Music for Stage and Screen

Archive recordings from the film and theatre worlds

Ralph Vaughan Williams’s great theme for the wartime film 49th Parallel (which opens and closes the album) has reappeared in many guises, but is still popular in its original form.

Muir Mathieson, who recorded the soundtrack, made this early recording in 1948. A composer himself, Mathieson conducted music for many films and commissioned film scores from others, including several on this recording.

At the heart of this release is Sir Thomas Beecham’s memorable performance of Falla’s El Amor Brujo taken from the soundtrack to the film Honeymoon (1962). Beecham knew Manuel de Falla and brings remarkable authority to the music along with his trademark rhythmic elan and lyrical expressiveness. Beecham did not record El Amor Brujo commercially which adds to the special appeal of the new recording.

Gustav Holst’s ballet The Perfect Fool was first performed in 1923, but the recording presented here is Sir Adrian Boult’s first recording, from 1954.

Lorna’s Song from the film Lorna Doone is the only film music composed by Rutland Boughton; this brings back to circulation a delightful recording not heard since the days of 78s, and sung by the star of the film, Victoria Hopper, who is featured on the cover image. The excerpts from the first performances of Hassan by Delius were recorded live in 1923 and have not previously been issued in a digital audio format. The album also includes evocative music by Alwyn, Bliss, Clifton Parker and Walton.

Music for stage CD cover

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  1. Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Prelude to 49th Parallel
    Muir Mathieson/London Symphony Orchestra, 1949
  2. Gustav Holst
    Ballet Music from The Perfect Fool
    Sir Adrian Boult/London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1954
  3. Sir William Walton Excerpts from Henry V
    Death of Falstaff’
  4. ‘Touch her Soft Lips and Part’
    Sir William Walton/Philharmonia String Orchestra,1945
  5. William Alwyn
    Main Theme from The Cure for Love
    Muir Mathieson/London Symphony Orchestra, 1949
  6. William Alwyn
    ‘Calypso Music’ from The Rake’s Progress
    Muir Mathieson/London Symphony Orchestra, 1946
  7. Clifton Parker
    ‘Seascape’ from Western Approaches
    Muir Mathieson/London Symphony Orchestra.01946
  8. Rutland Boughton
    ‘Lorna’s Song’ from Lorna Doone
    Victoria Hopper (soprano) with Orchestra, 1934
  9. Sir Arthur Bliss
    March from Things to Come
    Sir Arthur Bliss/London Symphony Orchestra, 1936
  10. Frederick Delius
    Excerpts from Hassan
    H. Farrar (tenor) with Percy Fletcher/His Majesty’s Theatre Chorus & Orchestra, 1923
    Manuel de Falla  El Amor Brujo (abridged) from Honeymoon
  11. Introduction and Scene: With the Gypsies, Song of the Broken Heart
  12. The Apparition/Dance of Terror, The Magic Circle, At Midnight
  13. Ritual Fire Dance, Song of the Will-o’-the-Wisp
  14. Pantomime
  15. Dance of the Game of Love, Finale
    Sir Thomas Beecham/Studio Orchestra (Rome Radio Orchestra) 1958
  16. Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Epilogue from 49th Parallel
    Muir Mathieson/London Symphony Orchestra, 1946

Total CD length: 65’53.

ALBCD041 – Music for Stage and Screen
Release date: 25 September 2020