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The version airing right now on TCM of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1926) has a (utterly DREADFUL) score I have NEVER heard before....


LornaHansonForbes
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  • LornaHansonForbes changed the title to The version airing right now on TCM of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1926) has a (utterly DREADFUL) score I have NEVER heard before....

THE SCORE in the version that played on TCM this morning sounded like incidental music from a self-produced youtube video....edit- or that plays during the "victory lap" part when you're playing MARIOKART...

computer-generated.

no regards to changes in tone between comedy and romance and horror, which happen often in the film.

no singing during the singing scenes.

truly, breasts the tape in front of THE SPECIALLY COMMISSIONED PHILLIP GLASS SCORE FOR 1931 DRACULA as "worst and most needless re-scoring of a film ever."

why?

WHY DID SOMEONE DO THIS?

was there a copyright issue?

ps- at least with DRACULA they had the excuse of there not being music originally to fall back on

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Sometimes restorations of silent films feature new scores, which is generally a shame, although it may allow for a new copyright.  I had been looking forward to watching Piccadilly (1929), but the new score was so awful I couldn't watch it.

On the other hand, the Carmine Coppola score for Abel Gance's Napoleon is brilliant, an amalgam of classics and new scoring. I prefer it to the Carl Davis version. (I don't think Gance particularly liked the original score, by Arthur Honegger.)

 

 

 

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Lorna,

TCM had previously been showing a British Channel Four restoration with an orchestral score by Carl Davis.  Now they are showing a more recent Kino restoration - this version has 2 scores available, an orchestral score by Alloy Orchestra and a ‘theatre organ’ score by Gaylord Carter, which is the one that was chosen for the current TCM presentation.

I must agree with you that the previous orchestral score is much more impressive.

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Just now, cmovieviewer said:

Lorna,

TCM had previously been showing a British Channel Four restoration with an orchestral score by Carl Davis.  Now they are showing a more recent Kino restoration - this version has 2 scores available, an orchestral score by Alloy Orchestra and a ‘theatre organ’ score by Gaylord Carter, which is the one that was chosen for the current TCM presentation.

I must agree with you that the previous orchestral score is much more impressive.

THANK YOU!

 

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note- I say this as someone with no musical talent whatsoever...

But scoring movies is a tricky enough business, REscoring them (or adding a score or music where it has been absent or for copyright issues) is really, to paraphrase MARTIN SCORCESE in that old TCM LETTERBOX PROMO "essentially REDIRECTING a movie."

you can really change the whole tone with music, and if it doesn't "fit" with the action/dialogue, it's really noticeable.

...and in the case of a composer rescoring a film where everyone involved is dead and has no say-so, you're giving someone a looooooooooooooot of license with other people's work in a way that makes me squeemish.

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Another thing worth mentioning is that the runtime of the current TCM version is around 78 minutes, whereas the previous version was 91 minutes.  Much of this difference might be explained by a switch from a 20 frames per second source to a 24 frames per second source, but an in-depth analysis would have to be done to determine if there are content differences between the two versions.  (You can see that the version Ray posted above is 102 minutes long for comparison.)

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3 hours ago, Swithin said:

Sometimes restorations of silent films feature new scores, which is generally a shame, although it may allow for a new copyright.  I had been looking forward to watching Piccadilly (1929), but the new score was so awful I couldn't watch it.

On the other hand, the Carmine Coppola score for Abel Gance's Napoleon is brilliant, an amalgam of classics and new scoring. I prefer it to the Carl Davis version. (I don't think Gance particularly liked the original score, by Arthur Honegger.)

 

 

 

First---

CRIPES LORNA----  You coulda squeezed your first posts into ONE and said all that was necessary.  ;) 

SWITHIN---

I've long wondered if silents,  made in many prints for national distribution, were delivered with designated scores for the pianists or organists in theaters t the time, or if those theater's musicians did their best at improvising.  I suspect( or hope?) it was the former.  and if it was, why not obtain those original scores for newly recording them for the restorations, or even recording orchestrated versions of the original scores?   I could never understand why an entertainment channel like TCM, purportedly  dedicated to "classic" film would commission new scores for the films.  And by the way---

Sometime in the early '80's Gance's restored  NAPOLEON  went on a nationwide U.S.tour.  In Detroit it was shown at the city's FORD AUDITORIUM, at the time the home to the Detroit symphony Orchestra.  I saw it there with CARMINE COPPOLA  conducting the Detroit orchestra  of his score while the movie was being shown on three huge screens constructed specially for the movie's "triptych" scenes.   It WAS a dazzling score.  But some U.S. critics didn't like it.

Sepiatone

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5 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

(And I have seen this movie many times.)

Anyone watching: is this score newly commissioned or just on this particular print TCM is showing? 
 

It is AWFUL. 

I haven't seen what showed on TCM last night, but scores do make the silents. At the virtual TCM film festival last spring, I was excited that "So This is Paris" (1926) was going to be shown. But the score was disappointing. Especially for the scene at The Artists' Ball. Silent Hollywood, a 1980 documentary, showed the ballroom scene to demonstrate that the silents had no problem with sound, just synchronized speech. That entire documentary was scored by Carl Davis, and he did a good job with the ballroom scene of So This is Paris. But I imagine copyright kept whoever restored it from using that part of Davis' score.  And some people just think they can do better if they start over, but they can't. 

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57 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

First---

CRIPES LORNA----  You coulda squeezed your first posts into ONE and said all that was necessary.  ;)

I know, I'm sorry. It was very early and I was still waking up and watching the movie as I posted, and the score was really starting to p!ss me off.

also, when i post with my phone, it is VERY HARD to edit and voice transcription is VERY UNRELIABLE, so sometimes I post in short bursts which are easier to fix errors in than several paragraphs.

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

(And I have seen this movie many times.)

Anyone watching: is this score newly commissioned or just on this particular print TCM is showing? 
 

It is AWFUL. 

Lorna - I'm no music  aficionado, but out of curiosity I played some of Phantom on Watch TCM, including where Carlotta sings and the chandelier drops.  The score is no Carl Davis creation, but it changes mood with the film and definitely does not sound like a Casio demo. There were two scores for this film. Could it be that Watch TCM has the score they did not broadcast last night?  When you have time you might look at it on Watch TCM and see if the score is different from what you heard. This sounds like it could be the Alloy Orchestra. 

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34 minutes ago, LsDoorMat said:

Lorna - I'm no music  aficionado, but out of curiosity I played some of Phantom on Watch TCM, including where Carlotta sings and the chandelier drops.  The score is no Carl Davis creation, but it changes mood with the film and definitely does not sound like a Casio demo. There were two scores for this film. Could it be that Watch TCM has the score they did not broadcast last night?  When you have time you might look at it on Watch TCM and see if the score is different from what you heard. This sounds like it could be the Alloy Orchestra. 

Alloy orchestra had keyboards.  Mostly they focused on percussion though, and not at all in the conventional sense.  This thread is a bit difficult to follow but somebody mentioned Spike Jones.  They both used unconventional percussion/junk as instruments, but Alloy Orchestra wasn't a comedy act.  So maybe this was it?

Anyhow they had a lineup change recently and now perform under a similar sounding name to Alloy Orchestra.  (Alchemy??)

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1 hour ago, LsDoorMat said:

Lorna - I'm no music  aficionado, but out of curiosity I played some of Phantom on Watch TCM, including where Carlotta sings and the chandelier drops.  The score is no Carl Davis creation, but it changes mood with the film and definitely does not sound like a Casio demo. There were two scores for this film. Could it be that Watch TCM has the score they did not broadcast last night?  When you have time you might look at it on Watch TCM and see if the score is different from what you heard. This sounds like it could be the Alloy Orchestra. 

I must correct myself - TCM is using the 'Alloy Orchestra' track.  (I thought that since it is so heavy on keyboards it must be the 'theatre organ' track. Thanks MCOH for the info.)

Use of the Alloy Orchestra track is confirmed by a YT clip of the unmasking scene from the Kino blu-ray, which matches the WatchTCM audio:

(The unmasking scene is around the 38 minute mark on WatchTCM if you want to compare.)

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