3(III=picc).2(II=ca).3(III=bcl).2.cbsn - 4.3(I=ptpt).2.btrbn.1 - timp - perc(4): SD/TD/BD/tom-t/cyms/xyl/vib/glsp/t.bells/tam-t/wind chimes/tamb/tgl/gong/cast/finger cyms/whip - harp - strings (18.104.22.168.6)
Score and parts for hire
I wrote this score out of a lifelong delight in adventure movies, and admiration for the work of three great composers – Ralph Vaughan Williams, the quintessential composer of the ‘English landscape’, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, the genius who scored Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood and John Williams, our finest Hollywood composer and melodist. Fairbanks’s film is, by turns, funny, sad, playful, horrific, fast-moving and achingly romantic. The symphony orchestra palette gives me all the textures I need for the music to keep up with the action, and to drop us, the audience, into a beautifully realised Mediaeval world of courtly love and intrigue, royal pageants and vicious fights with love themes, action set-pieces and brooding, underscored evildoing. But throughout I try to bring out Fairbanks’s sense of fun – his delight at his stunts, his self-mocking comedy, his smile and his awareness that what we want is spectacle and entertainment, and he is ready to give it to us in epic style! It is hard work for an orchestra, and I am hugely grateful to the BBCSO for commissioning this score.