Old Today, 03:22 PM
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Sculpt Sculpt is offline
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Dracula (1931) Philip Glass Score

What's your thoughts on the Dracula (1931) Philip Glass Score?

I recently watched about 30 mins of the Dracula (1931) with the Philip Glass Score. The film runtime is 75 mins... so you can do the math.

This is a true story... upon first watching the film, I wondered if someone applied Philip Glass' pieces to the film. That is not a good sign. For the most part, I thought all of the Glass musical "pieces" were generally appropriate for the film -- in regards to the mood and 'time-period feel' -- I just thought it wasn't actually synced to the film, or not always synced. Egg on my face when I read in Wikipedia,

In 1998 composer Philip Glass was commissioned to compose a musical score for the classic film. The score was performed by the Kronos Quartet under direction of Michael Reisman, Glass's usual conductor.
Of course we live in a 'New McCarthyism", where I hear someone saying, "Don't you like Philip Glass?", "you're only twenty years late to the discussion", or something far more condescending, so let me immediately quote The New York Times,
The idea of commissioning a new score for an old film is interesting from an interaction-of-the-arts point of view, and it might have been even more interesting if Mr. Glass had provided a score that worked, which he didn't. ... Mr. Glass's score does not allow for the concept of eloquent silence: his music burbles away for 67 minutes of the 75-minute film. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/10/28/mo...s-thirsty.html
...And there's plenty more where that came from.

It wasn't just that I thought the music was not synced (and I apologize, as that would certainly be considered insulting, which I do not intend). I also thought the music volume obscured the dialogue in many parts; though this issue could certainly be exacerbated by of one's own sound reproduction system. In my past viewings of the non-Glass-scored Dracula (1931), I was certainly aware of it's general sound quality issues regarding "hiss" and low vocal amplitude. I had long wondered if a little background music would help or hinder the issue. But that actually leads to another question: director's intent.

Did the director (Todd Browning) intended the artistic silences and absence of music? There were technical limitations in 1931, and I'm not aware Browning ever addressed this issue, but suffice is to say he made it that way. Until I heard the Glass score with the film, I hadn't noticed the boosted tension of the silence.

I recently read TMC presented the film without the Glass score. I hope that will be the current standard.

Last edited by Sculpt; Today at 03:25 PM.
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Old Today, 07:27 PM
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sfear sfear is offline
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Interesting. Thanks for the info.
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