Spellbound/Rozsa

January 9, 2008

spellbound_g.gifgolden scores recording

of the year for 2007

 

In the category of re-release, re-recording, or the release of an OST for the very first time there were many golden age scores to evaluate and listen to. Looking back it brought us a complete recording of Around the World in 80 Days, a remastered Big Country, an academy award winner High Noon, Kings Row & Sea Wolf, new recordings of Fahrenheit 451, Mysterious Island, North by Northwest, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes,two new recordings of Sea Hawk, a new complete recording of Spellbound, a complete version of the Johnny Green classic Raintree County and the thriller Wait Until Dark. And these were just the list of ones that I considered for best of the year! Steiner, North, Previn, Kaper, Frontiere, Deutsch, and Hefti also had fine entries. As you read my reasoning listed below all of these scores have merit and deserve a lot more attention than they have been given. There should have been far more attention given to a release of High Noon from SAE than a rework of Wagner material in Magic Fire from Varese Sarabande. Oh wait, I forgot there were only 500 copies so collectors had to scoop them up.!

Big Country was a welcome release from La-La Land of a complete recording, given the older SAE release had sold out and was only available in the used market. It gives the newer enthusiast an opportunity to purchase one of the finest western film scores of all time. The same can also be said of the Hit Parade release of Around the World in 80 Days with the newer found material. Fahrenheit 451 and Mysterious Island were both extremely well recorded and performed with many cues done for the first time on the new Tribute Film Classics label. FSM gave us a recording of Raintree County with never before record cues, close to an hour of additional material. Lukas has kept up the tradition of releasing one a month and 2007 was no exception. He also released Hank Mancini’s Wait Until Dark, a score that sat in the locked vaults far too long. Craig and Ray at Screen Archives didn’t disappoint and came out with D.O.A., High Noon, Three Musketeers & The Letter, all important archival material that we can listen to and enjoy. For icing on the cake we have not one but two recordings of the fabulous Korngold score from Sea Hawk. James Fitzpatrick’s labor of love The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, on his Tadlow label was so tempting to pick but the thought process was the material did come from previously composed material (Rozsa’s Violin Concerto).

Well, this leaves us with SPELLBOUND, the supreme effort from Fake and the crew at Intrada as my choice for 2007! For the first time I was able to hear the Rozsa material in the “Ski Run; Mountain Lodge” sequence, and it was a wonderful experience. The Spellbound melody is one of the most famous themes ever written for the silver screen. Young and old alike can recognize this haunting and romantic melody. Let’s also keep in mind that this score did win Rozsa an Oscar and was hugely popular in spite of the attempted interference of Hitchcock and Selznick. Also we need to remember that this is a re-recording of an existing score so it isn’t an exercise in duplicating the OST in regards to tempo etc. It seems like this score has been beset with criticism for over 60 years. None from me!

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