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Sound of Cinema: The Harpsichord and Film

Lucie Skeaping presents a profile of the harpsichord in film scores from the late 1930s to the present day. #BBCSoundofCinema.

As part of the BBC's Sound of Cinema season, Lucie Skeaping presents a profile of the harpsichord in film scores. #BBCSoundofCinema

Lucie looks back on the pioneering work of Wanda Landowska in stimulating a renewed interest in the instrument in the first third of the 20th Century, and how the distinctive sound of the instrument quickly found a use in the cinema. She considers how the harpsichord has been used in film to suggest a sense of the past; a sense of the present; and how its created a particularly effective colour in the world of horror films.

Featured film scores include: "Wuthering Heights"; "Papillon"; "Restoration"; "Henry V"; "Love Story"; "Rosemary's Baby"; "The Vampire Lovers"; "Pirates of Caribbean"; "The Corpse Bride" and "Amelie".

58 minutes

Music Played

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Piano Sonata in A major, K.331: Rondo alla Turca

    Performer: Alice Ehlers.
    • Wuthering Heights (1939) MGM DVD 100001143MZ1.
    • MGM.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach

    English Suite No.1 in A BWV 806 - Prelude

    Performer: Richard Egarr.
    • HMU 907591.92.
    • Harmonia Mundi.
    • 1.
  • Klaus Badelt

    Music for Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl

    Conductor: Blake Neely. Composer: Hans Zimmer.
    • WALT DISNEY 353237 2.
    • Walt Disney.
    • 1, 2.
  • Ron Goodwin

    Miss Marple Theme

    Orchestra: BBC Philharmonic. Conductor: Rumon Gamba.
    • CHANDOS CHAN 10262.
    • Chandos.
    • 17.
  • François Couperin

    Les baricades mystérieuses

    Performer: Wanda Landowska.
    • Naxos 8.111055.
    • Naxos.
    • 6.
  • Danny Elfman

    Music for the film 'The Corpse Bride' - Main Title; According to Plan

    Actor: Albert Finney. Actor: Joanna Lumley. Actor: Tracey Ullman. Actor: Paul Whitehouse. Conductor: Nick Ingman.
    • WARNER SUNSET / WARNER BROS 9362-49473-2.
    • Warner Sunset.
    • 1, 2.
  • Jerry Goldsmith

    Music for the film 'Papillon' - Main theme

    • Silva Screen.
    • 1.
  • Krzysztof Komeda

    Music for the film 'Rosemary's Baby' - Theme

    • Emporio.
    • 14.
  • Francis Lai

    Music for the film 'Love Story' - Search for Jenny

    • MCA MCLD 19157.
    • MCA Classics.
    • 6.
  • Harry Robinson

    Music for the film 'Vampire Lovers' (1970) - Baron Harlog's Story

    • GDI Records.
    • 1.