Nosferatu

Following on from my work on Watson & Webber’s silent films, I wrote a soundtrack to F.W. Murnau’s silent classic Nosferatu. Made in 1922, Murnau’s film is loosely based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula story. Murnau had not sought permission, and Stoker’s estate sued for copyright infringement. All copies were ordered destroyed, but fortunately for us a handful of prints survived.

This soundtrack is the result of three years of work, from 2018 to 2021, and was released on 15 March 2022 to coincide with the film’s centenary.

There are a few different restorations of Nosferatu. While writing the soundtrack I was working to Photoplay’s 1995 restoration, which is available on the BFI Blu-Ray. That restoration is still in copyright, so I can’t make it available with my soundtrack, but there is a version of the film in the public domain. The image quality is sadly poor, and the picture has suffered from aggressive cropping, but I am at least free to put it on YouTube with my own soundtrack.

The timings are somewhat different than I was originally working to, so I’ve had to edit the soundtrack a fair amount to make it fit this version of the film – quite a tricky task at points. It’s not the ideal way to see the film and hear my soundtrack, but it’s better than nothing and I hope you enjoy it.