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Intrada: The Amazing Mr. Blunden (Elmer Bernstein)

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First ever release of charming, dramatic Elmer Bernstein score for 1972 ghost fantasy! Lionel Jeffries scripts, directs from Antonio Barber’s 1969 book The Ghosts, Laurene Naismith, Lynne Frederick, Diana Dors, Garry Miller star, John B. Kelly presents for Hemisphere Productions, Elmer Bernstein scores. Picture remains somewhat obscure to U.S. audiences but is a successful, beloved film in the United Kingdom where it was produced. Part ghost story, part drama, part redemption tale, part time travel fantasy, all parts of The Amazing Mr. Blunden serve as inspiration for composer Bernstein to write in his most intimate style for orchestra with frequent spotlights on piano, flute, harp, vibraphone, orchestra bells. Resulting musical vernacular evokes simplicity of his justifiably famous To Kill A Mockingbird. Bernstein also offers generous quantity of his other signature musical devices including solo cello within string section, melodic lines in piccolo and bassoon voiced in widely-spaced octaves, minor chords in brass moving about by half steps, flutter-tongue flute figures, divisi cello writing, many other trademarks. Solo colors abound! Primary Blunden theme anchors early during “Talk Of Ghosts”, then Bernstein devotes considerable time to haunting quality of score, with rare nods towards joy and happiness, in keeping with serious undercurrents involving murder and redemption. Brass often play using straight mutes with rare exceptions such as during rowdy ”Playing Tricks”, powerful and imposing “Now Is The Time” (which was dropped from finished film) and “Goodbye and End Credits”. Lengthy and exhaustive search by Intrada led to mint condition scoring session mixes, made by Richard Lewzey in October 1972 at Cine Tele Sound Studios. Entire score was present on masters, including music hall number “Oh, I’m a Naughty Boy”, introduced by singer as featuring “Elmer and Jeffries”, leading to fun speculation that singer and pianist are director and composer. Informative notes on film production and score by Frank K. DeWald, handsome graphic design by Kay Marshall. Elmer Bernstein composes, conducts. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!



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