Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Another victim of "Peeping Tom"?

Donald McLeod has drawn attention to the work of Brian Easdale, the composer favoured by Michael Powell, in his current series of Composers of the Week, which features British screen composers. It is surprising how so accomplished a film composer (Hans Keller's judgement), the first British composer to receive an Academy Award for a feature film, could have disappeared from consciousness. My guess is that it is to do with his last major credit, Peeping Tom. This challenging film, which would have been a critics' favourite fifty years later, was universally condemned on its 1960 release. Director Michael Powell was rescued by Martin Scorsese in the late 1970s , but after Happy Deathday in 1968 Easdale seems to have been cold-shouldered by the industry apart from some shorts.

Easdale wrote music for the concert-hall too, and the titles are intriguing. As a Mancunian, perhaps his music could be revived by the Salford-based BBC Philharmonic.

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