He then became interested in music. In it was revived, starring Bambi Linn. Career in film composition[ edit ] The Warsaw Concerto was written for the film Dangerous Moonlight , and continues to be a popular concert and recording piece. The film-makers wanted something in the style of Sergei Rachmaninoff , but were unable to persuade Rachmaninoff himself to write a piece.
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Background[ edit ] The composer, Richard Addinsell , was born in London and initially studied law before turning to a career in music. His time at the Royal College of Music was brief, as he was soon drawn to musical theatre, and he also wrote for radio, but his most memorable contributions are to a series of film scores beginning in He wrote the music for the film Goodbye, Mr. Chips , the original Gaslight released in , not to be confused with the later Hollywood version , Scrooge , and Dangerous Moonlight , also released in the US as Suicide Squadron.
John Huntley explores the reason behind this concept: The associations which individual members of the audience may have in relation to a certain piece of well-known music are quite beyond the control of the director of a film in which it is used…. And so with Dangerous Moonlight it was rightly decided to have a piece of music specially written, that could be used to become associated in the mind of the audience with Poland, air raids in Warsaw, and whatever the director wanted to suggest.
The opening of the work is heard when the two protagonists meet, and it is further developed when they are on their honeymoon. Finally, in the only extended concert sequence, we are given the closing section. But its use is not restricted to scenes with the "composer" at the piano. The themes are found as underscoring throughout the film, and in this way a brief concert piece gains a dramatic resonance that belies its small scale.
Role in the film[ edit ] Dangerous Moonlight takes place at the start of World War II and tells the story of a Polish concert pianist and composer, Stefan Radecki Anton Walbrook who defends his country by becoming a fighter pilot.
After an air raid in Warsaw by the German army, he is discovered by an American reporter, Carol Peters Sally Gray , practising the piano in a bombed-out building. It is the opening of his Warsaw Concerto, at this point a work in progress, and the first line he says to her is, "It is not safe to be out alone when the moon is so bright" referring to the moonlight bombing raids.
And, indeed, this melody is always associated with Carol. Stefan speaks of the piece later in the film: "This music is you and me. But finish it he does. Similar to the way that Rachmaninoff returns to his second theme in his Second Piano Concerto, the "Carol" melody is used, not only to bind together the emotional strands of the drama, but to bring the Concerto to a triumphant conclusion.
Only one movement was actually written by Addinsell. The off-screen piano part was played by Louis Kentner , a fine British musician known for his performances of Franz Liszt , but he had insisted that there be no on-screen credit, for fear that his participation in a popular entertainment would harm his classical reputation.
In his appearance on Desert Island Discs , Guy Gibson , leader of the Dambusters raid, asked for it as his first choice. Don "Creesh" Hornsby included a version of the Concerto in his comedy act, often performed suspended by his heels, in the late s.
The theme of the Concerto is borrowed in a popular-music love song whose lyrics include "The world outside will never know For the film, Budd added lyrics by Leslie Bricusse to his arrangement of the music, the resulting song being entitled The Precious Moments, sung by Matt Monro.
Other pop culture references[ edit ] British composer Clive Richardson composed London Fantasia as a sequel to the Warsaw Concerto in The Concerto is frequently used in championship figure skating especially in Japan. John Huntley defines the term as a "piece of context film music which was duly recorded and edited into the finished film". Guy Gibson. London: Viking, Penguin Group.
Addinsell, Richard / WARSAW CONCERTO - Score
Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto: 'bloody awful'?