Unforgiven

August 7, 2017

unforgiven

  1. Claudia’s Theme
  2. Will Looks Off
  3. Davey Leading Horses
  4. Pony for the Lady
  5. Bucket of Water
  6. Claudia’s Theme 2
  7. Bill Clips Bob
  8. Headstone and Flowers
  9. Claudia’s Theme 3
  10. Give It To Him
  11. It’s Self Defense
  12. Claudia’s Theme 4
  13. Get Up
  14. Reload This
  15. Claudia’s Theme 5
  16. Shave and a Haircut
  17. Will Rides In
  18. Claudia’s Theme 6
  19. Villainous Friends
  20. He Oughta’ Get Shot
  21. Claudia’s Theme 7
  22. Ned’s Body/Shotgun Appears
  23. Burn His House Down
  24. Claudia’s Theme 8
VARÈSE SARABANDE RECORDS ANNOUNCES NEW COLLECTABLE LP PACKAGES AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY AT BARNES & NOBLE ON AUGUST 11th
First Ever Vinyl Release of UNFORGIVEN Limited Edition Prairie Sand Vinyl (1000 units)
Clint Eastwood won many awards (4 Oscars) for his film and it is one that I have in my film collection, having watched it a number of times. To be honest I paid no attention to the source music until I was given a digital copy of he material which came directly from the limited ediion lp as there was a very slight noise in the background but no distracting in any way. You’ll get your own noise once you start playing if you choose to do so. The price is a modest $24.99. In the 24 tracks there are eight different versions of Claudia’s theme (written by Clint Eastwood)  the last being the best of them but the underscore material is very strong and I’m really surprised that the music wasn’t nominated at all.
 Tracks that I enjoyed listening to over and over again were “Headstones and Flowers,”
a short piece featuring the hamonica. There is a little bit of old time piano in “Shave and a Haircut.” “Ned’s Body” gives us a bit of almost dreamlike material but we know what is going to happen on the screen. “Burn His House Down” is another background track that I like as it has a hint of Claudias theme going on. This is also true of other tracks.
The purpose of this review is to make it known that the vinyl release is going to be on Friday so if you want one I’d stay up late on Thursday night and order it at 12:01 on Friday as I’m sure they will go fast.

El Pueblo del Sol

August 6, 2017

 

El_Pueblo_Del_Sol-600

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Written in 1981 for a Mexican documentary (20 minutes) this short which I’ve never seen is a travel documentary about many places in our neighbor to the south. The eleven tracks total forty minutes so we can assume Lee wrote plenty of extra material so much of his score ending up on the cutting floor. This material is a re-release of the Bay Cities BCD 1031 CD complete with noaddition of any material.

The first track, “Fiesta Del Sol,” was a bit of a surprise to me as I expected something hispanic perhaps in the vein of Copland’s El Mexico Salon  but this had more of a majestic sound like a Goldsmith melody. The cue begins with a fanfare from the horns with the trombones offering support. The strings takeover with a sweet sound but the melody is given back to the horns for another round. There is a secondary melody with harp in the background but the material segues back to the main melody as the track ends. This is good stuff!

“Latir de Progresso,” is the main theme again with a twist. It is not until we get into the “Paisajes” do we hear a few bars of hispanic style in the nature section of the material. His treatment of the industry part is recognizable with a bit of pounding but still pretty quiet. “Mosaico Turistico” has a hint of where we are but it isn’t until “Suenos” do we know that this is hispanic culture with the sweet strings almost overpowering it. “Origines” and “Estampas Historicas” take you on musical journies of the past with a cavalry charge, a lovely waltz and other musical motifs. “La Gran Tenochitian” is more of what I expected to hear in the score as the trumpets are announcing their arrival.”Cuadro Final” is divided into four parts and right away we hear the main theme with interesting harmony to depict the mysterious skies, lower tones and grumbling from the oboe. There is a nostalgic serenade, a upbeat one, and a return to the main melody, the dominant theme of the score. When you listen to this forty minute score you won’t hear what you might be expecting but more of a typical Hollywood score of the eighties. As I said before not having seen the film it is hard to comment on some of it. I can only really talk about what I heard and the orty minutes wen by quickly and I heard a variety of different kinds of sound.

 

August 5, 2017

Holdridge_Conducts_Holdridge

BSXCD 9133

“Scenes of Summer” is a relatively short 10 minute work depicting three summer scene. The first a presto, is a festival with much activity going  on. The melody is offered by the strings with harmony offered by the brass. As the title indicates it is very lively and in a few words something to awaken you in the morning.  “Countryside” is an andante, very deliberate theme that slowly builds. It is repeated again and according to Lee, who wrote the entire work in less than two weeks as a filler for an album in 1973 is a ‘afternoon walk.’ The third movement “Dance”  is once again an Allegro tempo which again according to Lee ‘an evening in a town square.’Originally released on the Citadel label this is re-release of this materialmade available for those who are younger and never had the opportunity to purchase it in the 80’s. It is the same material and the sound of the recordings are similiar on my modest system I have since my move to my new apartment. The seven selections are but a partial portion of his output of classical material.

Written in 1974 as an one-act opera it is a biblical piece about Lazarus, who died but was raised from the dead after four days (John ch. 12). It was an inspiring piece to write about and maybe someday I’ll be able to see the opera performed.

In 1977 Holdridge wrote his second violin concerto and i’m happy to say that overall it is pretty good and will take it’s place in my collection proudly. I’m reminded of Rozsa’s style but it is only a reminder.

The Albinoni adagio is a famous one and is is somewhat like the Barber work “Adagio For Strings” but much shorter in length. It is a sad piece and could have been used in many films if Lee had chosen to do so.

The “Andante For Orchestra,” “Ballet for Strings and Harp,” and “Grand Waltz for Strings” round out the works and are pieces that are on the softer side and would be good ones to play when you’re thinking.

Overall, I like this album and all of you who enjoy Holdridge will want this album in your collection. From a classical point of view it is definitely written in the style of the 19th century romantic composer. It is filled with melody.

 

 

 

 

East_of_Eden_BSXCD9132

When I think of Lee Holdridge my thoughts go back to the days of Korngold, Steiner and others who wrote real tunes that one could hum when you left the theater.  Some of the soundtracks today are so bad that I have ear plugs for the theater to watch the film. All seven of the films/documentaries that were selected have themes and if you listen carefully you’ll remember them, they’re really nice, well developed with proper harmony and simple but effective orchestrations.

“Beastmaster” has a title theme that is not like the title at all but a theme that seems to sound more like a science fition film. The second theme is soft and dainty, probably a love theme. Lee makes reference to the main title. The third theme is a heroic version of the main theme with underscore material. The suite ends as it begins with the majestic horns of the main title once again. “Wizards and Warriors” is just Overture and it has a similiar sound to” The Beastmaster.” It begins with an introduction followed by a main theme and then a soft passage which is underscore without any strong theme. It returns to the main theme which is played by the brass (trumpets and trombones).

By far the best of the material on this CD is the wonderful theme he created for the mini series “East of Eden.” In between the main theme it is filled with good underscore, something you can listen to over and over again. The seventeen minute suite is a good one and I’ll return to it often.

“The Hemingway Play” and “Great Whales” are two more themes of note with the whales theme being the stronger of the two. A proud and majestic one hat one canlisten to over and over again.

This CD is a radical departure from what you’re use to listening to in the modern day themeless material which is only written to stir up your emotions. If you don’t have this one (previously released on Citadel and Varese pick up a copy.

hollywood vol. 1

TT is 60:21

  1.  Pirates of the Caribbean (3:34)
  2.  Forrest Gump (4:19)
  3.  James Bond compilation (6:18)
  4.  Flintstone (1:11)
  5.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (6:36)
  6.  King Kong (8:48)
  7.  Terminal (4:19)
  8.  Star Wars (5:29)
  9.  Lord of the Rings 2 Towers Suite (5:08)
  10.  Gladiator (6:29)
  11.  Schindler’s List (4:37)
  12.  Jurassic Park (3:29)

The Vogtland Philharmonic 10 years ago issued a release of film music called Hollywood Sounds featuring many of the new releases in simple but effective arrangements. The one hour CD, probably played in one of their numerous concerts offers a variety of material which helps to break up the CD. Going from the entertaining James Bond material to the funny Flintstone theme, which brought back memories to me when it was on prime time television, to the serious Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, an action score. My favorite of the group is the main theme from The Terminal (Viktor’s Theme) The use of the clarinet perfectly fits the behavior of Viktor who is trapped in the airport unable to enter the United States. One of Hanks better efforts in my opinion. Also included are the standards Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, Schindler’s List. Included is a James Bond compilation which I found very weak as well as a poor rendition of Forrest Gump. I found the 9 minute version of King Kong  to be be a pleasant listening experience. As part of the three volume set this starats the ball rolling and subsequent volumes (especially three) make this an exciting package.

As a listener I’m quite surprised that I was unaware of this series given th fact I easily have over 2000 CD’s in my collection. The surround quality is far superior to the convential CD system with it’s stereo quality opposed to the 5 speaker system.

A major complaint that I had about this disk was the published track listing. It was completely wrong and I found I needed to listen to the tracks and put them in the proper order. If you do purchase the disk my track listings in my review are correct.

hollywood vol 2

1. Mission Impossible (2:59)
2. The Typewriter (1:49)
3. Doctor Zhivago (3:35)
4. The Dark Knight (7:19)
5. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (3:58)
6. Trojan (4:58)
7. A Tribute to John Williams (4:58)
8. Tango (3:56)
9. The Last Samurai (7:47)
10. Ben Hur (3:57)
11. Spider Man (4:42)
12. The Mission (4:04)
13. The Pink Panther (2:57)
14. Pirates of the Caribbean (5:12)

Sounds of Hollywood vol. 2 offers another varied selection of mater although I do take exception to the arrangements such as Ben Hur which lacked the emotion necessary to such a powerful score, perhaps the best work that Rozsa ever did. The orchestra seemed to go through the motions and the result is quite evident. On the other hand one of the real treats of this CD is the playing of the John Williams Tango. The violin is superb, the tempo nicely done. One can close your eyes and see two performers dancing the night away. I’ll give a passing mark to The Pink Panther theme although if you listen to the Boston Pops version with John Williams conducting you’ll find it a lot jazzier and a much stronger sax solo. When I was studying music (arrangements) in college I orchestrated this piece and it came out fine. Light and airy describes the Leroy Anderson tune The Typewriter and is a fun piece to listen to although I miss the use of an actual typewriter which was used in the original.  Gabriel’s Oboe a tur Oscar winner for Morricone that never happened is again on the weak side when one compares it to the original soundtrack. The Dark Knight version of the Hans Zimmer composition to the film is a strong 7 minute version filled with all the emotions you’d expect to hear. We canput this one in the plus column.

As was the case with volume one of the sounds of hollywood volume 2 adheres to the wrong track listing. The one I provided in my review is correct. Pehaps we’ll see in the future a three volume set of these recordings at a special price.

30 years 30 CD

30cd set

Hong Kong – Naxos was launched in 1987 as a budget classical CD label, offering CDs at the price of an LP at a time when CDs cost about three times more than LPs. The focus was on recording the standard repertoire in state-of-the-art digital sound with outstanding, if unknown artists and orchestras, initially mainly from Eastern Europe. From these humble beginnings, Naxos developed into one of the world’s leading classical labels, recording a wide range of repertoire with artists and orchestras from more than 30 countries.

The Naxos Music Group will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of Naxos with events in Munich and London, including a gala concert on May 16 at the Court Chapel in Munich featuring Naxos artists Boris Giltburg, Tianwa Yang and Gabriel Schwabe.

Today, at the gala event in Munich, Klaus Heymann, the founder of Naxos, will receive the Special Achievement Award of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) awarded to him on April 1, 2017. Says ICMA President Remy Franck: “Klaus Heymann has changed the recording industry and without him it would never have achieved the dynamic it has today, despite all the problems which might exist. Due to his strong visions, his incredible efficiency and has profound love for the music he became the industry’s major player.”

Naxos releases about 200 new titles per year, offering many world première recordings but also installments of huge complete works projects such as the complete piano music of Liszt and the complete symphonies of Villa-Lobos. The Naxos catalog now consists of more than 9000 titles of mostly unduplicated repertoire recorded in state-of-the-art sound by well-known artists and orchestras, prize-winners and other rising young stars. The label features many series targeting specific national markets, none more important than its American Classics whose composers, orchestras, conductors, soloists and producers among them have won 19 GRAMMY® awards.

A major Naxos project is a complete recording of Wagner’s Ring with the Hong Kong Philharmonic conducted by Jaap van Zweden and featuring soloists such as Matthias Goerne, Michelle deYoung, Stuart Skelton, Simon O’Neill and others. In a video interview with Klaus Heymann, Music Director Designate of the New York Philharmonic, van Zweden had this to say about this important undertaking: “I am enjoying this [journey]. I want to thank Klaus for having the courage, in the times we live in now, to do this [Ring cycle] with us… I’m so proud of this project.” Das Rheingold was released in 2015 and Die Walküre in 2016, both to great critical acclaim. Siegfried was recorded in January 2017 and will be released in November this year.

Parallel to the growth of the label, Naxos built a worldwide infrastructure for its own and most other independent classical labels. It offers these labels a wide range of services ranging from physical and digital distribution and logistics to marketing and promotion, licensing, royalty administration and collection of public performance royalties. Naxos also has brought a number of independent classical labels under its umbrella offering them its infrastructure while maintaining their artistic independence. Among these labels are Capriccio, Dynamic, Ondine, Orfeo and 13 others.

Naxos is also the industry leader in the digital presentation of classical music. In 1996, it made the complete catalogs of Naxos and its sister label, Marco Polo, available for streaming, the first labels in the history of the industry to do so. In 2002, the company launched Naxos Music Library, the industry’s first subscription streaming platform, four years before the launch of Spotify. Since then, streaming platforms for jazz, world music, spoken word and audiovisual productions were launched.

The Naxos online libraries are used by thousands of educational institutions and music professionals around the world. They offer not only music listening but also a wide range of reference material including an interactive music dictionary, pronunciation guides, guided tours and many other resources. Beyond these libraries Naxos has made big investments in music education ranging from books with CDs to e-books and apps. The hardcover My First Classical Music Book has been published in 10 languages and the App based on the book has been one of the most successful ever in classical music.

A limited edition box set offering 30 CDs selected from the vast Naxos catalog has been released worldwide. It offers landmark recordings from the 30-year history of the label.

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About Naxos Music Group
Celebrating 30 years in 2017, Naxos has evolved from its beginnings as a budget label to a leading classical music group.  Headquartered in Hong Kong with distribution and marketing subsidiaries in fifteen countries, the group distributes its Naxos, Naxos AudioBooks and Marco Polo labels and provides distribution and licensing services to more than 200 independent and major CD and DVD labels.  The Naxos Group is also an industry leader in music education boasting a wide range of physical and digital educational products.  The Naxos Group’s digital platforms include the Naxos Music Library, Naxos Spoken Word Library and Naxos Video Library subscription services. Please visit www.naxosmusicgroup.com.

About Naxos Records
Launched in 1987 and currently offering over 9,000 titles, Naxos celebrates 30 years as the world’s leading classical music label in terms of number of new releases and breadth of catalog.  Its strategy of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent has been recognized with 24 GRAMMY® awards, over 800 Penguin Guide 3-star recommendations, 184 Gramophone Editor’s Choice Awards and numerous other honors.  Naxos is a truly international label and produces over 200 new recordings a year in more than 30 countries. Naxos has developed a wide range of educational products and services including the Naxos Music Library; today’s most important classical subscription platform.  Please visit www.naxos.com.