Beulah - Classical Music for British Transport Films


1PDR33 Classical Music for British Transport Films

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The famed documentary film unit, British Transport Films, often engaged composers to write for them.

Edward Williams (1921-2013) wrote more film scores for BTF than any other composer. Here is his first composition made for Cine Gazette No. 9 Open House. The film visits country houses around London, all served by London Transport Green Line coaches or country buses.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) composed his last film score for the BTF title England of Elizabeth. However BTF used his music in other titles notably The Wasps Overture for Fully Fitted Freight and two movements from Symphony No2. for The Scene from Melbury House .

Edward Elgar (1857 - 1934) paid tribute to Londoners with his Cockaigne Overture so it appeared to BTF that this music would suit their tourist promotional film of London, A City for all Seasons.

George Frideric Handel (1685 - 1759) choral masterpiece Messiah fits well with the tradition of singing in South Wales so John Trumper the film’s music editor delighted in setting parts of this work to the images in Every Valley.

The time lapse film Lets GoTo Brimingham made to promote the Blue Pullman train between London Paddington and Birmingham Snow Hill, stopping only at Leamington Spa en route, required a jovial and fast moving musical accompaniment perfectly met by Perpetuum Mobile by Johann Strauss II (1825 -1899)

The films that can be watched on You Tube are:-

A City for All Seasons (1969) no and Open House (1951) are not currently available.

Listen to our 10 minute trailer for this album

Track details

1. Johann Strauss Perpetuum Mobile Op. 257. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent. Recorded in Walthamstow Assembly Hall 1962 . Producer Charles Gerhardt, engineer Kenneth Wilkinson (recorded in stereo but reproduced here in mono as the soundtrack of the film was in mono).

2. Ralph Vaughan Williams Wasps Overture. London Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Sir Adrian Boult. Recorded in the Kingsway Hall, London, 1 January 1954 under the supervision of the composer. Producer John Culshaw, engineer Kenneth Wilkinson.

3-8 George Handel Messiah HWV 54. London Philharmonic Orchestra and choir conductor Sir Adrian Boult. Recorded in the Kingsway Hall, London, January 1954 Producer James Walker, engineer Kenneth Wilkinson. Tracks are in the order the music is used on the film:-
3. Every Valley ( George Maran, tenor)
4. The people that walked in darkness (Owen Brannigan, bass)
5. Overture
6. Pastoral Symphony
7. Their sound is gone out
8. All we like sheep

9-10. Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 2, A London Symphony, 2.Lento, 3. Scherzo. London Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Sir Adrian Boult. Recorded in the Kingsway Hall, London, January 1952 under the supervision of the composer. Producer John Culshaw, engineer Kenneth Wilkinson.

11. Edward Elgar Cockagine Overture, Op.40. London Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Edward van Beinum. Recorded in the Kingsway Hall, London, May 1949. Producer Victor Olof, engineer Kenneth Wilkinson.

12. Edward Williams Open House, arrangement edited from the original music sessions by Barry Coward. Recorded in 1951 at Riverside Studios, London by Ken Cameron with Natalie James (oboe), Bernard Walton (clarinet), Dennis Brain (horn), Cecil James (bassoon).


Classic music for british transport films

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