A BRIDGE TOO FAR (1977)
UN PONT TROP LOIN
Real. Richard Attenborough
Mus. John Addison
LP United Artists UAG 30097 - Stereo (FRA)
1. Overture (3:36)
2. A Dutch Rhapsody (2:10)
3. Before The Holocaust (2:24)
4. Underground Resistance (2:53)
5. Air Lift (2:37)
6. Hospital Tent (1:55)
7. Arnhem (1:55)
8. Nijmegen Bridge (1:37).
1. March of The Paratroopers (2:28)
2. Bailey Bridge (2:49)
3. Human Roadblock (1:35)
4. Futile Mission (2:56)
5. The Waal River (1:52)
6. Arnhem Destroyed (2:25)
7. Retreat (2:00)
8. A Bridge Too Far (March) (1:49)
Record Produced by John Addison
Recorded at The Music Centre, Wembley, London - April 1977
Recording Engineer: John Richards
Assistant Engineer: Howard Somers
Notes Back Cover
I have known "Jock" Addison for exactly thirty years. In 1947, he wrote the Saintbury school song for a film in which I appeared called "The Guinea Pig". It was, in a way for both of us, our period of apprenticeship in the cinema. Since then, he has written music for more than sixty films which include Richardson's "Taste Of Honey" and "The Charge Of The Light Brigade", Hitchcock's "Torn Curtain" and Mankiewicz' "Sleuth", together of course with his Oscar-winning rumbustious score for "Tom Jones".
John Addison was born in Surrey, England and educated at Wellington College. He went on to study at the Royal College Of Music where, after attaining his degree he was appointed to the staff as professor of composition.
As a youthful Tank Commander with the 23rd Hussars during the second world war, he landed in Normandy just after D-Day and advanced to Caen where his unit was virtually wiped out. Although wounded, he managed to pull one other crew member from his burning Sherman but was unable to reach the driver and wireless operator. The music for "A Bridge Too Far" is, therefore, in one sense, his requiem for those who fought beside him. In addition, it is abundantly appropriate that he should be writing the score since he later became part of XXX Corps involved in Operation Market Garden, the single bold thrust intended to bring peace to Europe by the winter of 1944, on which the film is based.
Three themes have dominated his thoughts. One conveys the tragic stoicism of the Dutch people, particularly the inhabitants of Arnhem, who had a momentary taste of liberation only to be plunged even deeper into the anguish and devastation of war. The second represents the Paratroopers, 35,000 men from America, Poland and Britain who dropped from the skies to spearhead a bitter nine-day action which was to cost so many of them their lives. It is, perhaps, hardly surprising that the third theme, the XXX Corps March, symbolizing the spirit of the land forces, is considered by many to be the most exciting and stirring piece of music that he has ever written.
From the time he read Cornelius Ryan's book which "brought it all back" he always said he desperately wanted to write the music for "A Bridge Too Far".
I shall never forget the occasion when, at Joe Levine's invitation, he saw the actual film. At the end he was obviously greatly moved. "One works because one must" he said, "but sometimes the work is what you want with all your being and this, for me, is one of those occasions. If I can't write something wonderful for this film, then I should give up".
When Joe Levine and I sat in the small music room of John's Los Angeles home and listened to him playing the score on his piano for the first time, we were both on the verge of tears. He had, indeed, written some truly wonderful music.