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The Film Music of Brian Easdale

> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - I. Allegro vivace
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - II. Allegro moderato e molto ritmico
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - III. Poco piu mosso
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - IV. Lento tranquillo
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - V. Largo
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - VI. Presto, quasi cadenza
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - VII. Allegro assai
> The Red Shoes: Ballet (performing edition by J. Wilson) - VIII. Sostenuto
> Kew Gardens Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - I. Introduction and Allegretto
> Kew Gardens Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - II. Spring Flowers
> Kew Gardens Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - III. Summer Sequence
> Kew Gardens Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - IV. Finale
> Black Narcissus Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - I. Main Titles and the Palace of Mopu
> Black Narcissus Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - II. Irish Song
> Black Narcissus Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - III. Sister Ruth and Mr Dean
> Black Narcissus Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - IV. Hunting Song
> Black Narcissus Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - V. Death of Sister Ruth
> The Battle of the River Plate: Prelude and March (performing edition by P. Lane) - Prelude
> The Battle of the River Plate: Prelude and March (performing edition by P. Lane) - March
> Adventure On Suite - I. Prelude and Pastorale
> Adventure On Suite - II. Intermezzo and Dance (Africa)
> Adventure On Suite - III. Barcarolle and Sultan's Fanfare (Aden)
> Adventure On Suite - IV. Pastorale and Lullaby (India)
> Adventure On Suite - V. Finale Progress (Malaya to Fiji)
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - I. Titles
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - II. The Hunt of the Death Pack
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - III. The Prayer
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - IV. The Shropshire County Fair
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - V. Hunter's Spinney
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - VI. Undern Morning
> Gone to Earth Suite (performing edition by P. Lane) - VII. Finale

Album Summary

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet
>Easdale, Brian : Kew Gardens, suite
>Easdale, Brian : Black Narcissus, suite
>Easdale, Brian : The Battle of the River Plate, prelude and march
>Easdale, Brian : The Battle of the River Plate
>Easdale, Brian : Adventure On!, suite
>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite
Performers Conductor Ensemble
  • >
Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Brian Easdale was a prolific composer whose extensive output covered many genres; from instrumental pieces to choral works, including a mass for the new Coventry Cathedral. Part of Chandos' film music series with Rumon Gamba, the works on this release showcase Easdale's career in film with music from, among others, The Red Shoes (for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score), Black Narcissus, and The Battle of the River Plate.

In his youth, Easdale attended the Royal College of Music, where he studied composition with such prominent figures as Cecil Armstrong Gibbs and Gordon Jacob, conducting with Malcolm Sargent, and organ with Arnold Goldsborough. As a jobbing musician he undertook arranging projects, working most notably on such scores by Benjamin Britten as the Soirées musicales and the Piano Concerto. He also orchestrated Britten's On the Frontier for a production at the Arts Theatre in Cambridge in 1939, before spending much of the war in Ceylon and India working on documentaries for their governments' film units. Returning to Britain in 1946, he was invited by British film-makers, The Archers, to write an exotic dance for Jean Simmons to perform in their forthcoming film, Black Narcissus, and ended up composing the whole score. The film is a veritable masterpiece of melodrama with highly dramatic music to match.

The involvement of Easdale in Black Narcissus effectively launched his career in film music and led him to other projects, most notably The Red Shoes (1948) for which he won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. This is one of the most iconoclastic films in the Pantheon of British Cinema. Given a highly atmospheric score, the film concerns a travelling ballet company and tells the story of a young hopeful ballerina, catapulted into stardom and wrestling with her love for a composer and the pull of her career. In the end it becomes too much of a fight and while on tour with the company in Monte Carlo, she leaps to her death.

The Battle of the River Plate (1956) is also worth a separate mention. A semi-documentary account of the trapping of the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in Montevideo harbour, and her subsequent scuttling, the film was commercially very successful. The two movements recorded here are the Prelude (heard over the main titles and opening scene with narration) and a March, the concert version of which was created by Easdale after the film's release.

"this excellent CD puts [Easdale] back where he belongs, in the top rank of film composers...The young voices of the BBC National Chorus of Wales add a vivid and dynamic dimension to both of these scores. Rumon Gamba conducts Easdale's music with a blazing conviction that entices the listener back to the films themselves." -Gramophone Magazine

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: BBC Hoddinott Hall (03/08/2010-03/10/2010).



Reviews

Important Brian Easdale Collection
Some sixty odd years prior to the contemporaneous emotional travails of the protagonist in The Black Swan, there was the magical, visually breathtaking, The Red Shoes. This 1948 film told the story of an equally conflicted ballerina played by Moira Shearer. The universal acclaim which greeted this film was in no small part heightened by its superb musical component. There have been several fine recordings of Brian Easdale’s music for the famed ballet sequence from The Red Shoes: Vladimir Golschmann, and Kenneth Alwyn, come to mind. Now we have a stunning new version captured in the typically opulent sound associated with Chandos: an ideal blend of ambient warmth and transparency. Rumon Gamba, leads the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in a complete, beautifully realized, well nigh definitive performance. As if this were not sufficient reason for serious consideration, the disc includes an imaginatively arranged bounty of other film scores as well as one concert rarity by the vastly under appreciated, British born Brian Easdale (1909-1995) a name often unfamiliar even to avid devotees of this genre. Among the many gems included is the haunting score Easdale composed for Black Narcissus, a one time controversial Deborah Kerr vehicle. The 13 minute suite assembled here features the considerable resources of the BBC National Chorus of Wales to excellent effect. At 76:52 minutes this is a generous collection of inventive, engaging material. As is customary with Chandos, packaging and liner notes are of the highest order. Highly recommended.
Submitted on 03/02/11 by conway 
Good Film Music
I love working while listening to movie scores. We tend to view our lives as little scenes moving from vignette to vignette don’t we? And being able to tie in emotionally, yet subconsciously to the music and our task at hand is quite easy to do with this delightful CD. I enjoy, and actually prefer reading historical non-fiction and reading while listening to Film Music of Brian Easdale brings an added dimension to the reading. So, no matter your moment, relaxing, reading or working, this CD is a great companion. The selections are varied and the recording, production and performance are all first rate.
Submitted on 03/14/11 by Ross Vick 
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Works Details

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 1. Allegro vivace
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 2. Allegro moderato e molto ritmico
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 3. Poco piú mosso
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 4. Lento tranquillo
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 5. Largo
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 49 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 6. Presto, quasi cadenza
  • Performers: Brian Easdale; Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 7. Allegro assai
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : The Red Shoes, ballet :: 8. Sostenuto
  • Performers: Cynthia Millar (Ondes Martenot); Rumon Gamba; Brian Easdale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1948

>Easdale, Brian : Kew Gardens, suite :: 1. Introduction and Allegretto
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 53 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Kew Gardens, suite :: 2. Spring Flowers
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Kew Gardens, suite :: 3. Summer Sequence
  • Performers: Philip Lane (Piano); Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Kew Gardens, suite :: 4. Finale
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Black Narcissus, suite :: 1. Main Titles and the Palace of Mopu
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 5 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Easdale, Brian : Black Narcissus, suite :: 2. Irish Song
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Easdale, Brian : Black Narcissus, suite :: 3. Sister Ruth and Mr Dean
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Easdale, Brian : Black Narcissus, suite :: Hunting Song
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Easdale, Brian : Black Narcissus, suite :: Death of Sister Ruth
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Easdale, Brian : The Battle of the River Plate, prelude and march :: 1. Prelude
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1956

>Easdale, Brian : The Battle of the River Plate :: 2. March
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1956

>Easdale, Brian : Adventure On!, suite :: 1. Prelude and Pastorale
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Brian Easdale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 5 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Adventure On!, suite :: 2. Intermezzo and Dance (Africa)
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Brian Easdale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Adventure On!, suite :: 3. Barcarolle and Sultan's Fanfare (Aden)
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Brian Easdale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Adventure On!, suite :: 4. Pastorale and Lullaby (India)
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Brian Easdale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Adventure On!, suite :: 5. Final Progress (Malaya to Fiji)
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Brian Easdale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 4 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 1. Titles
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 2. The Hunt of the Death Pack
  • Performers: Rumon Gamba; Philip Lane (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 41 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 3. The Prayer
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 4. The Shropshire County Fair
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 5. Hunter's Spinney
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 6. Undern Morning
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950

>Easdale, Brian : Gone to Earth, suite :: 7. Finale
  • Performer: Rumon Gamba
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1950