Carl Davis

Composers

Biography

Born: October 28, 1936; Brooklyn, NY  
Since moving to England in the 1960s, American-born conductor/composer Carl Davis has been a leading figure in both the concert hall and in film music, carving out a unique niche in each. Born in New York City, Davis attended Bard College and later studied composition with Paul Nordoff, Hugo Kauder, and Per Nørgård. He served as a conductor with the New York City Opera and the Robert Shaw Chorale, and earned an award for his 1959 Read more off-Broadway revue Diversions (written in collaboration with Steven Vinaver). He became active in England at the outset of the 1960s with the Edinburgh Festival (where Diversions was performed in 1961), and this led to his being commissioned by producer Ned Sherrin to compose the score for the satiric television series That Was the Week That Was. The success of his work on at series led to further work on British television and, later, commissions from the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Davis first began gaining international recognition in 1973, when he was engaged to write the score for Thames Television's landmark 26-hour documentary series The World at War, which was an immediate hit in the United States and was widely shown for decades after -- his grim, often irony-laced scoring was among the most haunting ever heard in a television series.

As a film composer, Carl Davis has worked on notable contemporary movies, most notably The French Lieutenant's Woman, which won him a British Academy Award and an Ivor Novello Award. His most unusual film work, however, has been in the authorship of new scores for such renowned silent films as the European restoration of Abel Gance's Napoleon , Ben-Hur: A Story of the Christ, Phantom of the Opera, and The Thief of Bagdad. Davis has scored more than fifty silent films, earning him the sobriquet "Mr. Silent Movie," and by 2005 Davis had scored all twelve of Charlie Chaplin's Mutual films, key early Chaplin shorts that Chaplin had not scored himself. Davis' score for Napoleon earned him the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture in 1983, and he had the privelege of returning to Napoleon when a new five-and-a-half hour long restoration was unveiled in 2005.

Since the 1970s, Carl Davis has been an active recording artist, principally as a conductor, most notably for EMI with a collection of film music by Sir William Walton and on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's own imprint with a compilation of his own film music. In 1991, Davis assisted Paul McCartney in the composition of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio, and subsequntly Davis led the Royal Liverpool Philarmonic's Summer Pops Concert series from 1993 to 2001. Davis has also written concert works, including a symphony, a clarinet concerto; a fantasy for flute, strings, and harpsichord; and a programmatic work entitled A Circle of Stones. Ballet is a form in which Davis is particularly productive, and his ballets include A Christmas Carol, A Simple Man, Alice in Wonderland and The Picture of Dorian Gray. Davis' ballet of Cyrano de Bergerac is slated to appear in the Spring of 2007. Though American born, in 2006 Davis was awarded an honorary CBE from the British government for his contrbutions to music. Read less
Bernstein: Candide Overture, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, On the Waterfront / Davis, RPO
Release Date: 07/13/2010   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28780   Number of Discs: 1
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Cinema Classics / Davis, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Release Date: 02/10/2009   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28270   Number of Discs: 1
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Delibes: Sylvia & Coppelia Suites, Selections from Lakme & Le Roi s'Amuse / Davis, RPO
Release Date: 04/12/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28730   Number of Discs: 1
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Carl Davis: The World At War & Other Great Themes / Davis, Roscoe, Carney
Release Date: 08/09/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28770   Number of Discs: 1
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Carl Davis: Harold Lloyd's An Eastern Westerner & High And Dizzy
Release Date: 04/14/2015   Label: Carl Davis Collect  
Catalog: 26   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 79 Carl Davis recordings available.

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Composers

Biography

Born: October 28, 1936; Brooklyn, NY  
Since moving to England in the 1960s, American-born conductor/composer Carl Davis has been a leading figure in both the concert hall and in film music, carving out a unique niche in each. Born in New York City, Davis attended Bard College and later studied composition with Paul Nordoff, Hugo Kauder, and Per Nørgård. He served as a conductor with the New York City Opera and the Robert Shaw Chorale, and earned an award for his 1959 Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
City Dweller
Arrival and Tiger Lips
The Girl
First Meeting
Lasso Practice
Father Abducted and Spanish Dance
Card Tricks
Father Rescued and Angels
Evasions
Rolling Barrel and Finale
The Sleepwalker and Office
Examination
Old Friends
Pole Dance
We Need a Room
Elevators
Collapsed
A Dangerous Walk
Finale
Evening - Meeting the Millionaire
At the Millionaire's Home
The Nightclub - Dance Suite
The Limousine
The Sober Dawn
The Party and the Morning After
Eviction - The Road Sweeper - At the Girl's Home
The Boxing Match
The Burglars
Reunited
Opening Titles
The Nativity: The Cave of David
The Nativity: Star of Bethlehem
The Nativity: The Adoration of the Magi
Esther and the Young Prince
Roman March and Disaster: Gratus' Entry into Jerusalem
Roman March and Disaster: Storming the Palace and Arrest
Galley Slave
Pirate Battle
Iras the Egyptian
The Chariot Race: The Gathering of the Chariots
The Chariot Race: The Race
Ben-Hur's Return: The Palace of Hur
Ben-Hur's Return: Lepers
Via Dolorosa: The Way of the Cross
Via Dolorosa: Miracle
Earthquake and New Dawn: Collapse of the Senate
Earthquake and New Dawn: The Resurrection
I. Prelude
II. The Beggar
III. Servant Girl and Beggar
IV. Revenge and Escape
V. Baptism
VI. Pastoral
VII. Leon's Assignation
VIII. A Deadly Transformation
IX. Leon Confronts the Horror
X. Leon Imprisoned
XI. Final Transformation
XII. Finale
I. Prelude
II. The Prison
III. Cat and Mouse
IV. Cardinal and Interrogator
V. Mind Games
VI. Civil Unrest
VII. Solitary Confinement
VIII. The Dark
IX. The Confession
X. Last Meal
XI. Finale


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