The Funeral March of a Marionette (Marche funèbre d'une marionnette) is a short piece by Charles Gounod. It was originally written for solo piano in 1872 and orchestrated in 1879. It is perhaps best known as the theme music for the television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
While residing in London, England, between 1871 and 1872, Gounod started to write a suite for piano called Suite burlesque. It was a satirical character piece intended to be a parody of the personality of Henry Chorley, a music critic. It greatly amused Gounod's English patron, Georgina Weldon, who described Chorley as having a "thin, sour, high-pitched sopranish voice" and moving like a "stuffed red-haired monkey". Gounod intended to publish the piece with a dedication to Chorley, but the latter died before this was possible. Weldon then invented a new program for the piece, which was re-titled "Funeral March of a Marionette". After completing this piece, Gounod abandoned the rest of the suite. The piece was dedicated to Madame Viguier, a pianist and the wife of Alfred Viguier, the first violin in the Orchestre de la Société des Concerts du Conservatoire.
In 1879, he orchestrated the piece with piccolo, flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons, 2 horns in D, 2 trumpets in A, 3 trombones, ophicleide, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, and strings.
The following storyline underlies the "Funeral March of a Marionette":
Additionally, inscriptions are found throughout the score as follows:
The American horror radio program The Witch's Tale, which originally aired from 1931 to 1938, utilized the music in at least one episode, "The Gypsy's Hand", which aired on April 14, 1932.
The music was used to accompany at least three early films:
In addition, in The Green Goddess (1930) The Raja (George Arliss) plays a recording of "Funeral March of a Marionette" on a phonograph for his British visitors, and remarks on the macabre quality of the piece.
Alfred Hitchcock had heard the music in the 1927 film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. In 1955, when choosing the theme music for his television series Alfred Hitchcock Presents, he remembered the effect that "Funeral March of a Marionette" had on him. It was through Hitchcock's program that the music achieved its widest audience, although few people would have been able to identify the composer or title. The series continued for ten years, and the theme music appeared in five versions by as many arrangers: in 1955, 1960, 1962, 1963, and 1964 ‒ the last version being arranged by Bernard Herrmann, who transposed the piece up a third. The "Funeral March of a Marionette" was one of eight compositions that Hitchcock selected to take to a fictional desert island on the 1959 BBC radio program, Desert Island Discs.
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock (13 August 1899 – 29 April 1980) was an English film director and producer, widely regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of cinema. Known as "the Master of Suspense", he directed over 50 feature films in a career spanning six decades, becoming as well known as any of his actors thanks to his many interviews, his cameo roles in most of his films, and his hosting and producing of the television anthology Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1965).
Born in Leytonstone, Essex, Hitchcock entered the film industry in 1919 as a title card designer after training as a technical clerk and copy writer for a telegraph-cable company. He made his directorial debut with the silent film The Pleasure Garden (1925). His first successful film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927), helped to shape the thriller genre, while his 1929 film, Blackmail, was the first British "talkie". Two of his 1930s thrillers, The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938), are ranked among the greatest British films of the 20th century.
By 1939 Hitchcock was a filmmaker of international importance, and film producer David O. Selznick persuaded him to move to Hollywood. A string of successful films followed, including Rebecca (1940), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), and The Paradine Case (1947); Rebecca was nominated for 11 Oscars and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. His 53 films have grossed over US$223.3 million worldwide and garnered a total of 46 Oscar nominations and six wins.
The "Hitchcockian" style includes the use of camera movement to mimic a person's gaze, thereby turning viewers into voyeurs, and framing shots to maximise anxiety and fear. The film critic Robin Wood wrote that the meaning of a Hitchcock film "is there in the method, in the progression from shot to shot. A Hitchcock film is an organism, with the whole implied in every detail and every detail related to the whole." By 1960 Hitchcock had directed four films often ranked among the greatest of all time: Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960). In 2012 Vertigo replaced Orson Welles's Citizen Kane (1941) as the British Film Institute's greatest film ever made. By 2018 eight of his films had been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry, including his personal favourite, Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1979 and was knighted in December that year, four months before he died.Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series that was hosted and produced by Alfred Hitchcock; the program aired on CBS and NBC between 1955 and 1965. It featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time it premiered on October 2, 1955, Hitchcock had been directing films for over three decades. Time magazine named it one of "The 100 Best TV Shows of All Time". The Writers Guild of America ranked it #79 on their list of the 101 Best-Written TV Series tying it with Monty Python's Flying Circus, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Upstairs, Downstairs.A series of literary anthologies with the running title Alfred Hitchcock Presents were issued to capitalize on the success of the television series. One volume, devoted to stories that censors wouldn't allow to be adapted for broadcast, was entitled Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Stories They Wouldn't Let Me Do on TV—though eventually several of the stories collected were adapted.Blue Devils C Drum and Bugle Corps
The Blue Devils "C" Drum and Bugle Corps (also known as "BDC") is an Open Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps. Based in Concord, California, the corps is a feeder corps for the World Class Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps and competes in Drum Corps International sanctioned shows.Charles Gounod
Charles-François Gounod (; French: [ʃaʁl fʁɑ̃swa ɡuno]; 17 June 1818 – 17 or 18 October 1893) was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust. Another opera by Gounod still performed is Roméo et Juliette.
Gounod died at Saint-Cloud in 1893, after a final revision of his twelve operas. His funeral took place ten days later at the Church of the Madeleine, with Camille Saint-Saëns playing the organ and Gabriel Fauré conducting. He was buried at the Cimetière d'Auteuil in Paris.Funeral march
A funeral march (Marche funèbre in French, Marcia funebre in Italian, Trauermarsch in German), as a musical genre, is a march, usually in a minor key, in a slow "simple duple" metre, imitating the solemn pace of a funeral procession. Some such marches are often considered appropriate for use during funerals and other sombre occasions, the most well-known being that of Chopin. Handel uses the name dead march, also used for marches played by a military band at military funerals and executions.Halloween (Mannheim Steamroller album)
Halloween is the first Halloween album by Mannheim Steamroller. It is a double album.Henry Chorley
Henry Fothergill Chorley (15 December 1808 – 16 February 1872) was an English literary, art and music critic, writer and editor. He was also an author of novels, drama, poetry and lyrics.
Chorley was a prolific and important music and literary critic and music gossip columnist of the mid-nineteenth century and wrote extensively about music in London and in Europe. His opera libretti and works of fiction were far less successful. He is perhaps best remembered today for his lyrics to "The Long Day Closes", a part song set by Arthur Sullivan in 1868.List of Alfred Hitchcock cameo appearances
English film director Alfred Hitchcock made cameo appearances in 39 of his 52 surviving major films (his second film, The Mountain Eagle, is lost). For the films in which he appeared, he would be seen for a brief moment in a non-speaking part as an extra, such as boarding a bus, crossing in front of a building, standing in an apartment across the courtyard, or even appearing in a newspaper photograph (as seen in the film Lifeboat, which otherwise provided no other opportunity for him to appear).
This playful gesture became one of Hitchcock's signatures; and fans would make a sport of trying to spot his cameos. As a recurring theme, he would carry a musical instrument — especially memorable was the double bass case that he wrestles onto the train at the beginning of Strangers on a Train. In his earliest appearances, he filled in as an obscure extra in crowds or walking through scenes in long camera shots. His later appearances became more prominent, such as when he turns to see Jane Wyman's disguise as she passes him in Stage Fright, and in stark silhouette in his final film Family Plot.
His appearances became so popular that he began to make them earlier in his films so as not to distract the audience from the plot. Hitchcock confirms this in extended interviews with François Truffaut, and indeed the majority of his appearances occur within the first half-hour of his films, with over half in the first 15 minutes.
Hitchcock's longest cameo appearances are in his British films Blackmail and Young and Innocent. He appears in all 30 features from Rebecca (his first American film) onward; before his move to Hollywood, he only occasionally performed cameos.List of Little Einsteins episodes
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A marionette is a puppet controlled from above using wires or strings depending on regional variations. A marionette's puppeteer is called a marionettist. Marionettes are operated with the puppeteer hidden or revealed to an audience by using a vertical or horizontal control bar in different forms of theatres or entertainment venues. They have also been used in films and on television. The attachment of the strings varies according to its character or purpose.Moss Side Story
Moss Side Story is the debut album of British musician Barry Adamson released in 1989. The album is a concept album, a soundtrack album to a non-existent crime film.
The music is almost completely instrumental except for occasional screams, vocal samples and a choir. To achieve the soundtrack effect, the song titles are descriptive of a film noir plot outline. The inner sleeve came with a short story written by Dave Graney which added to the concept. This complemented outer sleeve which displays the tag line: "In a black and white world, murder brings a touch of colour...". In a 2017 interview, Adamson reported that he recorded Moss Side Story due to his fascination with film music and as "a calling card [to] send it around to people" in hopes of being hired to write music for actual films. The overall style is reminiscent of the work of Angelo Badalamenti who often collaborates with the film director David Lynch. Adamson would go on to contribute music to Lynch's film Lost Highway (1997)
Moss Side is a neighbourhood in the city of Manchester, Great Britain, where Adamson was born. The album title is a play on words and a reference to Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. The title of "The Swinging Detective" plays on Dennis Potter's series of television plays The Singing Detective, while "Round Up The Usual Suspects" is a line made famous by Claude Rains in Casablanca.Pepper II
Pepper II is an arcade game programmed by Exidy and published in 1982, and, despite its name, there was no predecessor named Pepper or Pepper I. Its gameplay is similar to the game Amidar by Konami and Stern Electronics. Pepper II was ported to the ColecoVision home system.The game plays Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette" when gameplay starts.Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps
The Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (commonly referred to as "Phantom") is a World Class competitive junior drum and bugle corps based in Rockford, Illinois, USA. The corps is a long-standing member of Drum Corps International (DCI), having been a DCI World Championship Top Twelve Finalist every year since 1974 and DCI World Champions in 1996 and 2008.Shamus (video game)
Shamus is a flip screen action adventure game written by William Mataga (now Cathryn Mataga) and published by Synapse Software. Originally released for the Atari 8-bit computers in 1982, it was ported to the VIC-20, Commodore 64, TRS-80 Color Computer, TI-99/4A, and IBM PC. Several of these ports were made by Atarisoft. Ihor Wolosenko, co-founder of Synapse, noted that Shamus made the company famous by giving it a reputation for quality. It was followed by a sequel, Shamus: Case II, with the same characters but different gameplay.
Mataga's original version is 16K in size and was released on disk and tape for the Atari 8-bit family, and later sold by Atari on cartridge following the launch of the Atari XEGS in 1987. The VIC-20 port is 8K and contains only 32 levels, unlike the 128 in every other version. In 1999, Mataga developed a remake for the Game Boy Color, and later, both Shamus and Shamus: Case II for iOS.
Funeral March of a Marionette, the theme song from Alfred Hitchcock Presents, plays on the title screen.Stanley Wilson (composer)
Stanley Wilson (November 25, 1917 – July 12, 1970) was an American musical conductor, arranger and film composer.Susan Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir
Susan Charlotte Buchan, Baroness Tweedsmuir (née Grosvenor; 20 April 1882 – 21 March 1977) was a British writer and the wife of author John Buchan. Between 1935 and 1940 she was viceregal consort of Canada while her husband was the governor general. She was also the author of several novels, children's books, and biographies, some of which were published under the name Susan Tweedsmuir.Susan was a daughter of the Honourable Norman de L'Aigle Grosvenor (son of the first Lord Ebury) and his wife Caroline Susan Theodora Stuart-Wortley (a granddaughter of the first Lord Wharncliffe), and thus a cousin of the Dukes of Westminster. She married John Buchan on 15 July 1907, and became the Baroness Tweedsmuir (known as Lady Tweedsmuir) when he was created Baron Tweedsmuir in 1935. The Buchans had four children, Alice, John, William, and Alastair, two of whom would spend most of their lives in Canada.Her time as Vicereine of Canada is remembered for her energetic relief work. Her library project of gathering books in Eastern Canada for impoverished western communities and sending train carloads of them west was the foundation of public libraries across the prairies.Her work for literacy in western Canada is still remembered and she is a heroine in Canada of the Great Depression. Her interest in literary education influenced the establishment of the Governor General's Awards, for many years Canada's primary literary awards, and the library at Rideau Hall. Following her husband's death she returned to Britain, where she wrote several more novels, a series of memoirs, and a biography of her husband.
She died at Burford, near Oxford, in 1977 and was buried beside her husband in the churchyard at Elsfield.Winifred Duke
Winifred Arnaud Duke (1890 - April 4, 1962) was a British author of fiction and Scottish history.