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French composer Roger Roger’s numerous scores for film (over 500, including music for the pantomime scenes in Marcel Carne’s classic romance Les Enfants du Paradis), television (including Versailles, for the appearances of Rene Coty and every French president since, and incidental music for the appearances of Huckleberry Hound), and radio have always been strangely unavailable on disc. Trained early on by his father, a noted opera conductor, Roger assembled his “grand orchestre” as a teen, and went on to lead the 35-piece ensemble on a weekly radio show in the 1940s, accompanying Piaf, Chevalier, and other top singers. He also introduced an original work each week, which led to a contract with the Chapell Mood Music Company. For Chapell he composed themes for “possible” productions, some of which, though eventually used, weren’t issued on recordings until now. Roger first found inspiration in the warmth of Gershwin, Porter, Berlin, and other American popular composers, while also gleaning from the grandeur of Ravel, Stravinsky, and Wagner. Like his contemporary Raymond Scott, another often unacknowledged and hard-to-categorize composer, Roger captured vivid scenes—train platforms, country fairs—in sound. Here, the compositions move from early, edgy, post-War Madison Avenue–style evocations of the assembly line to noirish, Eastern-tinged pieces of later years. Many dazzle, particularly the ultramodern “Fete Foraine,” whose shifting barrage of strings and horns passes by like a phantasmagorical carnival, and “Profondeurs (Lunar Landscape),” which drifts on harp and strings as though underwater, its slow-motion stark, pristine, and now (thanks to the loving recreation of Roger’s work by Holland’s Metropole Orkest and producer Gert-Jan Blom) revived.CP