My Music for the Month of Halloween wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of James Bernard, the British composer best known for his Hammer Film scores, particularly their popular ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ horror movies. Along with elaborate gothic interiors, bright red blood and busty bosoms—all in glorious Technicolor, no less—Bernard’s music helped solidify the thrilling atmosphere now commonly associated with Hammer Horror. Today’s selection is taken from his score for the 1962 film ‘Kiss of the Vampire’, one of his earlier works for Hammer. While it’s difficult to pick any one piece that sums up with Bernard’s talent, “Vampire Rhapsody” is great example of the composer’s work.
As a side note, I wish Hammer OSTs and rerecordings were more readily available on CD. Those which exist are apparently out of production and currently command ridiculous prices on the marketplace. Though the Silva Screen label released three volumes of Hammer music in 2011, these were unfortunately only available as mp3 downloads from either Amazon or iTunes. It’s just not the same as hardcopy.