Bliss wrote his original score for the 1936 sci-fi film Things To Come, which itself was based on the H.G. Wells story The Shape Of Things To Come. A later concert suite was developed and here four movements are expertly matched by Phillip Littlemore to give an enthralling taste of the vision and sound of the future as envisaged by Wells and Bliss.
The 1936 science fiction film Things To Come was written by H G Wells and starred Raymond Massey and Ralph Richardson. It is based on the author’s 1933 novel The Shape of Things To Come, and elaborate prophecy of world war, disease, dictatorship and finally, a utopia. It was Wells himself that approached Arthur Bliss to write the music for the film, although Bliss had no experience of writing for the medium. Wells believed that the music was integral and not to be added later, and so several sections of the score were were completed before shooting and some of it was used intact. Whether the producer, Alexander Korda, had agreed 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. The are Ballet for Children, Machines, Reconstruction and March.