Anton Karas - The Third Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 180g Import Vinyl LP
Anton Karas The Third Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 180g Import Vinyl LP
Karas was born in Vienna in 1906, the son of an automobile worker. He began playing the zither -- a stringed instrument vaguely similar to an autoharp -- at age 12. By 1921, at age 15, he was earning a living of sorts entertaining patrons for tips in Vienna's taverns. Karas remained in the city throughout the tumultuous years of the rise of Nazi sympathies and the German takeover, the war, and the Allied occupation that followed. He supported a wife and three children on as little as $15 a week in those days, and then, in September of 1948 (some sources say the spring of 1949), fate took a hand.
British director Carol Reed was in Vienna shooting a thriller called The Third Man, based on a story by Graham Greene. Most of the details of the final film had been worked out, but not the music -- Reed had decided that there would not be any Johann Strauss waltzes, but not what would be used for the score. One night, he was passing by a Heuriger, a wine tavern where growers offer their own wines for sale directly, and heard Karas' playing in the background.
Reed had never heard a zither before and found the sound to be attractive. He approached Karas and persuaded him to play for him at his hotel, where he made a recording and brought back to the studio to test. He liked the effect when the zither's sound was placed against the recorded dialogue and, ignoring the protests of many around him, hired Karas and brought him to London for 12 weeks.
It wasn't always a harmonious time in London, as Karas, who had never traveled outside of Austria before, quickly grew homesick. Reed (in whose home Karas stayed -- with Reed's wife Penelope translating German and English between them) promised to let him return home after the score was completed. Karas screened the movie hundreds of times, devising music for each scene.
The Third Man ended up with a vast amount of music, scored in virtually every scene of its 104 minutes. Ironically, the piece that became known as the "Third Man Theme" was something that Karas had written two decades earlier and hadn't played in over 15 years. As he later explained to Reed, playing the zither for a whole night for tips was hard work, and one tended to play the easiest pieces the most often, to save the fingers.
The movie put Karas' score into the foreground as much as any of the actors. The opening credits showed the strings of a zither in close-up, and the instrument was heard somewhere in virtually every scene, often as prominently as the dialogue. The "Third Man Theme" (also known as the "Harry Lime Theme") was alternately brittle, jaunty, bittersweet, romantic, wry, and even sardonic piece of music -- which fit the mood of the story and the film perfectly -- that, once heard, couldn't be forgotten.
Anton Karas The Third Man Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Track Listing:
1. The Chimes of Big Ben
2. The Harry Lime Theme
3. "It's a shame"
4. Café Mozart Waltz
5. Main Title / Harry's False Funeral
6. "Heard of Harry Lime?"
7. Holly Encounters Anna / Meeting The Conspirators
8. "The Third Man"
9. Holly Is Accused Of Homicide
10. "This isn't Santa Fe"
11. Holly Brings Flowers
12. Holly Runs After Harry's Shadow
13. "Holly, what fools we are"
14. Trap To Catch Harry
15. "The Cuckoo Clock"
16. Anna Walks Away / End Title - The Harry Lime Theme
17. Visions of Vienna
18. Danube Dreams
19. The Harry Lime Theme (Orchestral version)
20. Café Mozart Waltz (Orchestral version)
LP Cover may vary!
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