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PEYTON PLACE – Franz Waxman

November 22, 2021 Leave a comment Go to comments

GREATEST SCORES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Original Review by Craig Lysy

20th Century Fox producer Jerry Wald observed the enormous popularity of the novel Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, which sold 60,000 copies in the first ten days and soared to the top of the New York Times best sellers list, where it would remain for over a year. He convinced studio executives to back a film adaptation and purchased the film rights for $250,000. John Michael Hays was hired to adapt the novel, which ended up causing great controversy with the author. The story offers a sordid tale of moral hypocrisy and turpitude, which features scandals, murder, suicide, and incest. Hays was forced to sanitize the novel’s most lurid elements due to content restrictions imposed by the notorious Hayes Code. This “sanitation” enraged Metalious who would publicly deride the film, while taking her $400,000 share of the profits. Mark Robson was tasked with directing and provided a budget of $2.0 million. An excellent cast was assembled, which included Lana Turner as Constance MacKenzie, Diane Varsi as Allison MacKenzie, Hope Kange as Selena Cross, Arthur Kennedy as Lucas Cross, Lee Philips as Michael Rossi, Lloyd Nolan as Dr. Matthew Swain, Russ Tamblyn as Norman Page and Terry Moore as Betty Anderson.

The story is set in the town of Peyton Place New Hampshire beginning in 1937 and unfolding in the post WWII years. It follows the lives of three women; the repressed and lonely Constance, her illegitimate daughter Allison and Selena who lives in the poor neighborhood across the tracks. Woven into their narratives is Selena being raped by Lucas whom she eventually murders, Constance has an affair with a married man and has a child (Allison) out of wedlock, and Allison who abandons her mother after she discloses in the heat of an argument that she was illegitimate. Eventually all is reconciled with Constance and Allison reunited as mother and daughter, and Selena cleared of murder charges in the death of Lucas. The film was an enormous commercial success earning a profit of $23.6 million. The film made such an impression on the American public that it spawned a second film, Return to Peyton Place in 1961, a 514 episode television series from 1964-1969, and two TV films: Murder in Peyton Place in 1977 and Peyton Place: The Next Generation in 1985. Critics commended the film’s ensemble cast while acknowledging the fact that the novel’s more salacious elements had been white-washed. It received nine Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, two for Best Supporting Actors, Two for Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

Franz Waxman had scored one of producer Jerry Wald’s first films “Destination Tokyo” in 1944, which spawned an enduring friendship and five additional collaborations including; “The Very Thought of You”, Objective Burma”, “Pride of the Marines”, “Possessed,” and “Dark Passage”. There was never any doubt in Wald’s mind that Waxman would score the film and he personally solicited him for the job. Yet production delays with his current assignment “The Old Man and the Sea” presented an impediment. Wald ultimately got his wish when Waxman, in loyalty to him, withdrew from “The Old Man and the Sea”. Wald was ecstatic and related:

“Mr. Waxman is one of the few musicians I know who does not think that the film is accompanying his music – he makes his music work for the picture. He adds dimension to the story-telling by his sound effects in music. He also has the dramatic insight, which tells him when to stop the music. When people view the “Chase in the Woods”, for instance, they will find that suddenly, at its height, the music stops and all that is heard is the breathing of people involved in the chase and the natural sounds of the woods at night”.

Ironic is the fact that the “The Old Man and the Sea” replacement composer Dimitri Tiomkin would go on to win the Oscar that year.

In conceiving his soundscape Waxman understood that he would have to speak to the Peyton Place’s New England idyllic setting, fully understanding that it served as a veneer under which lied a truly sad and tragic narrative. To that end he created four themes, including one for the ages, which perfectly captures the film’s emotional core. The Peyton Place Theme offers slow, wistful strings romantico full of longing, which speak to the eternal quest of our yearning hearts for love’s fulfillment. Sadness and nostalgia permeate its notes providing an evocative exposition, which could soften the hardest of hearts, bringing both a smile and tears. The Story Theme offers repeating four-note phrases, which Waxman utilizes it as a leitmotif for supporting the film’s narrator passages and individual story arcs. It is usually emoted by wistful woodwinds pastorale and strings gentile. Allison’s Theme offers a beautiful free-flowing pastorale of woodwinds, which speaks to her free spirit, and supports her sweet and gentle nature. The Town Theme offers refulgent celebratory radiance as church bells, chimes and horns brillante emote Peyton Place’s idyllic, picturesque beauty. Worth noting is the fact that Waxman’s Peyton Place Theme was so popular that it was adapted into song called “The Wonderful Season of Love”, with lyrics by Paul Francis Webster and popularized by vocalist Rosemary Clooney. The song soared to number one in the charts and remained very popular for weeks.

“Main Title” offers a magnificent score highlight, a masterpiece composition for which Waxman gains immortality. It opens with the refulgent celebratory radiance of the Town Theme as church bells, chimes and horns brillante support the display of the 20th Century Fox studio logo and Cinemascope widescreen format. At 0:17 warm French horns and sumptuous strings romantico support the roll of the opening credits, which display against the idyllic New England countryside. At 0:42 racing strings energico unleash spritely woodwinds animato, which subside and at 0:54, and usher in Waxman’s wistful Peyton Place Theme borne by aching strings romantico adorned with a meandering contrapuntal flute tenero. At 2:39 we flow into the Story Theme atop solo oboe delicato alight with chimes radiante as the idyllic scenery of New England’s seasons flow before our eyes. This film opening offers a testament to the evocative power of music to set the tone of the film, and reel an audience in. Bravo!

In “Entering Peyton Place” Waxman supports narration by Allison MacKenzie with a beautiful exposition of his Story Theme by a pastorale by wistful solo flute and kindred woodwinds. To appreciate the beauty of the confluence I provide the narration;

“My name is Allison MacKenzie. Where I was born, time was told not by the clock or the calendar but by the seasons. Summer was carefree contentment. Autumn was that bittersweet time of regret for moments that had ended and things that were yet undone. And then winter fell, with a cold mantle of caution and chill. It nipped our noses and our arrogance… and made us move closer to the warm stoves of memory and desire. Spring was promise. But there was a fifth season, o love, and only the wise of the lucky ones knew where to find it”.

“Paul Leave Home” (*) offers an intervening scene that reveals Paul leaving home and saying goodbye to his mother, and sister Selena, as his drunk stepfather Lucas stole all his school money to by liquor. A solo flute triste emotes the Story Theme as he runs away. We resume cue 2 at 0:23 with churning strings, which usher in a sunny and confident Peyton Place Theme embellished with bubbling woodwinds of delight as Michael arrives in Peyton Place. The theme borne by strings felice carries his drive through the town’s picturesque streets, concluding as he parks and enters the “Village Restaurant”. “Nellie and Constance” (*) reveals Nellie arriving to house clean as a diegetic Piano Concert in A Minor, Opus 54 by Robert Schumann plays on Constance’s phonograph. Allison joins, eats quickly and then creates discomfort in Constance with her daily ritual of kissing her father’s photo. She then happily departs to meet the school’s new principle. “Going to School” offers a delightful score highlight! It reveals Allison running to school. The Town Theme’s refulgent celebratory church bell radiance alight with chimes and horns brillante (not on the album) initiate her run. We flow into a wonderful fugato propelled by strings energico. At 0:30 we shift to a bubbling piccolo felice, which carries her spirited run through town

“New Principal” (*) reveals teacher Miss Thornton reading an announcement that a Mr. Michael Rossi has been hired to be the new school principal. With a stiff upper lip, she accepts the bitter announcement as she had aspired for the job. Waxman supports with strings triste, which speak to her disappointment. “After School” offers a wonderful lyrical score highlight. reveals another mother-daughter quarrel when Constance tries to exclude the sexual flirt Betty and her popular boyfriend Rodney from Allison’s birthday party. She leaves the dress shop in a huff and Waxman supports with a dissonant ditty of flustered horns and petulant woodwinds. At 0:12 anger gives way to sadness as forlorn woodwinds carry Allison to the park where she joins Norman. At 0:33 the wistful Peyton Place Theme joins for one of most eloquent expositions in the film as she asks to walk home with him and they discuss their futures. We see that Norman is unhappy with his life and Waxman weaves an undercurrent of sadness in the notes. An exquisite melodic transfer to solo violin brings them to Norman’s house. The mood becomes forlorn as his harsh, demanding mother calls him to come in. Soft French horns joined by strings solenne support his request to Allison that she delay leaving as he dreads going home. A last utterance of the Peyton Place Theme by solo oboe and chimes of regret supports their goodbye.

“Hilltop Scene” offers a wondrous score highlight, with a masterful cinematic confluence. After church Norman and Allison go for a hike through the woods supported by strings felice and bubbling woodwinds of delight. At 0:18 a solo oboe pastorale emotes Allison’s Theme as she entices Paul to come to her private place. At 0:37 as they depart the happy traveling motif resumes to carry them to “Road’s End”. As they pass it, a woodwind pastorale carries them upwards joined by warm French horns. As they reach the hill crest at 1:00 we are graced by a sweeping exposition of the Peyton Place Theme as we behold a panorama of the verdant countryside below. French horns and playful woodwinds accent as Allison voices her hopes for the future, and Paul confides of buying books on human sexuality. A pathos of woodwinds with aching strings tristi unfold after she requests for him to open up and show her some affection, and he unbares his sorrow of living with his suffocating mother. She feels his pain and isolation and at 4:46 comes to him carried by the strings d’amore of the Peyton Place Theme. She comforts him and seeks to end his isolation by asking him to kiss her, which after some hesitation he does, twice, supported by strings tenero. This was a very emotional scene and Waxman’s music is masterful in expressing the opening of Paul’s heart.

“Rossi’s Visit” offers another score highlight of elegant romanticism. It reveals Michael’s visit to Constance who is home alone. Woodwinds tenero create a soothing ambiance as he enters and takes in her beautifully furnished home. We observe that he is attracted to her, and she is guarded. He sees that she lives a lonely life and exhorts her to come out of her shell and live life. She is hesitant but accepts his offer to chaperone at the upcoming school graduation dance. Waxman supports the scene with an evocative romance for strings full of gentility as we see Constance clearly affected by his words, the first stirrings of love she has felt in many years. “Father’s Demand” is unscored. It reveals Leslie Harrington coercing Rodney to disinvite Betty to the graduation dance as he believes she is the town tramp. “The Dance” reveals everyone celebrating graduation. Waxman supports by interpolating contemporaneous dance music including the upbeat swing number “Chattanooga Choo-Choo” by Harry Warren. Michael takes the opportunity to ask Constance for a dance, which she with hesitation accepts. We then flow into the romantic slow dance “You’ll Never Know” by Harry Warren where Allison asks Norman to dance with her, while Rodney takes Betty out to his new car intent on making love to her. She however slaps him with her purse and leaves, saying that she wants a real man, not a ‘Papa’s boy’! We close with Miss Thornton leading the closure with a choral voiced “Auld Lang Syne”.

“After the Dance” opens with a portentous bassoon with kindred woodwinds as Michael escorts Constance out. As they walk a flute and aching strings full of yearning carry their progress. At 0:49 a slow building crescendo romantico emoting the Story Theme commences as Michael first complements Constance, then takes her by the arm, and kisses her. Yet the climax dissipates with sad strings of rejection as she moves back and declares that love is over for her and for him to please take her home. A lonely and bleak piccolo triste supports their departure to close the scene. In “The Rape” Ted escorts Selena home and asks her to marry him rather than go to law school. She counsels him to be strong and not give up so easily on his dreams. Waxman supports the tender moment with a beautiful soliloquy by solo flute tenero and strings gentile emoting the Story Theme. The melody shifts to yearning violins d’Amore as they kiss and we see he truly loves her. As he departs, she says that she will wait for him, no matter how long it takes. At 1:01 Waxman sow unease as she enters the house and finds her mother and Paul missing. At 1:09 a dire bassoon rises as she discovers Lucas who grabs her and asks her to drink with him. She breaks free and closes the curtains to her bedroom supported by aggrieved violins. At 1:20 foreboding strings and grim woodwinds of the Story Theme gain voice sowing anxiety, which explodes at 1:50 in a horrific crescendo of violence as Lucas bursts in and rapes her. “Summer Montage” reveals summer in Peyton Place unfolding before our eyes with Allison’s narration. We open with a muted salutatory trumpet declaring the Story Theme as the students receive their diploma. At 0:12 we segue into 4th of July fireworks atop resplendent Americana. At 0:20 an idyllic oboe supports swimming at the lake, joined by wistful woodwinds emoting the Story Theme as we see boats sailing on the bay. We flow into shots of Allison and others working in town. The melody shifts to graceful strings as we see Allison bicycling to Michael’s home on the lake where he agrees to assist her desire to write by soliciting a job with the town newspaper.

“Doc Confronts Lucas” (*) reveals Dr. Swain advising Selena that she is pregnant and refusing her request for an abortion. He demands to know the father and she breaks down an admits she was raped by her stepfather. Dr. Swain is furious, confront Lucas and coerces him into signing an admission of guilt, saying he will keep it locked in his safe, but he has to leave Peyton Place and never return. We flow seamlessly into “Chase in the Woods” as Dr. Swain departs Lucas is enraged and throws an axe into the china cabinet supported by a crescendo of violence. An aftermath of strings affanato support Nellie’s devastation at the revelation as she stands unobserved at the back door. At 0:15 dire woodwinds and a menacing bass pizzicato carry Selena’s journey home. Lucas comes out and is furious, at 0:37 a crescendo of rage erupts causing Selena to run for her life into the woods with him in hot pursuit. Waxman propels her flight of desperation with pizzicato strings of terror empowering the pursuit music. Eventually the music subsides as she succeeds in eluding him. After he departs, horns brutale resound in terror at 1:25 as she begins running again for her life only to trip and tumble down a hill, the music dissipating in a diminuendo of sadness as she weeps in pain. At 1:59 we shift to Dr. Swain’s operating room atop chimes and distraught violins as he informs his nurse that he will chart this as an appendectomy, not a miscarriage. The nurse protests but is silenced by a blackmail threat of her relationship with a salesman. Outside he comforts Nellie and insists Selena is well and to protect her secret.

“Labor Day Celebration Part 1” (*) reveals the town turning out for the annual parade, which Waxman supports by interpolating contemporaneous music. We open with the spirited traditional march “The Washington Post” by John Philip Sousa as the marching band parades down the street. Leslie Harrington gives the holiday speech and afterwards the band strikes up “Keep Your Sunny Side Up” by Ray Henderson. A montage of scenes at the picnic is supported by “You Tell Me Your Dream, I’ll Tell You Mine” by Neil Moret and Seymour Rice and Albert H. Brown, “Sweet Genevieve” by Henry Tucker. “Swimming Scene” offers a score highlight. It reveals Allison and Norman bicycling to go swimming in the lake supported by the Story Theme rendered as a wonderful woodwind pastorale with French horn accents. At 1:04 we see Rodney and Betty having a picnic at the lake supported by a solo flute delicato. At 1:35 playful, bubbling woodwinds support their stripping to go skinny dipping. We switch back to Norman and Allison, and when he sees her in a bathing suit at 1:49 the Peyton Place Theme blossoms on strings d’Amore as they go swimming. At 2:29 Charles and Marion Partridge are fishing. Comic xylophone and woodwinds support Marion Page, the town gossip, being advised by her husband that he saw two naked kids swimming. He is unsure of their identity; she however is convinced it was Allison and Norman. At 2:57 we shift back to Betty and Rodney supported by a tender romance for strings as she expresses her love for him, and desire that he become his own man by standing up to his father and marrying her. At 4:12 sweeping nautical strings and warm French horns nobile support Michael and Constance reaching a lighthouse on the coast, and later a walk along the boardwalk at the harbor. He is affectionate, she is receptive, and we are graced by a wondrous romance for strings. At 5:11 we conclude on warm French horns felice and chimes, which support their enjoyment of a seaside lobster dinner.

Back in town in “Labor Day Celebration Part 2” (*) we see the band playing Beautiful Dreamer” by Stephen Foster. Later Marion gets off the phone having been caught by her husband spreading lies about Norman and Allison. We shift back to Michael and Constance as he walks her to her front door and kisses her goodnight. She accepts the kiss, but resists his amorous intentions. He presses for her to open up her heart, but she says she cannot do it, and he departs. “Constance’s Story” reveals her being notified by two people that Allison and Norman were swimming in the nude. Norman’s mother comes over and they confront their kids, who fervently deny it. Norman and his mother leave and Constance and Allison have a huge fight where in the heat of the moment she reveals that Allison’s father was not a good man, and was in fact married to another woman when she got pregnant. Music enters as a solo violin affanato and kindred strings of woe with the revelation, which devastates Allison who runs to her room crying in disbelief. A solo oboe sofferenza and grieving strings supports Constance who swipes her ‘husband’s’ photo off the mantle. We close with a mournful violin as Allison screams “Nellie”! Constance runs upstairs, and we behold Nellie’s dead from hanging in the closet.

“Dr. Swain Called” (*) reveals Dr Swain coming to treat Allison who is in shock supported by an oboe triste and mournful strings. As he departs, he relieves her of any guilt as a grieving violin weeps for the tragedy. The next day in “Allison’s Decision” we have a poignant score highlight of devastation. Constance brings Allison up some lunch, which she refuses, along with her attempts to mend the riff. Allison’s Theme emotes on aching, wounded strings to support her arrival and Allison’s steely silence. At 0:51 a crescendo dramatico supports Allison’s revelation that she is leaving Peyton Place for New York and never wants to see her again. Constance is devastated and the grieving Allison’s Theme resumes as she asks how she will make it alone. She answers she will get a job, and when Constance says what if you cannot get a job. A shattering crescendo erupts at 1:32 when Allison declares full of spite; “Then I’ll live off a man the same way you did.” As Constance walks away a solo violin affanato speaks to her unbearable pain. “Leaving for New York” reveals Selena running to the bus station and begging Allison to stay for naught. As the bus departs the Story Theme fanfare, borne by French horns bravura declare a new chapter in Allison’s life. The theme shifts to contemplative woodwinds and muted French horns as Allison speaks of her struggles to make it alone in New York. At 1:01 a dire orchestral wave of woe washes in as a newspaper displays “Japanese Attack Pearl Harbor!” At 1:08 a solitary trumpet triste supports the assembly of able-bodied men at Peyton Place’s Selective Service Board.

“Peyton Place Draftees” reveals Rodney saying goodbye to Betty supported by a bleak solitary oboe and harp glissandi. At 0:35 a plaintive line by strings and woodwinds, which shifts to an aching solo violin carries Rodney’s goodbye with his dad, who promises to look after Betty. At 1:03 the music become heavy and foreboding as the men are told to gather round to accept some parting gifts. At 1:29 a military bus arrives supported by snare drums and trumpet militare declarations as the men are ordered to board. As they board and Selana and Ted kiss, a warm and bittersweet Story Theme supports the parting. At 2:17 as the bus departs, we behold a grand and sweeping iteration of the Story Theme, the finest of the score. At 2:42 we demur and resume Allison’s narration supported by woodwinds gentile with chime adornment emoting her theme as she relates that she has overcome her obstacles and found herself. “Honor Roll” supports a montage of scenes with Allison narrating the ever-changing seasons and course of the war. Waxman supports with and extended rendering of Allison’s Theme borne by woodwinds gentile. The melody becomes plaintive and at 0:34 ushers in elegiac bell tolls as the Honor Roll of the fallen displays the town’s men killed in action. At 0:49 a bugle declares the “Taps” elegy as the name of Rodney Harrington is displayed. The grim pain of loss follows as Betty departs, only to be stopped by Mr. Harrington, who bares his heart, apologizes, and asks to reconcile, saying he was wrong, and that she made Rodney a better man. Waxman supports the poignant moment with an elegiac trumpet and strings solenne, which slowly warm as the two are reconciled.

“Michael is Leaving” reveals Constance hearing from a customer that Michael is preparing to leave town to accept a job in Portland. As he sits at home reading a book Waxman interpolates the traditional Christmas hymn “Joy to the World” by Lowell Mason. He hears a knock on the door and it is Constance who says she has come to wish him Merry Christmas supported by the traditional hymn “O Come All Ye Faithful by John Francis Wade. She relates the news she heard, and he confirms that the job offers more money, and he has a week to decide. We flow into “Love Me, Michael” where she bares her heart, admitting that Allison left because she was told callously that her father was a married man. She admits to Michael that she willingly lived with him, came home when he died, and has been lying out of shame ever since. As she opens up and unburdens herself, aching woodwinds of regret support the revelation. When he turns away to ponder, strings sofferenza speak to her sense that he is rejected her, and she bitterly grabs her coat and prepares to leave. Yet at 0:50 the music brightens with hope as warm strings of a comforting heart bring him to her, and he again declares that his offer remains open for her to take. She is relieved, they embrace and kiss supported by a crescendo amore. At 1:23 a resplendent rendering of the Peyton Place Theme as Selena and Paul decorate the Christmas tree.

An intervening scene with music splits this cue. (*) “Lucas Returns” reveals him arriving drunk and with obvious intent on having sex. As she tries to flee, he slams the door shut supported by an ominous orchestral strike, which unleashes a torrent of horrific violence as they fight. She escapes and as he charges, she strikes his head with a log, which stuns him. As he rises, she repeatedly strikes his head with bone crushing blows as a bleak solo oboe reprises “O Come All Ye Faithful”. The following three scenes are unscored. “Easter Remembrance” reveals it is months later as we see the town folk attending a remembrance of the fallen ceremony at an Easter celebration. Later military police come looking for Lucas who is AWOL and Selena denies ever seeing him. Afterwards she breaks down and makes an admission to Constance who insists on calling the police as Selena weeps uncontrollably. In “Allison and Norman” (*) they meet, reacquaint on a train and agree to have dinner. “Selena’s Request” reveals her out on bail beseeching Dr. Swain not disclose that she was raped, fearing its revelation would lose Ted. He informs her it is a bad idea, but relents. Later she lies to her lawyer by not disclosing the rape leaving it very likely that she will be sentenced to life in prison. Allison has returned to town and joins, informing the lawyer that she will testify that Lucas beat Selena.

“Allison and Constance” reveals Constance sighting Allison, who notices and takes refuge in a crowded hotel bar. Waxman supports with popular tunes of the day, including; The slow dancing “I Had The Craziest Dream” by Harry Warren, and “Waitin For The Train To Come In” by Harry James. Constance joins her at the bar only for her to flee for a table. She again joins, but her earnest attempt to reconcile is coldly rebuffed, as Allison orders her to leave, which she does with a heavy heart. “The Trial” (*) proceeds with the prosecutor relentlessly prosecuting the case with masterful skill, making conviction all but certain. The tide turns when Dr. Swain choses to break his vow to Selena and reveal the rape and miscarriage. The jury deliberates and finds Selena not guilty, which is supported by a low register piano chord. A piano ascent of relief carries Ted to Selena, and ushers in a Story Theme by flute delicato as he hugs and kisses her. As Selena and Ted depart, a solo cello triste supports Allison’s sadness as Norman looks on. As Selena exits the courthouse, she sees a crowd has gathered and she is full of dread until they begin welcoming her back to the community, which fills her with joy. “Constance and Allison Reunited” (*) reveals Michael walking her home, and an elegy full of regret supports their arrival. Allison turns and we see Allison running up the street. She runs up to Constance, says mother, and the embrace in love supported by a heartfelt statement of Allison’s theme. As Norman joins and they enter the house we close with a beautiful cinematic confluence with the twinkling magic of the Peyton Place Theme borne by woodwinds tenero and chimes and Allison’s closing narration: “We’ve finally discovered that season of love, it is only found in someone else’s heart. Right now, someone you know is looking everywhere for it and it’s in you”. We resume cue 17 at 1:44 with “End Title” with the joyous magnificence of the Town Theme. “End Credits” supports the roll of the opening credits and graces us with the warm nostalgia of the Peyton Place Theme.

I wish to commend Robert Townson and Varese Sarabande for this long-sought recording of Franz Waxman’s timeless masterpiece, “Peyton Place”. While the recording is not complete, its audio quality is excellent, and the performance of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of Frederic Talgorn is exemplary. Waxman perceived that his music would have to speak to the Peyton Place’s idyllic New England setting, fully understanding that it served as a veneer under which lied a truly sad narrative. He created four primary themes, including one for the ages, the Peyton Place Theme, a melody whose timeless beauty earns it a place in the hallowed halls of the pantheon of great cinematic themes. In a masterstroke Waxman captured the film’s emotional core, with a wistful melody, which brings a smile, and a tear. For me, this is one of those melodies, which you could program ‘repeat’ on your audio playback system and never grow tired, a testament to an iconic melody. The evocative Story Theme served as the unifying narrative thread, which held the film’s tapestry together. While the refulgent Town Theme dazzled us with an astounding radiant magnificence. Allison’s wistful and gentle theme perfectly embodied her character, offering a melody of wondrous lyrical beauty. I believe Waxman’s score was perfectly conceived and executed. In scene after scene Mark Robson’s handiwork was enhanced, allowing him to achieve his creative vision. I consider this score a late career masterpiece for Waxman and a testament to his mastery of his craft. It is a priceless gem of the Golden Age and I highly recommend you purchase this quality album for your collection.

For those of you unfamiliar with the score, I have embedded a YouTube link to the wondrous Main Title: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIc7wMOYRWo

Buy the Peyton Place soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Main Title (3:53)
  • Entering Peyton Place (1:37)
  • Going to School (1:22)
  • After School (3:36)
  • Hilltop Scene (6:45)
  • Rossi’s Visit (2:59)
  • After the Dance (2:29)
  • The Rape (2:07)
  • Summer Montage (1:19)
  • Chase in the Woods (2:29)
  • Swimming Scene (5:37)
  • Constance’s Story (2:04)
  • Allison’s Decision (2:09)
  • Leaving for New York (1:45)
  • Peyton Place Draftees (3:27)
  • Honor Roll (2:18)
  • Love Me, Michael; End Title (2:05)
  • End Credits (1:42)

Running Time: 49 minutes 43 seconds

Varese Sarabande VSD-6070 (1957/2000)

Music composed by Franz Waxman. Conducted by Frederic Talgorn. Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Original orchestrations by Edward Powell and Leonid Raab. Recorded and mixed by Jonathan Allen. Score produced by Franz Waxman. Album produced by Robert Townson.

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