Michael J. Lewis,
Film Music
(Pen Dinas, 1995)

When talking about movies, the actors and director rightfully get the lion's share of the credit for a film's success or failure. But it is a combination of the sets and the score that sets the movie's tone and mood.

Welsh-born Michael J. Lewis has been composing movie music since 1969. His first score was for the film The Madwoman of Chaillot, starring Katherine Hepburn, Danny Kaye and Yul Brynner, for which he won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Film Score, England's highest honor. Not bad for a novice. He went on to write the scores for dozens of movies. Film Music is a two-CD collection of some of his grandest music.

Although I love movies, I am not much of an old-movie buff, so I have only ever seen one of the movies which Lewis scored and that was Theatre of Blood, a turkey starring Vincent Price and Diana Rigg, which was part of my senior year English class.

Included in this set are themes from fourteen movies. These are tender love themes, sweeping main title themes, quick-moving fight accompaniments and end title music. The music is played by the Los Angeles Ensemble and the Rundfunkorchester Berlin.

These CDs are quite enjoyable. The music consists of discreet themes rather than full scores, and is easier to listen to for that reason -- it has no little awkward blats and bleeps as a full score might.

If you like film music, or just enjoy listening to orchestral music, then this is for you.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]
Rambles: 24 November 2001