Sherlock Holmes music (Soviet Soundtrack) – Overture of Vladimir Dashkevich

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Russian: Шерлок Холмс и доктор Ватсон) is a 1979 Soviet film adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle‘s novels about Sherlock Holmes. Directed by Igor Maslennikov it is the first of a 5-part TV film series (divided into 11-episodes) The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The film is divided into two episodes – “The Acquaintance” (Russian: Знакомство, based on “The Adventure of the Speckled Band“) and “Bloody Inscription” (Russian:Кровавая надпись, based on A Study in Scarlet).

Music author for Soviet version of Sherlock Holmes movie.

Vladimir Sergeevich Dashkevich (Russian: Владимир Серге́евич Дашкевич) (born 20 January 1934) is a Russian composer, known mainly for his film music. Originally he studied chemical technology (in Moscow State University of Fine Chemical Technologies), but later studied music under Aram Khachaturian. He achieved prominence in Russia for his music for the series of films The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, as well as numerous other films.

Sherlock Holmes soundtrack music notes

Sherlock Holmes music: Overture piano (Vladimir Dashkevich)
Sherlock Holmes music: Overture piano (Vladimir Dashkevich)

Sherlok Holmes, Detective Overture - (Vladimir Dashkevich)
Sherlok Holmes, Detective Overture – (Vladimir Dashkevich)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (Russian: Приключения Шерлока Холмса и доктора Ватсона) is a series of television films made by Soviet television. They were directed by Igor Maslennikov. In 2006, Vasily Livanov became an Honorary MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Between 1979 and 1986, Soviet television produced a series of five films at the Lenfilm movie studio, split into eleven episodes, starring Vasily Livanov as Sherlock Holmes and Vitaly Solomin as Dr. Watson. Later, a cinematic adaptation was made based on the 1986 episodes. This film was called The Twentieth Century Approaches.

Unlike some of their Western counterparts, the films are very close to the literary source. Some of the departures include Holmes’ easy-going and humorous demeanor, as well as comic relief provided by some of the characters (most notably that of Sir Henry Baskerville and his butler Barrymore in The Hound of the Baskervilles episode).

The series’ soundtrack was composed by Vladimir Dashkevich; the introductory piece has become one of the most recognizable pieces of cinematic music in the former Soviet Union. The tune intentionally resembles an hourly musical logo played on the shortwave BBC World Service, and Maslennikov confirmed in a later interview that he wanted a very similar tune which could be identified with the spirit of Great Britain.

Jauniela street (Jauniela iela), in Old Riga, doubles as Baker Street in the series.
Jauniela street (Jauniela iela), in Old Riga, doubles as Baker Street in the series.

A street in old Riga doubles as Baker Street. The same street was used for exterior locations for several Soviet features set in the West.

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