Hans J. Salter

Creature from the Black Lagoon: A Symphony of Film Music by Hans J. Salter

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This compact disc, licensed from Salter's company shortly before his death at the age of 99, illustrates the confusion over precisely what Salter wrote, and what was written by others and assembled by the Universal music department. Joe Gershenson signed his name to most of it, and Salter wrote some of it, but so did Henry Mancini and others. The best part of this collection is "The Incredible Shrinking Man," with its striking dissonances, while "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" will be the most familiar, but the most enjoyable part is "The Black Shield of Falworth" -- the score, which is better than the Tony Curtis/Janet Leigh costume movie, is a delightful heroic idyll, parts of which later turned up prominently in the early-'60s cartoon show The Mighty Hercules. It's a Hollywood "period" score, but it is great fun. The sound is good, a little bass-heavy, but it cleans up and balances nicely.

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