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PublisherFidelio Music Publishing
ArrangementGuitar/Chamber Group (GTR/CHAM)
FormatScore and Parts
Additional Contributorarr. Gregg Nestor
Going to School
Peyton Place Theme (The Wonderful Season of Love)
Of all Waxman’s film scores, Peyton Place is probably one of the best known. Penned in 1957 for the film adaptation, produced by Jerry Wald and directed by Mark Robson, of Grace Metalious’ soap-opera roman-à-clefs, the music was described by its composer as, “essentially in the ‘youth’ character: it is simple in invention, simple in its harmonies and simple in its development and orchestration. I have tried to capture the atmosphere of the New England landscape by actually using melodies from the New England folklore for many of my themes. The others were composed with the idea of coming as close as possible in character and invention to this folklore.”
In the suite we first hear the solemn, marcato figure that introduces the main titles; in its demanding guitar arrangement by Gregg Nestor, it has an even “folkier” sound to it than in its orchestral guise. This is followed by a snippet from the scherzo-like theme Going to School that appears at several points in the film. Following the rather heroic Main Title, the Peyton Place Theme, a nostalgic, very romantic tune popularized as The Wonderful Season of Love, makes its appearance — its poignancy further emphasized with supported notes played campanella (ringing bell-like tones) in the guitars. The introduction theme quietly re-emerges played in delicate artificial harmonics, setting up the Coplandesque return of the scherzo for the Hilltop Scene. For The First Kiss, naturally the romantic theme resurfaces in a more harmonically complex fashion. The three-voice fugato Constance that closes this suite brings back the scherzo theme: the opposing voices of the music parallel the opposing sides of mother and daughter in the film.
An interesting side-note is that Mr. Nestor edited the final audio recording of this suite during a week spent in Camden, Maine — the actual town featured as Peyton Place in the film.
— Tony Thomas