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Since his first compilation albums from the 1950s - Backgrounds for Brando and Love Scenes for Dot Records, in 1958 - Elmer Bernstein unofficially (and perhaps unconsciously) began preserving the fine work of his peers and idols.

During the 1960s, he started to re-record some of his own work, like The Ten Commandments for United Artists Records, but his best-known albums were the classic 13 he produced & released between 1974-79 that made up the FIlm Music Collection. (A 14th album, the original score release of Jerry Fielding's Scorpio, appeared on volume 11, and has since appeared on a 1991 Bay Cities compilation CD.)

The albums also spawned The Notebooks - composers talking shop in a series of newsletters that were published during the 1970s as an adjunct to the albums.


The first FMC album


The original FMC run included re-recordings of Miklos Rozsa's Thief of Bagdad (FMC-8), Madame Bovary (FMC-12) and Young Bess (FMC-5), and Alex North's Death of a Salesmen and Viva Zapata (FMC-9).

Through the FMC run, Dimitri Tiomkin's music for the Cinerama feature Search for Paradise - previously available on a mono RCA LP (and since reissued in Spain by RCA) - could finally be heard in stereo, coupled with The High and the Mighty (FMC-14). Tiomkin was also represented with Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Land of the Pharaohs (both on FMC-13, and one of the toughest in the series for collectors to acquire).

There was also Franz Waxman's The Silver Chalice (FMC-3), Alfred Newman's Wuthering Heights (FMC-6), and selections from Max Steiner's Helen of Troy and A Summer Place (both FMC-1).

While Bernard Herrmann's Ghost and Mrs. Muir (FMC-4) was a perfect choice, Bernstein also recorded Herrmann's rejected music for Torn Curtain (FMC-10), making it possible to finally hear the music that kind of contributed to the breakup of Herrmann's professional association with director Alfred Hitchcock. (Curtain was later re-recorded in a near-complete form by Joel McNeely in 1998 for Varese Sarabande, while 3 cues from the original aborted recording session - "Prelude," "The Ship," and "The Radiogram" - were released on a weak compilation album from MCA/Hip-O-Records in 1999, titled Alfred Hitchcock presents Signatures in Suspense.)

Bernstein also re-recorded his own score for To Kill A Mockingbird (FMC-7), plus some lesser-known works - The Miracle and Toccata for Toy Trains (both on FMC-2). The original mono recording for Toccata later appeared as the first and only release on Bernstein's fledgeling Amber label, Music for Films by Charles and Ray Eames, Vol. 1.

A trio of titles, Thief of Bagdad, To Kill a Mockingbird, and, more interestingly Torn Curtain, were later reissued by Warner Bros. Records in 1978, and remained the easiest LPs in the series to find.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was later reissued by Varese Sarabande on LP, tape and CD. In 1985, Bernstein also used the Film Music Collection name to brand two albums featuring music from John Wayne films, recorded with the Utah Symphony Orchestra and produced by the late George Korngold; for obvious reasons, these digital recordings, released on LP, tape and CD, fall outside of the original 70s installments.


Rozsa looking more like Bernard Herrmann in this vintage cover shot


In 2006, the entire 13 album set was given new life in a deluxe boxed set by Film Score Monlthy, limited to 2000 copies. As Lukas Kendall explains on Page 2, the endeavor was a major production, and a bit of a dream project.



Dimitri Tiomkin playing the Times Crossword Puzzles



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