May 10, 2012
When Hollywood was leaving no stone unturned as far as scenarios for disaster films in the 70’s Avalanche, filmed in Durango Colorado, and starring Rock Hudson, Mia Farrow, Jeanette Nolan, and Robert Forster came and quickly disappeared from the theaters. It was produced by Roger Corman and directed by Corey Allen and featured Styrofoam snow for the avalanche which didn’t occur until one hour into the film, a drawback pointed out by reviewers.
If you purchase this CD you’ll have the entire output of soundtrack material of Kraft. He has done other films but this score originally released on LP by the classical company Delos is an extended version with alternate takes giving the listener an additional 14 minutes in this limited edition of 1000 units from BSX (BSXCD 8903) records.
William Kraft is multi talented in the field of music being a fine timpanist, conductor, and composer of modern classical material in addition to his work on films orchestrating, conducting, and composing. His list of awards and achievements are far too long to list.
A triangle signals a single extended note from the violins that blend quietly with flutes setting a mood for the Main Title. A majestic horn announces a fanfare which quickly turns to disturbing dissonance as the other horns contribute along with off key strings. The impending doom has been set for this disaster picture. The noise is structured as the single string note ends the track. This very well thought out track is one that I had to listen to multiple times before I understood the complexity of what Kraft was saying with his music. Nick and Caroline is a small chamber ensemble that features a dialogue between flute and clarinet which is highlighted by strings. The theme from the flute and clarinet is somewhat familiar to what we heard in the opening cue. Tina’s Hysteria sounds like the orchestra is warming relaying the out of control character of Tina. While Sleigh Ride will never make your holiday compilation CD it is a sprightly offering with happy uplifting strings, flutter from the flutes and harmony supplied by the woodwinds. This is one of the tracks that are accessible and easy on the ears to listen to. Kathy’s Sequence (Skating) repeats the Caroline/Main Title theme but has more drama with Bernstein style strings and danger horns lurking in the background. Bruce and Annette (Jazz) is structured style jazz that has a catchy theme introduced by a piano that shares the melody with the woodwind section. It is nicely supported by the percussion. The cue leads to brass riffs harmonizing the theme nicely. The track ends with flute, bass, and piano as it begin. As I listened to this nice track my mind drifted to thoughts of Lalo Schifrin.
Annette’s Sequence (Skating) is quiet classical with frantic strings whirling around trying to decide where to land. There is a conversation between the strings and the flutes. The End Credit offers first the main theme and then the same horns and string motif you hear in the first track. Included on this release are two additional never heard before cues Snow Storm and Bruce Tries To Outrace the Avalanche both rather dissonant and disturbing? There are also 5 similar sounding alternate/short versions included.
This was a score that required several listens before I began to understand Kraft. There is a lot of texture and the dissonance parts are quite structured. It is worth having in your collection as this might be your only Kraft release.
1. Main Title (03:02)
2. To The Rescue (03:13)
3. Nick And Caroline (02:11)
4. Tina’s Hysteria (00:35)
5. The Aftermath (02:07)
6. Bruce Skiing / First Avalanche (01:47)
7. Sleigh Ride (01:23)
8. Burning Ambulance / Rescue (00:52)
9. Snowmobile Race (01:46)
10. Kathy’s Sequence (Skating) (02:37)
11. Bruce And Annette (Jazz) (02:55)
12. The Avalanche (02:51)
13. Mother Collapses / Henry Digs Out (02:50)
14. Death Of Mark (02:42)
15. Annette’s Sequence (Skating) (01:16)
16. End Credits (02:46)
Avalanche Outtake Suite (Mono)
17. Sleigh Ride (Short Version)
18. Nick And Caroline (Alternate version)
19. Snow Storm
20. Bruce Tries to Outrace the Avalanche / Avalanche (Alternate version)
21. Snowbound / To The Rescue (Alternate version)
22. Annette’s Sequence (Short Version)
Total Duration: 00:48:04
William Kraft conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra of London