It is virtually impossible to describe Peter Thomas – impossible because he would almost certainly refuse to allow himself to be described or pigeon-holed in any way. Both the man and his music are always good for a surprise, and indeed anything can happen, but fortunately usually in a positive respect. He is an ingenious pedant who leaves nothing, absolutely nothing, to chance which concerns either himself or his music. His ideas and his propensity for experimentation know no rules or boundaries. In order to realize his ideas he invests his entire energy ('I'm still standing when others have fallen...'), his spontaneity ('Tell me when you're ready and I'll jump on the next plane!') and his musical and technical knowledge. He's a multi-instrumentalist who prefers live recordings to studio mixes, but he's very much in the know about the latest studio techniques and certainly doesn't reject them. To work with Peter Thomas means both action and deep discussions – and these two ingredients, combined with a great idea, provide for ideal creativity. The result is not difficult to imagine: Peter Thomas's music is 100 percent Peter Thomas.
As a film composer, his great era began in 1961 with the Edgar Wallace film 'Die seltsame Gräfin', and soon one film-music highlight followed another. The series seems endless: 'Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee', 'Der Zinker', 'Das indische Tuch', 'Ein Alibi zerbricht', 'Zimmer 13', 'Der Hexer', 'Das Verrätertor', 'Der unheimliche Mönch', 'Der letzte Mohikaner', 'Onkel Toms Hütte', 'Das Geheimnis der weissen Nonne', 'Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel', 'Im Banne des Unheimlichen', the Jerry Cotton films, and many, many more. His simultaneous career as a TV composer was highly successful with compositions for such crime thrillers as 'Es ist soweit', 'Die Schlüssel', 'Melissa', 'Babeck', '11 Uhr 20', 'Der Diamantenprinz', and 'Hotel Royal'. And it should also be mentioned that Peter Thomas did not only discover Esther and Abi Ofarim but helped them on their way to world fame with the album 'Melodie einer Nacht'.
The series 'Raumpatrouille' ('Space Patrol Orion') took on cult status through his music – or perhaps vice versa.
Amazingly enough, this CD contains mainly previously unreleased numbers which were written for crime thrillers in the early Sixties. The popular and successful Edgar Wallace series gave him enormous room to unfold his talents, for the life's blood of these films was diversity and surprise. Thanks to their inspired musical arrangements, and performed by the 'Peter Thomas Sound Orchestra', even today these recordings seem to be way beyond their time. I wish you much pleasure with this review of Peter Thomas's music which brought him the reputation of being 'the wizard of film music'.
Arild Rafalzik, Producer