Adolph Deutsch – The Maltese Falcon and Other Classic Film Scores, 1941-1944
Naxos Film Music Classics series, Naxos 8.557701 DDD, 2002, music composed by Adolph Deutch, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, William Stromberg Score restorations by John Morgan
In honor of Bouchercon and all the mystery fans out there, today it’s all about The Bird , The Sierras and Dimitrios.
Think of composers for dramatic scores at Warner Bros. during the 1930s and 1940s and the big names come to mind: Max Steiner, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and Franz Waxman.
I won’t be skipping them in future Saturday Soundtrack postings, but today it’s another fine composer at Warner we look at: Adolph Deutsch, under contract 1937-1945.
During this period Deutsch was handed mostly melodramas with some lighter fare sandwiched in. He scored ten films in which Bogart appeared and he did pictures featuring other Warner stars such as James Cagney, Errol Flynn, Edward G. Robinson, Olivia de Havilland, Dick Powell, Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Ronald Reagan, Jane Wyman, George Raft, etc., but no Bette Davis. She belonged primarily to Max Steiner, and to a lesser degree, Korngold and Franz Waxman. All in all Deutsch worked on 53 feature pictures at the studio, plus a loan-out to Paramount for Lucky Jordan (1943) with Alan Ladd.
This CD contains music from five of his best Warner scores. These are tidbits, not complete scores: we get 13:47 of Falcon, 11:19 of Washington, 16:10 of Dimitrios, 13:17 of Sierra and 21:11 of Northern Pursuit. Yet it’s enough to give you the flavor, and if you want more the complete scores are available. I’m always especially happy hearing the music from Mask of Dimitrios and Northern Pursuit, in my opinion the best of the music included here.
There’s a lot of variety on the CD, it features a cross-section of Deutsch’s talents. There are two milestone Bogart films: The Maltese Falcon (1941) and High Sierra (1941); one Errol Flynn adventure, Northern Pursuit (1943); a Jack Benny-Ann Sheridan comedy, George Washington Slept Here (1942); and the mysterious Mask of Dimitrios (1944).
I know this is two weeks in a row for compilation CDs, and next week I’m back to full length soundtracks, but these collections of music are not to be dismissed. These are good introductions to the work of composers and music from the films.