Even though Universal's over-the-top film House of Frankenstein seems more amusing than scary today, its spine-tingling score by Hans Salter and Paul Dessau was quite effective for its purposes and remains one of the more atmospheric and compelling examples of music from the golden age of monster movies. John Morgan's carefully restored score brings new life to the haunted scenes created in 1944 by Salter and Dessau (along with a few cues composed in collaboration with Frank Skinner and Charles Previn, and gypsy music arranged by Max Rapp and Milton Rosen.) The vivid performance by William Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra gives a detailed look at the moody, motive-laden soundtrack that supported the actions of the Wolf Man (Lon Chaney, Jr.), Dracula (John Carradine), Dr. Gustav Niemann (Boris Karloff), his hunchback servant Daniel (J. Carrol Naish), and of course, Frankenstein's Monster (Glenn Strange). Such a "monster rally" may be ludicrous to the serious horror fan, but the film did inspire much brooding and menacing music, and connoisseurs of classic film scores will find it far from clichéd or silly and quite sophisticated for its time. This recording was originally released by Marco Polo in 1995, and the sound quality of this 2007 Naxos reissue is excellent, thanks to the superb acoustics and engineering at Mosfilm Studio, Moscow.
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