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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

CD REVIEW - Some Came Running + Latest Issue of Film Music Magazine

Some Came Running
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Film Score Monthly Vol.10 No.1 (US)
43 Tracks 78:48 mins

Elmer Bernstein was at the height of his powers at the time of this 1958 Frank Sinatra/Dean Martin starrer (though a young Shirley MacLaine stole the show), equally comfortable in writing strong, jazzy music or patriotic and homespun Americana. This score features both, plus some excellent dance band music to boot.
This is in fact an album that has been a long time coming. The original soundtrack album release was, as was the norm at the time, a re-recording by the composer. Here, is presented the original score, gathered together from various sources, as the original film tracks were discovered to have a fault, due to the way they were stored in 1958. All things considered, the album is in amazing, mostly stereo, sound, and well worth the wait.
The score commences with the "Prelude," which features Bernstein's powerful, dirge-like main theme. A somewhat disturbed version of this theme, lead by solo sax, is heard at the end of the subsequent track, and both versions are to play their part throughout the remainder of the score. Ginny's (Shirley Maclaine) theme is introduced at the start of track 2 and is a soft and bluesy affair. A swaggering, jazzy theme is first heard in "Smitty's Cocktail Hour" and later developed in "Like Wow,"one of three great jazzy jukebox tunes from Bernstein. In addition to these source cues, there are also a number of fine dance band tunes in between the dramatic scoring.
The following cue is Bernstein at his Americana best. "The View From Parkman" starts out with marching band music, turning into a proud variation, with just a touch of whimsy.
Romance is injected firstly with "Thwarted," which starts out light and gay, before becoming a romantic-stringed waltz. "Gwen's Theme" starts out quite rhapsodic with piano and strings, but becomes more passionate on strings, with a passage for solo violin. "Tryst" presents romantic, yet troubled variations on the theme. Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen wrote the song "To Love and Be Loved" for the film, which is heard in vocal form as the last of a number of bonus cues presented at the end of the disc, but is first heard in the body of the score as a radio source cue, cropping up again in variations in "Dawn at Dawn" and "Tired."
The film concludes with a big chase scene at a carnival, and carnival source cues which were interspersed with Bernstein's dramatic chase music are also presented in the bonus material. The chase cues themselves mostly feature the composer's main theme in dramatic, action-packed variations, but when Ginny is tragically shot at the end of the sequence, her theme returns in sad variations.
"Catharsis" concludes the score, in suitably religious mode to mark Ginny's funeral, but then "Gwen's Theme" soars to a big conclusion.
The aforementioned bonus cues also include two more vocals from the on-screen male trio, who also perform "To Love and Be Loved," standards "After You've Gone" and "Don't Blame Me." And there's also an instrumental version of "Blue Moon."
Accompanying the disc, as always, is an excellent and colourful booklet, with numerous stills from the film, plus poster artwork, and album producer Lukas Kendall's detailed notes on the film and its score, together with the usual cue-by-cue guide.
For further details and sound samples, go to, where you can also order your copy and browse through FSM's catalogue of available titles.

The latest issue, Volume 7 Number 1, of FILM MUSIC is now available, and the cover feature is an interview with a new name to me, but certainly one to look out for, Sharon Farber, who divides her time between scoring for both screen and concert hall. The other main feature is an interview with two of the main movers and shakers behind New Era Scoring, an initiative to provide an LA-based orchestra, that can work on both Union and non-Union projects and therefore keep recording work in the City, and stop it filtering off to places like Seattle and Eastern Europe, due to the high costs of recording Union in LA. It will certainly be interesting to see how they go. There is also an article on ASCAP's MediaGuide; a look at some of the state-of-the-art gear on show at the International Winter NAMM Show; there's also advice for composers on writing song-like cues for film; as well as a look at the advantages of switching to the new Intel Macs; and the issue concludes with publisher Mark Northam's warning about an important 18 months ahead for composers and songwriters regarding royalties.
Go to to subscribe and, while you're at it, don't forget, if you haven't wisely already done so, to subscribe to the free electronic filmmusicweekly at


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