For The Fallen/Various

March 6, 2008

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Berkshire Record Outlet is an excellent outlet for closeout classical label material, soundtracks, big band, and a wide range of other type of material. You can check out there array of material at http://www.berkshirerecordoutlet.com and see for yourself. The reason for mentioning them is the For The Fallen Release on Koch Classics that I purchased for the astounding price of $2.99! To my knowledge it is still available and one that should be investigated at the very least.Susan DelGiorno, general manager of Koch classics, came up with the idea to contribute to a charity to honor the World Trade Center tragedy while listening to the Bernard Herrmann composition “For the Fallen”, something Bernard was commissioned to write to commemorate the tragedy of World War II. This was the start of the CD and others were added by listening to 100’s of other available recordings

What is interesting about this CD to film score collectors is the selection of material includes works by Rozsa, Herrmann, Waxman, and Korngold. The third movement of the third quartet (sostenuto) of Erich Korngold is a fully developed version of the love theme from Sea Wolf. Erich enjoyed using his film themes in his concert works and what better place to do it. Many times this reviewer has longed for more fully developed material from many film composers and Erich is one of the few who doesn’t disappoint. While Korngold has written some of the finest golden age film scores of all time his concert material need not take a back seat to anyone. In fact of all of the film composers Korngold was certainly one of the more prolific. Another prolific concert work composer, Rozsa, has a short but likable bagatelle performed on solo piano by Sara Buechner. The Waxman piece is part of the “Sinfonietta for String Orchestra & Timpani”, written in 1955 for the head of Zurich radio. The Lento is a dirge like piece with the always present beat of the timpani. One is reminded of a march to the gallows perhaps in a western genre. For those who have yet to hear “For The Fallen” you are in for a treat. It is a berceuse (lullaby) with an absolutely haunting Herrmann theme. Like Rozsa and Korngold, Herrmann took part of the theme from a previous work, The Happy Prince a radio program that Bernard wrote for Orson Welles. It is offered on this CD as a complete piece as it is slightly under (7) minutes in length. Also included is the now standard American classic piece “Elegy for Strings” by Samuel Barber, the Morton Gould “Fall River Legend” (Hymnal Variations), and a very moving piece “The Hollow Men” by Vincent Persichetti. that features some nice trumpet work. There is also an original recording of “God Bless America” with Irving Berlin singing and a couple of choral works.

This is a fine compilation of material and well worth the $2.99 price tag. You’ll be introduced to a fine array of material and the material that you like can be explored by seeking out the complete work of some of the pieces. When you think about it Horner wasn’t the only composer who reused some of his material. Recommended

Golden Score Rating ***

Produced by Koch International Classics

Track Listing:

1. Rozsa: Bagatellen, Op. 12 (Canzone) (2:04)

2. Herrmann: For The Fallen (6:54)

3. Bingen: O gloriossimi lux (6:41)

4. Waxman: Sinfonietta (Lento) (4:11)

5. Barber: Adagio for Strings (8:16)

6. Thompson: Testament of Freedom (6:38)

7. Piazzola: Ave Maria (4:27)

8. Korngold: String Quartet No. 3 (Sostenuto) (9:23)

9. Persichetti: The Hollow Men (8:06)

10. Gould: Fall River Legend (Hymnal Variations) (4:32)

11. Berlin: God Bless America (1:26)

Total Time is 62:43

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