Naxos' six-CD box set Monster Music!
is a collection of classic horror film soundtracks that have been re-created for the digital age in recordings by conductors William Stromberg
, Carl Davis
, and Antoni Wit
. The films evoked in this package are King Kong and House of Frankenstein (each represented by their complete scores), with selections from Bram Stoker's Dracula, Curse of the Werewolf, Son of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and a handful of less famous titles. The restorations and reconstructions by John Morgan
preserve the music that gave these movies their emotional power and more than a few of their chills. If one composer dominates this set, it is the celebrated Max Steiner
, whose musical contributions to King Kong, Son of Kong, and The Most Dangerous Game should be instantly recognized by film buffs. The set also includes scores by Hans J. Salter
, Paul Dessau
, Frank Skinner
, Benjamin Frankel
, and Wojciech Kilar
, who is best known for his atmospheric music for Stoker's Dracula. The performances by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra
, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
, and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra
give vivid impressions that retain the energy and color of the originals. Naxos provides its customary fine sound, and though there is some variability between the different performances, which were recorded between 1994 and 2005, the set is quite consistent in audio quality.