Silva Screen Records specializes in creating newly recorded albums of music that originated in film scores, but its album drawn from the music for the TV series The Fugitive is the real thing, the actual soundtrack music as recorded back in 1963 by a pickup group of players recruited largely from the London Symphony Orchestra and dubbed the London Studio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Harry Rabinowitz. As annotator Jon Burlingame explains, scoring for a television series was very different from scoring a film, which is usually done as part of post-production. For the series, composer/arranger Pete Rugolo wrote a series of cues in advance, including chase scenes (a lot of them, given the show's subject) as well as romantic interludes and other generic plot points, for a total of between 75 and 90 minutes of music. That music was then reused throughout the series' run, which in this case was 120 hour-long episodes over four years! (Some episodes borrowed other music originally written for other series, however.) Not surprisingly, Rugolo's music sometimes seems generic, but his main theme is striking (especially in the jazz version), and certain pieces, particularly "Tragic Homecoming" and "Brass Interlude," are powerful. A jazz arranger, Rugolo's at his best with horns and percussion, and he is good at conveying excitement, which given the nature of the project made him the right choice. The monophonic sound is clean and clear, especially for music that has been sitting on the shelf for 38 years.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann