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ClassicsOnline Home » SALTER / SKINNER: Sherlock Homes and the Voice of Terror
Music in the Movies
"Stromberg and Morgan must never sleep! Not content this summer merely to give us the Roy Webb re-recordings of classic horror works, Marco Polo have released almost simultaneously a disc featuring five of Universal's 1940s shockers, also with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra. By and large, the present disc bridges the gap between the earlier Salter/Skinner monster scores such as Son Of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man Returns, featured on Marco Polo's 1995 disc, and Salter's 1944 masterpiece House Of Frankenstein, also available on that label. The Ghost Of Frankenstein (1942), Salter's first solo outing, occupies by far the majority of the playing time. It is enjoyable and fun, featuring a host of effective cues, particularly the sinister cor anglais theme with which Ygor summons the monster. The romantic interest is scored in the sentimental Viennese manner, which contrasts nicely with the cues for outrageous goings-on involving brain transfers and the like. Four short pieces for Son Of Dracula, Black Friday and Man Made Monster are followed by some fourteen minutes of the music from Sherlock Holmes And The Voice Of Terror, a Skinner solo effort of 1942 for a picture which pitted Conan Doyle's detective against the Nazis. Although Skinner's dance-band background could lead one to draw unfavourable comparisons with the classically trained Salter, the Voice Of Terror score is an accomplished and subtle piece of writing, perfectly serving its subject. As with Marco Polo's other recent film releases, the recording quality is excellent."
"The Universal Sherlock Holmes movies that starred Basil Rathbone in the 1940s remain popular to this day, so to be able to listen to a new recording of one of the series' best scores is something of a thrill. It kicks off with the memorable and much re-used Main Title, written to accompany Holmes and Watson walking down a darkly lit street as the credits roll. We're then straight into the action with Limehouse, which perfectly captures the film's fog-swathed atmosphere, as does the following track, the moody Christopher Docks. With Holmes on the case it's not long before things hot up, which they do in the urgent No Time to Lose. Composed by Frank Skinner, the score is wholly evocative of its period and should delight fans. If that weren't enough, the album also contains Hans J Salter's complete score for The Ghost of Frankenstein and selections from Son of Dracula, Black Friday and Man Made Monster, plus Jimmy McHugh's rousing Universal signature theme. Nothing less than superb."
By Roger Hall
The Music Buffs
"This CD belongs in any vintage film music lover's collection."
Hans Salter, born in Vienna in 1896, studied composition with Alban Berg and Franz Schreker, and worked in the German film industry before moving to America. He was to become one of Hollywood's outstanding composers, his series of scores for the horror movies of the 1940's and 50's earning him the title "Master of Terror and Suspense". He was responsible for the early Frankenstein films, The Ghost of Frankenstein considered one of Hollywood's most chilling music scores. Salter also enjoyed a productive relationship with the young American, Frank Skinner. Largely self-taught as a composer, Skinner came to the film industry after a successful career as a dance-band trombonist and arranger. Among the scores credited to him was the atmospheric music for an updated Sherlock Holmes story, Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror.
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