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CHAN 10306
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CHAN 10306

The Film Music of Stanley Black

The Classical Shop
release date: April 2005

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2004


BBC Concert Orchestra

Barry Wordsworth


Watford Colosseum


Ralph Couzens

Neil Varley


Ralph Couzens

Michael Common

(Assistant: 23 & 24 November)

John Benton

(Assistant: 24 November)

Record Label
Chandos Movies


Orchestral & Concertos

Film & TV Music

Total Time - 69:45
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The Film Music of Stanley Black



Select Complete Single Disc for
  All suites edited by Stephen Hogger  
  premiere recordings  

Battle of the Sexes

1 Movement I 0:55
2 Movement II 2:29
3 Movement III 4:44

Sands of the Desert

4 Movement I 2:34
5 Movement II 1:43
6 Movement III 2:52
7 Movement IV 2:02

Stormy Crossing

8 Movement I 1:57
9 Movement II 5:15
10 Movement III 5:16
11 Movement IV 4:44

Blood of the Vampire


Jack the Ripper

13 Movement I 2:27
14 II Movement II 5:12
15 III Movement III 6:13

Three Steps to the Gallows

16 Movement I 2:54
17 Movement II 4:14

The Young Ones

This month Chandos Movies, one of the best known film music labels in the industry, turns its spotlight on one of Britain’s most prolific film composers. While some may not be familiar with the name Stanley Black, most people of a certain generation could hum a tune or two of his! Stanley Black produced music for projects as diverse as The Goon Show, Summer Holiday, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Jack the Ripper. He was an enormously versatile composer who could produce music from the wildly romantic through the comedic to the bloodcurdlingly gruesome with equal élan. The BBC Concert Orchestra obviously relishes this music and performs it with great zest and enthusiasm.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is particularly at home in lighter repertoire. It is the official orchestra of Britain’s longest-running live music programme on radio, Friday Night is Music Night. The orchestra is conducted on this disc by its Principal Conductor, Barry Wordsworth, whom we welcome to the Chandos label.

All these film scores have been specially arranged by Stephen Hogger for the concert hall and this is their first commercial recording.

"Stanley Black scored approximately 200 films. He also introduced concert-hall audiences and record buyers to a wide range of music – from both cinematic and classical repertoires – through his work as a conductor, which included posts with the BBC Dance Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra (of which he was the first non-American conductor). Black’s film and conducting work were but two sides of a multi-faceted career, which began when the BBC performed one of his orchestral compositions when he was only twelve; while still a teenager he won an award for arranging from Melody Maker magazine and was soon in demand as a jazz pianist. In this capacity he worked alongside American musicians of the stature of Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins during their rare visits to England, and played extensively for British dance bands before joining the staff of the BBC in 1944 and producing music for literally thousands of radio programmes. His film work begin in earnest after 1948 and in 1958 he became music director at Elstree studios, continuing to work there into the 1970s.

Much of Stanley Black’s inventive scoring for horror films and comedies in the 1950s and 1960s has been in danger of sinking into obscurity because many of the projects on which he worked – apart from those featuring international stars such as Cliff Richard (The Young Ones) and Peter Sellers (Battle of the Sexes) – have largely disappeared from view on account of the inevitable dating of the production styles they embody. The present compilation offers a timely reminder of the resourcefulness and versatility brought to the screen by an experienced film composer, even when confronted with sometimes mediocre dramatic material.

As the CD notes by Mervyn Cooke aptly put it, this music represents ‘a lost age of innocently witty film writing’. As ever Chandos has done this repertoire proud with a luminous and full-bodied recording.

Stanley Black was an unsung stalwart of British film music who died in 2002. Here he is remembered in some fine premiere recordings by Chandos. Horror scores such as the preposterous ‘Blood of the Vampire’, the cross-channel swimming drama ‘Stormy Crossing’, and highly effective good-time caper music for Cliff Richard’s ‘The Young Ones’ are all highlights from an enterprising disc. Barry Wordsworth steers the BBC Concert Orchestra with unerring agility.
BBC Music Magazine

Light music at its finest, from a conductor and orchestra fully at home in this idiom.
Gramophone on CHAN 10115 (Langford)

These very sympathetic performances, in excellent sound, preserve a piece of Old England – something to be treasured.
International Record Review on CHAN 10115 (Langford)

Excellent playing makes this a valuable addition to the Chandos Film Library.
Suffolk & Norfolk Life

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