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Michael Shapiro

Frankenstein - The Movie Score

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Frankenstein (1931) Trailer, James Whale
Interplay with Norman Lebrecht
INTERPLAY with Band Maestri
INTERPLAY with Garrett Keast
INTERPLAY with Gabriela Montero
INTERPLAY with Jamie Bernstein
Interplay with Lara Downes
INTERPLAY with Andreas Haefliger
INTERPLAY with Adrian Partington
INTERPLAY with Francesca Zambello
INTERPLAY with Sir James Galway
INTERPLAY with Martin Bresnick
INTERPLAY with Sara SantAmbrogio
INTERPLAY - Leonard Slatkin
INTERPLAY - JoAnn Falletta
INTERPLAY - Jerry Junkin
INTERPLAY - Elliott Forrest
1 Frankenstein - The Movie Score

James Whale's film classic Frankenstein (1931), starring Boris Karloff, was released without a musical score, as were many films in those early days of the talkie.  A number of critics, including Leonard Maltin, have remarked that Frankenstein is badly in need of music.  Michael Shapiro's 70-minute score is written to be played simultaneously with the screening of the film.  For modern-day concert- and moviegoers, his haunting music adds significantly to the emotional impact of the film.

Michael Shapiro was commissioned in 2002 by the Boris Koutzen Foundation to write this film score. The world premiere of this work, with live chamber orchestra and film, occurred in October 2002 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Jacob Burns Film Center in New York. Since its premiere, it has received over 50 performances worldwide, including its European premiere at the Bergen International Festival in Norway, and at the Mariinsky Theater Film Annex in St. Petersburg, with major symphony orchestras in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., by Federal service bands such as the United States Navy Band in Washington, D.C., and the Royal Canadian Air Force Band (La Musique de Aviation royale canadienne) in Winnepeg, and university ensembles throughout the Americas.

The overture of the full orchestral version was recorded by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the U.K. Due to its worldwide popularity, Michael Shapiro's Frankenstein is available in four (4) versions:

Chamber orchestra (15 players)(adaptable for strings into a theater orchestra version (25-35 players)
Full symphony orchestra (70+ players with double winds and added percussion) (premiered by the Virginia Symphony)
Wind ensemble (premiered by the Dallas Winds at Meyerson Symphony Center)
New operatic version for five singers and chamber orchestra (libretto is the Latin Requiem Mass)
Duration: 70 minutes

Michael Shapiro has written in virtually all genres, including opera, symphony, concerto, choral and chamber works, and over 100 songs.

Michael Shapiro's works have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe-with broadcasts of premieres on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Sender Freies Berlin, WQXR, and WCBS-TV. His music, which spans across all media, has been characterized in a New York Times review as "possessing a rare melodic gift." His oeuvre includes more than 100 works for solo voice, piano, chamber ensembles, chorus, orchestra, as well as for opera, film, and television, with recordings on Naxos and Paumanok Records.


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