Sticking with my new discovery, Russian-Jewish composer Alfred Schnittke, I’ve already learned that he composed music for films…including a version of Kipling’s mongoose story, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. This prospect initially excited me, because an animated version of that story used to show up on television once in a while, and I remember liking it a great deal as a kid. Digging farther, it turns out that Schnittke’s version was not the animated version I recall fondly (and rightly so, it was made by Chuck Jones), but rather a Russian live-action version. And there was an earlier animated version, also Russian–so what was with all this Rikki-Tikki-Tavi content in the mid-70s? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll read the story and find out.
Meanwhile, here’s a suite of Schnittke’s music for that live-action version of the story It’s melodic and very dramatic (there are some unfortunate sound drops in the later few minutes), and highly compelling. Battle music indeed, for a mongoose battling a cobra to the death!