - Raymond Vincent

Back cover:


 Posted:   Sep 9, 2006 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

I seem to remember that the RØD SNØ theme was quite good.

Also, Svein Gundersen is an interesting name from the mid 80s who also scored Hotel St Pauli.

I'm surprised you didn't feature Orion's Belte or Etter Rubicon by Bøhren/Åserud though.

The TI KNIVER I HJERTET collaboration between Furuholmen and Bjerkestrand is an interesting one - they also worked on Hotel Oslo (another hotel...).

 Posted:   Sep 9, 2006 - 2:10 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I'm surprised you didn't feature Orion's Belte or Etter Rubicon by Bøhren/Åserud though.

That's because I don't have that soundtrack anymore. I gave it away several years ago. Need to buy it again. I'm sure it would pop up on a volume 2 eventually.

 Posted:   Sep 9, 2006 - 6:01 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Here is one case where my appreciation of a piece of film music partially has to do with how connected I was to it as a kid,...

And that also neatly explains my particularly strong reaction to The Lost Sausage Maker, for this piece is incredibly reminiscent of LeRoy Shield's incomparable music for the Little Rascals. The latter is a distinct touchstone in the early stages of Yours Truly as well as this lifelong passion for really good film music. Gotta love all the joy and pathos in these kinds of pieces.

 Posted:   Sep 12, 2006 - 4:46 PM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

That's because I don't have that soundtrack anymore. I gave it away several years ago. Need to buy it again. I'm sure it would pop up on a volume 2 eventually.

A volume 2 could also include:

Randall Meyers' WEEKEND, a very interesting mix between electronica and orchestra.

Øystein Sevåg's LIVETS DANS, the film about the life of Edvard Munch. One track ("Forgiving") is featured on the brilliant Pearl Collection by Sevåg.

Geir Bøhren/Bent Åserud's NATTSEILERE, probably only released on LP. A great Main Theme which starts off a bit like mellow Vangelis, and then kicks off in almost disco/pop style - the film is from 1986.

Kjetil Bjerkestrand's HODET OVER VANNET. One track ("Idyll") can be found on the CD single from the film, by Morten Abel.

Biosphere's INSOMNIA. Soundtrack on Origo Sound.

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2020 - 3:54 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I don't believe this. From the NY Times (print edition) a few days ago, the guy who composed Pinchcliffe was behind...

Bent Fabric, Pianist and Composer Known for ‘Alley Cat,’ Dies at 95

A simple tune with an old-time feel, it could embed itself in the listener’s ear as if on a continuous loop. In 1962, it became a worldwide hit.

by Katharine Q. Seelye

Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, the Danish pianist who, as Bent Fabric, composed and recorded the ubiquitous instrumental hit “Alley Cat,” died on Tuesday. He was 95.

Danish news outlets, citing a statement from his family, said he died after a short illness. The reports did not specify the illness or say where he died.

Mr. Fabric’s lengthy career spanned numerous musical genres and idioms. The composer of music for more than 70 movies and television shows (he also wrote for theater and ballet), he was regarded as the grand old man of Danish pop music, and his tunes are ingrained in Danish culture.

But to the rest of the world he was best known for “Alley Cat,” a simple, almost lackadaisical piano tune with a light, old-time feel. Released in 1961, it was an earworm for the ages, a melody heard once that could easily embed itself in the listener’s mind and repeat itself on an endless loop until forcibly dislodged.

Mr. Fabric had other hit singles, including “Chicken Feed” (1963), “Jukebox” (2003) and “Shake” (2003).

But nothing grabbed the world like “Alley Cat,” which he composed, under the pseudonym Frank Björn, for a television show that he hosted, “Omkring et Grandgel.” The song was originally called “Omkring et Flygel” (“Around a Piano”). It was rereleased worldwide in 1962 as “Alley Cat” and immediately hit No. 1 in Australia before catching on around the globe.

In the United States, it reached No. 2 on the Billboard easy listening chart and No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It won the 1962 Grammy Award for best rock 'n' roll recording, even though few would consider it rock, beating out contenders that are arguably more memorable classics of the era, including “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by the Four Seasons, “Twistin’ the Night Away” by Sam Cooke and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” by Neil Sedaka.

“Alley Cat” was covered by numerous other artists, including Ray Conniff, Al Hirt, Chet Atkins and (with lyrics by Jack Harlen) Peggy Lee. It cropped up in multiple movies, including “Shag” (1989) with Phoebe Cates and Bridget Fonda, and “Imaginary Heroes” (2004) with Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels and Emile Hirsch. It was also heard on several American television shows, including “Get a Life,” “Mad About You” and “Family Guy.”

Bent Fabricius-Bjerre was born on Dec. 7, 1924, in Frederiksberg, Denmark. He trained as a pianist at the Royal Danish Music Academy and led a jazz combo.

By the time “Alley Cat” hit the airwaves, Mr. Fabricius-Bjerre had become known as Bent Fabric.

He was married three times, first to Harriet Frederikke Dessau, with whom he had four children. She died in 1975. He and his second wife, Anne Fabricius-Bjerre, divorced in 2004. In 2005 he married Camilla Padilla Arndt, who survives him.

In 2017, Mr. Fabric won the Nordic Film Composers lifetime achievement award. His nomination for that honor noted that only three Danish films had sold more than a million tickets, and Mr. Fabric scored all three. He also scored the most successful Norwegian film of all time, “Pinchcliffe Grand Prix.”

He remained active into his 90s, including on the tennis court. When he received that award, he said he rarely listened to his own music, unless he confronted it during a concert.

“When I’m done with a piece of music, it’s just going out of my head,” he said. “For as long as you work on it, you drive it around, and you think about it at night and in the morning and during the day. So once I have handed it in, it is on to the next project.”

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2020 - 2:07 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

That's a nice US piece on Bjerre, Howard -- although predictably hailing "Alley Cat" as the main reference point.

I was actually there, in Cannes in 2017, when he got his Lifetime Achievement Award (as the article notes), and got to meet him. I had met him briefly in Berlin earlier in the year, when the nomination was announced and we all had a great big dinner together.

Recently, Danish TV aired an hour-long interview with Bjerre that was only to air AFTER his death, where he actually reflects a bit on his death, sort of posthumously (only not). A very interesting angle. Alas, it's not available to international audiences, AFAIK.

When he sits down at the piano at the end of the interview, and plays a couple of his tunes - including his gorgeous MATADOR theme - he ends by looking into the camera, saying something akin to "That's all, folks!" and the camera fades to black on his smiling face. That just made me tear up; incredibly powerful moment.

 Posted:   Aug 7, 2020 - 5:01 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Sounds like one of those poetic endings, as it were. Wonderful tribute you have posted. He could not get away from that pop hit any more than Herrmann from the shower strings which too became a pop hit, of sorts, in satirical fashion. I was all of 6 or 7 and can clearly recall "Alley Cat" emanating from a jukebox in a nearby restaurant my family frequented. In fact, it must have been one of the all-time jukebox favorites no matter the setting. And it seemed every kid learning to play piano learned to play that song.

You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2020 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...