Universal Monster Army

Cinematic Creeps => Classic Monster Movies => Topic started by: Barlow on December 20, 2009, 03:08:55 AM

Title: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Barlow on December 20, 2009, 03:08:55 AM
Ok,first a big thanks to Vic for transferring this version I had on VHS to DVD.  ;)

This is by far the best musical score I've ever heard for the 1922 Nosferatu film. I copied it from an old tape I rented at Blockbuster and it's the one I've always felt had the proper, most fitting spooky sound. Here's a small clip:

http://www.undermountain.org/nosferatu-score.AVI (http://www.undermountain.org/nosferatu-score.AVI)


Can anyone tell me who did the score? Also, who else here likes it or has heard it?
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: marsattacks666 on December 21, 2009, 01:48:47 AM
The only one I know was released by IMAGE in 2001. Original music by James Bernard, and was performed by the city of Prague Philharmonic. If there is another score, then I'm stumped.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Barlow on December 21, 2009, 02:06:36 AM
This definitely predates the IMAGE release. I taped it in about 1990 or 1991.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: marsattacks666 on December 25, 2009, 10:44:40 AM
Then I'm unsure who did the score????  I do like the score that's on my dvd.Anyone else in The UMA uni-verse know???
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: dlhenderson on December 25, 2009, 02:26:53 PM
Don't have the answer to that one.
Here's another mystery: Back in the early-mid seventies, the local PBS affiliate showed a version of Metropolis with a really fun effects track. No, this wasn't the Moroder "rock version". I remember when Rotwang was in his lab; every turn of a knob or manipulation of his machinery produced beeps, bloops, and boings. Very energetic sound mix. No home version I've ever heard included this particular score/effects track and I don't know who created it.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: marsattacks666 on December 25, 2009, 06:13:27 PM
Don't have the answer to that one.
Here's another mystery: Back in the early-mid seventies, the local PBS affiliate showed a version of Metropolis with a really fun effects track. No, this wasn't the Moroder "rock version". I remember when Rotwang was in his lab; every turn of a knob or manipulation of his machinery produced beeps, bloops, and boings. Very energetic sound mix. No home version I've ever heard included this particular score/effects track and I don't know who created it.

Another mystery.....Wow!!!!!! now I'm really stumped again.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Gwynplaine on December 29, 2009, 11:24:50 AM
I thought for sure that one of the three copies I own would have the score you're looking for -
But, alas - it was not meant to be...
Seems all the music on the versions I have are "updated", which is a shame because from the snippit I heard of the one you posted it sounds far superior to any of the ones I have...

Sorry I couldn't be of any more help...

 ;D
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: zombiehorror on December 29, 2009, 12:01:58 PM
Did a quick search and found this info~

http://www.nosferatumovie.com/nosferatu_music.html (http://www.nosferatumovie.com/nosferatu_music.html)
"The "Masterworks of German Cinema" DVD has a version of Nosferatu with a score by a German composer named Peter Shirman. We are told that this chamber piece was most likely composed in the 1960's for live accompaniment of the film in Europe. This score is reported to have made its way onto some of the earliest VHS tapes of the film."

http://www.horror-wood.com/nosferatu.htm (http://www.horror-wood.com/nosferatu.htm)
"Madacy Home Video offers a good, clean print, nicely framed, with new main titles. A jazzy orchestral score by Peter Schirmann is rather good; it actually tries to follow the action instead of just vamping (bad choice of words?) to the appropriate mood. Maybe thatís frowned upon by purists, but I like it. Alpha Video has a traditional print with an unaccredited orchestral score. Both of these go for about $7."

"Diamond and Navarre offer different, uncredited musical scores, mostly organ solos, with Diamondís heavy on swipes from Bach. Theyíre adequate. All of these suffer from speckles, splices and the usual glitches to which old film is heir. The Alpha and Madacy discs show evidence of greater care in the transfer; the other two are overscanned. (You will note that the opening titles are clipped at the edges. A common benchmark is the memorable scene wherein Orlok rises catapult-fashion from his coffin on the ship, and just how much of his head is cut off at the top of the frame.)"

Any idea what company your copied vhs was released thru!?!?  Even if you know the answer may never be known since it appears most of the scores are uncredited.  I'm still at the in-laws right now but I do have a vhs of Nosferatu at home that I will check out when I get back.

Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on May 28, 2015, 08:12:07 PM
This score was featured on the tape released by a company known as "Hollywood Home Theater", who released a rather infamous version of "Black Devil Doll From Hell", a friend of mine uploaded the whole thing on YouTube, sadly the audio drops in parts. Not much is known about this release, which is shocking to me since it was a score unique to the film instead of the usual canned recordings that we got on those tapes. I'm looking for a copy of the tape myself, it's really rare apparently, I've never seen a copy of it online or out in the field. My friend sent me the cover, which was surprisingly in one of those big Disney-style clamshells. If I find out more about this version, I will let this group aware of the info.
Cover: http://prntscr.com/7alf8u (http://prntscr.com/7alf8u)
Uploaded VHS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq_RbUZBR6Q (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq_RbUZBR6Q)
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Count_Zirock on May 28, 2015, 08:36:28 PM
Sounds like the score was done on a synthesizer. Not bad, really. Too bad there aren't any credits for the music.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on May 28, 2015, 08:44:43 PM
Sounds like the score was done on a synthesizer. Not bad, really. Too bad there aren't any credits for the music.

I know, out of all the scores I heard, this one is the best and most foreboding one I've heard. It does put one on edge, According to WorldCat, this company put out "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" and "Metropolis", I can just imagine how unsettling those scores are. And it seems from looking at the records, all of these tapes came out roughly in 1980. I have a feeling this company was probably a catalog only distributor, ala Video Yesteryear, although I'm not 100% sure. Once you get to these fly-by-nights records and memories go south. Apparently this tape was a Blockbuster staple, my friends copy was withdrawn from circulation as late as 5/28/1998
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Barlow on May 28, 2015, 11:00:54 PM
That's the one! Creepiest, most haunting version I've ever heard. It does seem to have been custom-scored for the film.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on May 28, 2015, 11:15:53 PM
That's the one! Creepiest, most haunting version I've ever heard. It does seem to have been custom-scored for the film.

Do you still have your tape, I ask because the actual footage on the upload from the opening shot on-wards is taken from the Alpha DVD as the tape itself was shot. I was wondering if yours is in better shape and if you wouldn't mind doing a high quality transfer of your tape.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Anton Phibes on May 28, 2015, 11:27:33 PM
Sounds very Creepshow-ish. 8)
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Barlow on May 28, 2015, 11:57:35 PM
SinisterSilence, I have the original tape as well as a transfer of it on DVD. Not sure if the tape is better than what's been posted here, maybe even a bit blurrier. But I can try to make a copy to send you.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: aura of foreboding on May 29, 2015, 12:44:31 AM
I picked up a VHS copy from 1990 a few months back.  I shall pop it in tomorrow and see what that score sounds like.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on May 29, 2015, 10:35:01 AM
SinisterSilence, I have the original tape as well as a transfer of it on DVD. Not sure if the tape is better than what's been posted here, maybe even a bit blurrier. But I can try to make a copy to send you.

Thank you, I can PM you my address.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Bogey on May 29, 2015, 09:22:09 PM
Interesting thread.  Help me out a bit though.  Was there a score played along with the movie when it came out?
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on May 29, 2015, 09:36:51 PM
Interesting thread.  Help me out a bit though.  Was there a score played along with the movie when it came out?

Yes if you are referring to its German 1922 release, I can tell you it was accompanied by great music by Hans Erdmann, as far as the American 1929 release, I have no clue.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Bogey on May 29, 2015, 09:40:01 PM
Thanks!  I am surprised that the original has not been redone by someone to go with this classic.  Or has it?
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on May 29, 2015, 09:56:37 PM
Thanks!  I am surprised that the original has not been redone by someone to go with this classic.  Or has it?

It actually has, check the 2006 or 2013 Kino DVD/Blu-Ray
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: aura of foreboding on May 29, 2015, 10:15:43 PM
I picked up a VHS copy from 1990 a few months back.  I shall pop it in tomorrow and see what that score sounds like.

Just found out my amazing VHS copy has NO score!   ;D
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: raycastile on May 30, 2015, 12:04:30 AM
Having heard several Nosferatu scores through the years, my favorite is the original as heard on the Kino Blu-Ray. It is the "real" Nosferatu score, and perfectly complements the film. Instead of going for constant creepiness, it conveys a sense of awe and wonder, reminding us that we are in the world of fairy tales and legends. If I have to listen to something other than the original score, I'll take the James Bernard version. I love James Bernard.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Anthony Caranci on July 17, 2015, 01:04:43 PM
There was also a 1991 Image release of a "so called" Restored version. I don't know if a VHS video cassette was released, but I do know that a 12 inch laserdisc was. I still have it, and I'm looking at it right now. This version had an organ score by Timothy Howard. Then Image released a DVD with two scores - one organ and the other was by The Silent Orchestra in 5.1. Another audio track contained a commentary by Locke Heiss.

When I first saw the clip at the beginning of this thread; I though it was from the Republic version. It was straight black and white, with no tints. Republic Pictures released a 12 inch laserdisc of it in the early 1990s. The opening credits look as though they are from the same print. I did have this version on laserdisc, but immediately sold it as the film only ran 60 minutes, and the projection speed varied greatly through out. The score was not a synthesized one. It was a generic orchestral track. That was another reason to get rid of it.

The Silent films that were released on the Republic laserdiscs were from the Paul Killian collection. They were inferior to the Blackhawk versions released by Image. Now, the Image versions are inferior as compared to the Kino Video versions.

It's interesting just how many versions of this film have surfaced for one that was NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO EXIST ANYMORE!

P.S. I do remember that version of Metropolis that was broadcast on PBS. I lived in California at the time. I don't remember the name of the composer, but the name was German. It was an awesome track to accompany the film. It was obvious that electronic keyboards were used for that one too.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on August 21, 2016, 05:33:50 PM
Just found out my amazing VHS copy has NO score!   ;D

If it is the one I'm thinking about, and I have it too, is it the Goodtimes release of which you speak. I have it and While I love scores with the film, imagine just how creepier it is to watch that old scratchy black and white print, without any form of musical accompaniment. I do have to laugh at the blurb on the cover though, it says "Silent Classics - in the SP mode", though the two copies I have are both in LP mode.  :laugh:
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on August 21, 2016, 05:37:01 PM
There was also a 1991 Image release of a "so called" Restored version. I don't know if a VHS video cassette was released, but I do know that a 12 inch laserdisc was. I still have it, and I'm looking at it right now. This version had an organ score by Timothy Howard. Then Image released a DVD with two scores - one organ and the other was by The Silent Orchestra in 5.1. Another audio track contained a commentary by Locke Heiss.

When I first saw the clip at the beginning of this thread; I though it was from the Republic version. It was straight black and white, with no tints. Republic Pictures released a 12 inch laserdisc of it in the early 1990s. The opening credits look as though they are from the same print. I did have this version on laserdisc, but immediately sold it as the film only ran 60 minutes, and the projection speed varied greatly through out. The score was not a synthesized one. It was a generic orchestral track. That was another reason to get rid of it.

The Silent films that were released on the Republic laserdiscs were from the Paul Killian collection. They were inferior to the Blackhawk versions released by Image. Now, the Image versions are inferior as compared to the Kino Video versions.

It's interesting just how many versions of this film have surfaced for one that was NOT EVEN SUPPOSED TO EXIST ANYMORE!

P.S. I do remember that version of Metropolis that was broadcast on PBS. I lived in California at the time. I don't remember the name of the composer, but the name was German. It was an awesome track to accompany the film. It was obvious that electronic keyboards were used for that one too.

I used to rent the Republic one from a library all the time, it contained the Peter Schirmann track prepared for a 60s reissue, this score surfaces on the Madacy and Alpha DVD versions, sadly the alpha one is out of sync. The print of Nosferatu on that tape had Janus Films at the beginning of it, I didn't know they had that film in their collection.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on August 21, 2016, 05:38:33 PM
So surprised no one here brought up the infamous Kartes Video Communications release, which featured a 1974 Thunderbird Films Print and a score compiled of 50's horror movie stock music.
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Man Without A Face on August 28, 2019, 11:56:55 PM
So surprised no one here brought up the infamous Kartes Video Communications release, which featured a 1974 Thunderbird Films Print and a score compiled of 50's horror movie stock music.

I am actually looking for this version. Do you know of anyone who might have ripped it from VHS?
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Mike Scott on August 29, 2019, 12:55:04 AM
Welcome to the UMA, Man Without A Face!  :)
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Man Without A Face on August 29, 2019, 01:02:19 AM
Welcome to the UMA, Man Without A Face!  :)

THANKS!
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: SinisterSilence on August 30, 2019, 05:04:01 PM
I am actually looking for this version. Do you know of anyone who might have ripped it from VHS?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0orWf981c (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0orWf981c)

Merry Christmas!  ;D
Title: Re: Best Nosferatu score ever!
Post by: Man Without A Face on August 31, 2019, 05:39:45 AM
[url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0orWf981c[/url] ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0orWf981c[/url])

Merry Christmas!  ;D


Thank you so much!