Wendy Carlos is best known for helping to popularize the analog synthesizer in 1968 with Switched-On Bach, her loving and groundbreaking transcriptions of Baroque masterworks for that instrument. Less well known is the fact that she went on to a successful career as a film composer, contributing music to A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, the pioneering computer-generated film Tron and other small and independent film projects. The two discs in this set (which are sold separately) collect previously unreleased examples of her film work, primarily snippets of material from the movies mentioned above, along with a handful of other miscellaneous items (incidental music from UNICEF films, two Dolby System test tracks, etc.). Interestingly, it's her orchestral writing that provides the most satisfying moments on these two programs, in particular her complex and gorgeous "Paraphrase for Cello," which is unfortunately played with less than perfect intonation by an unidentified chamber ensemble. Her Purcellian excursions on the Clockwork Orange material are both lots of fun, and the UNICEF film music is also very enjoyable. The long strings of brief snippets from The Shining get a bit tedious, though each piece is interesting individually. Overall, these discs should be considered essential purchases for Carlos' many fans, but newcomers might want to start with the Switched-On Brandenburgs or Well-Tempered Synthesizer.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson
|The Shining, film score (1980)|
|A Clockwork Orange, film score|