The 1936 science fiction film Things to Come was written by H G Wells and starred Raymond Massey and Ralph Richardson. It was based on the author’s 1933 novel The Shape of Things To Come , an elaborate prophecy of world war, disease, dictatorship and, finally, a utopia.
It was Wells himself that approached Bliss to write the music for the film, although Bliss had no experience of writing for this medium. Wells believed that the music was integral and not to be added later, and so several sections of the score were completed before shooting and some of it was used intact. Whether the producer, Alexander Korda, had agreed to this is unclear but, inevitably, some of the music was edited under the watchful eye of Muir Mathieson, who was involved in the project as music director and also working on his first major film.
Some six months before the release of the film Bliss created an extensive Suite for the BBC, and conducted two-thirds of the special recording sessions himself. Some of the original manuscripts and material from those sessions subsequently disappeared and are now lost. The later concert suite, from 1940 and dedicated to H G Wells, includes six movements of which four have been arranged in this brass band transcription.
Sir Arthur Bliss (1891–1975)
Bliss was one of the most important figures in British musical life from the early 1920s through to his later years when he was Master of the Queen’s Music. He wrote over 140 works for every combination of voice and instrument including large scale orchestral works, operas, ballets, film scores, chamber works, songs and music for brass band. He was composing right up to his death at the age of 83.
H G Wells (1866–1946)
Wells was a writer of science-fiction which also explored social topics of class conflict to evolution. He became a literary sensation almost overnight when his first novel, The Time Machine , was published in 1895. This was followed in quick succession by The Island of Doctor Moreau , The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds . As an internationally recognised author he travelled extensively gaining notoriety for his radical social and political views. Today he is often referred to as the ‘Father of Science Fiction’.
Item Code: TPBB-070
Grade: 2nd Section and above