Music and Lyrics By: Leslie Bricusse
Re-Interpreted By:Dominik Hauser
Performed By: Various Artists
Distributed by: BuySoundtrax Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Scrooge, the 1970 musical version of A Christmas Carol starring Albert Finney, is my favorite version of the tale. I have to watch it at least once every year and I always sing along with songs like I Hate People, I Like Life and Thank You Very Much. The movie never gets old for me and I always find something new that I missed the last time I watched it. So, when I learned that I was being sent a newly recorded version of the songs from the original film, I was thrilled.
The new version of Scrooge features the original songs by Leslie Bricusse re-interpreted by Swiss composer Dominik Hauser. Earning a Master’s Degree from the Jazz School St. Gallen in Switzerland, Hauser’s talent lies in composition, arrangement and instrumental performance. After 1996 and a stint at UCLA, Hauser began delving heavily into film scoring and began to compose music for indie films. Since then, he has worked as an orchestrator and/or composer for such well-known films as The Chronicles of Riddick, Aeon Flux, Into the Blue, Pineapple Express and more.
For this re-interpreted version of Scrooge, the singing talents of Robert Picardo, best known for his role on Star Trek: Voyager were employed for the role of Scrooge. Fletcher Sheridan performs as Bob Crachit. Also singing on this album are Chase Masterson, Brian “Hacksaw” Williams and Katie Campbell who does double duty singing as Scrooge’s fiancée and as Tiny Tim.
I was a little worried when I realized this wasn’t the original version of the music I had grown up with. I haven’t always enjoyed Dominik Hauser’s re-interpretations of musical scores. However, I found this new version of Scrooge to be just as much fun as the songs I remembered from the movie. In fact, I thought that A Christmas Carol and The Beautiful Day sounded much better on this album than in the film. I even enjoyed the instrumental versions of the songs, where you most notice Dominik Hauser’s influence. He tweaked them, to be sure, adding some contemporary styling, but not so much that you no longer recognize the song.
I have already listened to Scrooge three times and have every intention of listening to it many more times during this holiday season. Any fan of the original movie will love this album. I am extremely happy to be adding this to my Christmas album collection!