“Diamonds Are Forever”

Saluting composers whose collective spells very different forms of suspense

There’s something very unique about a new Hitchcock movie. The director’s name is of almost equal box-office importance as the heaviest of big stars, and his very individual guidance and execution of so many suspense thrillers is almost a one hundred per cent guarantee of high-tension entertainment.

This collection of themes invites you to encounter once more a dozen of those big-screen spine chillers by which a wide selection of directors have literally kept millions on the edge of their seats.

Alfred Hitchcock, it would seem, is a perfectionist and his musical requirements are given the same close scrutiny as his scripts. From his latest production FRENZY comes Ron Goodwin’s main theme which is gently moulded into different moods with a gentle but definite persuasion.

This is just one of twelve varied movies represented here by their respective brand of musical stature and whilst they emanate from different sources, they share the common bond of intrigue.

The name Dimitri Tiomkin is always linked primarily with expansive themes of grandeur and one of his finest, that for the 1954 production THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY is included.

In complete contrast is Isaac Hayes’ Oscar-winning musical mould to the contemporary thriller SHAFT which is joined here by two other 1971 emergents namely THE FRENCH CONNECTION (scored by jazz trumpeter Don Ellis) and the latest link in the successful Bond chain, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER which naturally bore the unmistakable trademark of John Barry.

Quincy Jones has to be one of the most prolific composers in the cinema today and this album features one of his milestones. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT written for the Norman Jewison success of 1968.

When Alfred Newman died last year, the world lost an irreplaceable talent and a large part of Hollywood’s musical heritage; his last work was for the film of the Arthur Hailey story, AIRPORT.

Richard Strauss is not a composer one would normally associate with movie themes, but his name appears because his Op.30. Also Sprach Zarathustra formed the theme music of Stanley Kubrick’s futuristic and thought-provoking epic 2001 – A SPACE ODYSSEY.

Finally, this album salutes other composers from outside Britain and America whose collective work spells very different forms of suspense.

One of the triumphs of British cinema in the post-war years was Carol Reed’s THE THIRD MAN; shot in 1949 with Orson Welles heading the cast, the setting of Graeme Greene’s thriller in war-torn Vienna was epitomised for all time by the eerie mood of the ever-prevailing zither theme dedicated to the story’s central character and played by its Hungarian composer, Anton Karas.

Six years later, Jules Dassin stunned the world with a stylish and influential robbery drama RIFIFI which, along with its score, went on to take a permanent place in the annals of French movie history.

Dassin is also recognised for his two successes that were both set in Greece (Never On A Sunday and Phaedra), although Michael Cacoyannis – himself Greek by birth – left his own mark with Zorba the Greek and more recently, the extraordinarily executed political thriller Z; all four of these pictures were scored by the heroic Mikis Theodorakis, and here we present his theme from Z.

To come right up to date, one need mention little more than the title of THE GODFATHER, Francis Ford Coppola’s film of the Mario Puzo novel has already grossed millions of dollars and won acclaim from hosts to critics.

Nino Rota – known primarily for his scoring of Franco Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet wrote their music and it is the main theme that makes up this package of memorable suspense movie themes.

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