The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon

Adolph Deutsch

Production Credits
Original music by Adolph Deutsch
John Morgan - Score Restoration
Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Marco Polo Records, Sept. 2000
41 Tracks, Total Time 75:51
Contains 13:04 scored cues from
The Maltese Falcon, 1941.
Disc also contains cues from
Mask of Dimitrios, High Sierra,
and Northern Pursuit.

The Maltese Falcon The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941) is a classic film by any definition. Like High Sierra (John Huston, 1941), Adolph Deutsch had to make do with a slightly smaller orchestra, befitting the film's relatively modest budget. Typically, the orchestra for films in this budgetary status had about nine woodwinds that doubled various other instruments such as saxophones or extra clarinets when needed, as well as only three French horns, three trumpets, three trombones and a slightly reduced string section. For this recording, as is our general custom for this series, we have given all the music a full string section, but have remained faithful to the original orchestra as far as individual instrumentation goes.

After the traditional Warner Bros. signature fanfare, we are plunged into the world of mystery in the then contemporary world of 1941. Interestingly, Deutsch would most often use Max Steiner's fanfare in the key of B flat, which gave it a slightly darker effect, as opposed to Steiner's usual brighter key of C. The Falcon's eight-note motif is developed throughout the "Main Title" and becomes the basis for the entire score.

"The Deal" is a unique cue with its use of clusters, swirling strings and dissonances illustrating Bogart's drug-induced hallucination, while the eight-note Falcon motif is always there to remind us of the riches all these colorful characters are after. "The Plot" contains a good example of the ingenuity of orchestrator Arthur Lange, who had all the violins tune down a whole step in order to play an otherwise impossible double stop. This enabled both the undernourished violins and violas to play this figure, giving the strings added weight and sonority.

--JOHN MORGAN, from the liner notes.

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