Gutbrain Records

Sunday, 01 June 2008

I'm back from a stimulating series of improv shows with David Grollman and Lucio Menegon. (Steady as she goes, guys.)

Hi, Mr. Dorgon! It was great to see you!

Here's last week's soundtrack selection. Our internet connection went down the day before I left, so it's a week late.

The tenth Soundtrack of the Week is a classic Hollywood orchestral score, Max Steiner's Pursued.

It's a great movie, a mixture of western, film noir and Greek tragedy, and essential viewing for any admirer of Robert Mitchum.

In the Music for the Movies documentary on Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein credits Max Steiner with creating much of the basic vocabulary of film scoring. Check out the Steiner Wikipedia entry. Steiner was a student of Brahms and Mahler, a collaborator with George Gershwin and Jerome Kern and the composer of hundreds of films scores, including King Kong, Gone with the Wind, A Summer Place and many other famous movies. (Steiner's theme from A Summer Place is more famous than the movie itself.)

Listening to the CD of Pursued is a dramatic experience itself, musical storytelling at its finest; it feels like watching a movie. In addition to this superlative music, Pursued has great performances from actors Mitchum, Teresa Wright and Judith Anderson (Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca), as well as brilliant cinematography by James Wong Howe. Any movie he photographed is worth watching.