Expanded original soundtrack by Konrad Elfers for second Harry Palmer film begun with The Ipcress File, again starring Michael Caine, this time directed by Guy Hamilton of Goldfinger fame. Palmer becomes snarled in espionage tale set in cold war Berlin, with questionable motives of Russian colonel, Israeli agent with questionable motives of her own, pursuit of operative using funeral services as cover for defections from Soviet Union through Berlin, other intrigues all ripe for dramatic musical underlining. German pianist/composer Konrad Elfers supplies sometimes intense, sometimes brooding score which anchors with memorable funeral march heard in many guises: brass-led, robust, subtle, dissonant, imposing. In contrast, beautiful love theme plays courtesy piano, strings, solo sax. Action has its say with brassy figures, percussion riffs, distinctive piano chords. Entire score melds classical, jazz, modernistic technique into superb 1960’s spy-flavored work of art. All tracks of original 1966 RCA stereo soundtrack album appear, newly mixed from 1/2″ three-channel masters. Exciting, previously unreleased original pre-title sequence (“Berlin”), second version of “Tension Among Mortuary Men – Reprise”) amongst cool extras. Original album opening track (“Theme From Funeral In Berlin“) performed by The Puppets starts CD as well. Insightful liner notes by Jeff Bond, flipper cover design by Joe Sikoryak featuring original RCA cover art plus new art round out neat package. Konrad Elfers conducts

For the 1966 Paramount film Funeral in Berlin, famed Bond producer Harry Saltzman hired veteran German pianist and composer Konrad Elfers to provide the follow on score to John Barry’s effort for the first film, The Ipcress File.  Elfers wrote a score that sits comfortably between the works by Barry and Richard Rodney Bennett (who would compose music for Palmer’s third film, Billion Dollar Brain), combining the requisite jazz/big band sound of spy movies with a mix of classical and modernistic orchestral music that evoked the historical and modern aspects of the film’s setting in Berlin.

The original RCA Victor LP boasted an unusually comprehensive presentation of Elfers’ score at around 39 minutes of music. This expanded Intrada version features all the album cues—including two that were dropped—sourced from 1/2” three-track masters.

Funeral in Berlin was directed by Guy Hamilton, who had made Goldfinger, the most popular Bond film to that point. The plot has Harry Palmer (with Michael Caine reprising the role having first played it in The Ipcress File) assigned to facilitate the defection of a Russian colonel, whom Palmer immediately suspects has another agenda. In fact, Stok is using Palmer to expose and eliminate an operative who has been facilitating defections from the Soviet Union. Palmer’s Berlin contact and friend initially aids Palmer, but after an attractive model attempts to seduce Harry, Palmer discovers that she is an Israeli agent in pursuit of a former Nazi in possession of money stolen from Jewish victims by the Third Reich.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 296
Date: 1966
Time: 42:52
Tracks: 21


01. Theme From Funeral in Berlin
     (Instrumental: The Puppets) (1:53)
02. Funeral in Berlin (Main Theme) (2:43)
03. Palmer and Jane (1:46)
04. Checkpoint Charlie/Palmer Arrested (3:33)
05. Palmer Meets Samantha (2:19)
06. Skating Rendezvous at the Europa Centre (1:33)
07. Samantha – The Truce (0:59)
08. Tension Among Mortuary Men (1:41)
09. The Berlin Scene (1:20)
10. The Funeral (2:31)
11. Fate of Two Pawns (2:14)
12. Two Sides of the Wall (2:11)
13. Love in the Western Sector (2:59)

14. Hallam and Vulkan – Violence in the Western Sector (2:31)
15. Palmer Finds the Late Aaron (2:15)
16. Violence in the Eastern Sector (2:24)
17. Funeral in Berlin (Main Theme) – Reprise (1:11)
Total Score Time: 36:45

The Extras
18. Berlin (0:38)
19. Tension Among Mortuary Men – Reprise (2:17)
20. Landing/The Widow/The Documents (1:21)
21. Berlin Hilton (1:38)
Total Extras Time: 6:01