Warsaw Concerto PhotoThe (9) selections on this Naxos release are without a doubt far more popular than any of the movies that they appeared in. I’ll grant you the Hitchcock/Selznick Spellbound still has a following and Lumet’s Murder on the Orient Express was popular winning several awards but there are few if any reading this review that are familiar with Love Story (1945), Dangerous Moonlight, The Case of the Frightened Lady, The Glass Mountain, Hangover Square, While I Live, or Midnight on the Cliffs. Yet all of the films feature a piano concerto as an important part of the film except for Spellbound, which had the Oscar winning theme, but the piano concerto version came later. Does over 100 recordings and 3 million in sales for “The Warsaw Concerto” impress you just a little? These melodies appear in many “Beloved Melody” compilation albums from nameless orchestras, to the 101 Strings, to the Boston Pops. Many a summer evening I’m sure you’ve heard your pop’s orchestra perform some of these standard themes, ones that Max Steiner could easily have written the melody for except for the work from Herrmann. The style was like something that Rachmaninoff could have composed with a big bold sound, oozing with love chords from the grand piano.

While schmaltz is the word to describe many of the selections it can’t be used for the fascinating piano concerto Herrmann wrote for Hangover Square. The staccato like beginning on the piano sets the dark mood and it quickly segues into familiar dark Herrmann minor brass chords any listener of Bernard will quickly recognize. After a brief respite, where there is a short passage of soothing material, the music reverts to the staccato dissonant piano passages again. When the main character George Bone, played by Laird Cregar, sets fire to his place knowing the end has come, the final coda is played only by the piano. The music had a huge influence on Steven Sondheim as a 15 year old and one can hear the Herrmann influence in Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd.

Richard Rodney Bennett hit the bull’s-eye dead center with his Oscar nominated Murder On The Orient Express. Beginning with a definite 30’s style sound it segues into a wonderful waltz tempo in an all too short suite. If this happens to be your introduction to Bennett enjoy, as you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise.

While the preferred recording of the “Spellbound Concerto” is a 22-minute version with two pianos (Varese Sarabande #3020668102) this one does highlight the major themes of the Oscar winning score from Rozsa and is quite a pleasant listen. While it never appeared in the film as a piano concerto, a year after the film was released Miklos arranged this 12 minute work and it has been performed by many orchestras and pianists over the years.

“Midnight On The Cliffs,” performed and written by Leonard Pennario for the film Julie is his one and only attempt at the silver screen and is a typical showpiece romantic work. “Portrait of Isla,” from The Case of the Frightened Lady 1940, was the first official piano concerto written for a film and is somewhat melodramatic depicting the overall mood of the film.

This is a CD that affords you the opportunity to get snippets from films that are only available on this compilation. The Naxos value is just an additional bonus.

Naxos CD# 8.554323

Philip Fowke, Piano

RTE Concert Orchestra

Proinnsias O Duinn

Track Listing:

1. Richard Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto (09:07)

(Dangerous Moonlight, 1941)

2. Jack Beaver: Portrait Of Isla (04:42)

(The Case Of The Frightened Lady, 1940)

3. Miklós Rósza: Spellbound Concerto (11:58)

(Spellbound, 1945)

4. Nino Rota: The Legend Of The Glass Mountain (04:01)

(The Glass Mountain, 1948)

5. Richard Rodney Bennett: Theme And Waltz (05:46)

(Murder On The Orient Express, 1974)

6. Hubert Bath: Cornish Rhapsody (06:04)

(Love Story, 1945)

7. Bernard Herrmann: Concerto Macabre (12:00)

(Hangover Square, 1945)

8. Charles Williams: The Dream Of Olwen (05:01)

(While I Live, 1947)

9. Leonard Pennario: Midnight On The Cliffs (05:39)

(Midnight On The Cliffs, 1956)

Total Duration: 01:04:18

 

 

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Jeremiah Johnson/Rubinstein

October 22, 2009

Jeremiah_Johnson_Vol12Nr15Robert Redford stars in the Sydney Pollack directed film Jeremiah Johnson (1972), based loosely on the novel Mountain Man and other material about the last of the mountain men in the 1800’s. The true facts of Johnson’s life had to be greatly altered as it was reported he killed 247 Crow Indians and then ate their livers, according to legend. Somehow I don’t think that Redford would want to portray that. As far as a time frame is concerned for Redford films it was between Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Way We Were (1973). Other than Will “The Walton’s” Geer there were no other significant name major actors.

You’ll not find the name of John Rubinstein, son of the famous concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein, very often in the credits. A quick look in the Soundtrack Collector database revealed only one other film China Beach (1988), where a CD release is available. Tim McIntire, son of John “Wagon Train” McIntire, was primarily an actor and only had this film to his credit as far as a composer was concerned. Yet the two relative newcomers did a credible job for Warner Brothers and director Sydney Pollack.

If at all possible, and in this case it was, FSM gives you all of the recorded material available including unreleased tracks, alternate tracks, demo material for Sydney Pollack, and the original LP recording. While there is certainly a lot of very similar material it is all-available for the collector to study and sort through. The performing orchestra is a mid-size one (43 maximum) but on many of the cues it is smaller featuring piano, violin, Indian flutes, banjo, and harp. There is certainly that “Americana” sound mixed with folk and hoedown, making you realize while you’re listening how much influence Copland had on composers. Rubinstein and McIntire didn’t come up with any new groundbreaking material but created exactly the sound that Pollack was looking for, a sound that is quite easy on the ears, a bit schmaltzy from time to time, and never over the top with fortissimo chords. McIntire, who sings the songs, is very laid back in his country western style. A pleasant voice, easy to listen to but the same as I’ve heard many times before. I found the musical passages of the CD to be quite soothing, also easy to listen to, especially the Indian flute passages. The liner notes from Redman and Kaplan along with the interview of Rubinstein that Bond did provide interesting useful information. A fan of western music, Robert Redford, or the film itself will find this a nice addition to their collection. The release is limited to 3000 copies.

Film Score Monthly # is Vol. 12 #15

Produced by Lukas Kendall

Mastering By Doug Schwartz

Track listing

1. Overture/Spirits Landings/“Jeremiah Johnson” (Main Title) (07:42)

 

2. Hatchet Jack’s Letter/Bear Claw/You Got Some Work to Do (01:50)

 

3. Jeremiah Johnson/Top Knot (02:26)

 

4. Wedding Chant/“The Way That You Wander” (01:44)

 

5. Swan (02:37)

 

6. The Cabin/It’ll Have to Do (02:30)

 

7. Ride to the Buffalo (02:16)

 

8. Who Won?/Intermission (01:45)

 

9. Entr’Acte/The Burial Ground/Ride Home/The Wake (03:57)

 

10. Funeral Fire (01:01)

 

11. Indian Death Chant/”He’s Never Been Known to Be Wrong” (“An Indian Says”)/Jeremiah Johnson (01:58)

 

12. Violence Montage (00:43)

 

13. To Qualens/What’s on the Spit? (02:02)

 

14. Green and Muddy/“The Way That You Wander”/“Jeremiah Johnson” (End Title) (03:16)

Total Time: 36:18

Additional Score

15. Spirits Landing (instrumental) (01:55)

 

16. Paints His Shirt Red/Hatchet Jack/M11/M12/Yes/Close Shave (01:35)

 

17. He’s Never Been Known to Be Wrong (instrumental) (01:56)

Total Time: 5:30

Album Tracks

Including Dialogue from the Motion Picture

18. Hatchet Jack/Bear Claw/Full-Time Night Woman (02:00)

 

19. The Wedding/“The Way That You Wander” (02:04)

 

20. Maybe April/“The Way That You Wander”/End Title (03:50)

Total Time: 7:59

Orchestral Demo

21. Spirits Landing/“Jeremiah Johnson” (Main Title) (05:32)

Work Tape

22. The Cabin (04:22)

 

23. Flute and Violin 1 (01:12)

 

24. “Jeremiah Johnson” (01:20)

 

25. “The Heart of a Lady” (02:44)

 

26. Guitar Improvisation (00:14)

 

27. Violin and Piano (01:13)

 

28. “Jeremiah Johnson” (End Title) (01:31)

Total Time: 12:52

Song Recordings

29. “The Way That You Wander” (01:13)

 

30. “The Heart of a Lady” (humming (01:04)

 

31. “Jeremiah Johnson” (End Title) (01:14)

Total Time: 3:36

 

Total Duration: 01:10:46

5188FT3b77L__SL500_AA240_

With a release date of October 13, 2009, just in time for Halloween this year, Silva has put together a 4 CD set covering a time period from 1922-2009. Including the very latest “Drag Me To Hell” (2009) from Christopher Young to the classic “Nosferatu” (1922) a silent film with music adapted by Hammer horror specialist James Bernard, 87 years are covered with over 276 minutes of material being offered. Can you call it The Definitive Horror Music Collection when it includes selections such as the love theme from “The Mummy,” “Zodiac” or the elegiac “Let The Right One In” to name just three? The 13+ minute “King Kong” (2005) suite is nicely performed by Fitzpatrick and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and a pleasant listening experience but except for a couple of very short sections is this really horror music? I don’t think so. On the other hand scary material such as “Horror of Dracula,” “The Omen,” and “The Devil Rides Out” are included. There is a nice selection from “The Bride of Frankenstein,” titles featuring John Carpenter films, “Saw,” and Young’s “Hellraiser” which do qualify as horror music. What do you do? If your looking at this as a must have horror collection I’d say pass. But if you look at the set as a very nice 4-½ hour compilation of soundtracks it is certainly worth a serious look. If you own previously released Silva material you should look carefully at what is offered and what you might have as some of the material has been previously released. If you’re relatively new to collecting this could be a very nice way to get highlights from films you’ve seen such as “King Kong” without having to invest in a CD of all the material. Of course you also have the option of downloading only the tracks you’re interested in.

While previously released many years ago, the real treat of this collection, in the opinion of this reviewer, is the James Bernard horror material. “Horror of Dracula” has some of the best suspense/horror music as well as one of the finer chase music ever written. When Van Helsing is being chased by Dracula this is definitely a case where the music makes the scene all that much better. In addition, there is also material from “The Devil Rides Out,” “Dracula, Prince of Darkness,” and some pretty good material in “Horrors of the Black Museum,” composed by Gerard Schurmann. If you’re into the synthesizer there are several selections of material performed by Gareth Williams, Mark Ayres, and Nick Watson. In conclusion, this is one that should be looked at carefully if you’re interested in compilation CD’s. You might want to purchase with some duplication or just download selected tracks. The overall value from Silva is a good one at less than $10.00 per CD. There are no liner notes.

Produced by James Fitzpatrick, David Wishart, and Rick Clark

Mastering by Gareth Williams and Rick Clark

Silva CD# is SILCD1288

Track Listing:

Disc 1

1. Drag Me to Hell – End Titles 7:16

2. Twilight – Edward At Her Bed / Bella’s Lullaby 3:33

3. Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) – Eli’s Theme 2:42

4. Cloverfield – Roar! 5:36

5. Sunshine – Adagio in D Minor 4:27

6. Zodiac – Graysmith’s Theme 2:56

7. Dexter 1:44

8. Pan’s Labyrinth – The Labyrinth 4:03

9. King Kong – Suite 13:47

10. War Of The Worlds – Suite 7:29

11. Saw – Hello Zep 3:01

12. 28 Days Later – In The House-In A Heartbeat 4:21

13. The Ring – This Is Going To Hurt 2:51

14. The Mummy Returns – Main Theme 5:25

15. Hannibal – Vide Cor Meum 3:03

Disc 2

1. The Mummy – The Sand Volcano / Love Theme 2:55

2. Sleepy Hollow – End Titles 3:13

3. The Haunting – The Carousel / End Titles 2:55

4. The Sixth Sense – Malcolm Is Dead 5:22

5. Buffy The Vampire Slayer 1:06

6. Village Of The Damned – March Of The Children 6:35

7. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – The Storm 4:24

8. Army Of Darkness – Prologue and Building The Deathcoaster 4:32

9. The Witches Of Eastwick – Dance Of The Witches 4:37

10. Predator (Edit) 3:59

11. Hellraiser Suite 5:55

12. Hellbound: Hellraiser II Suite 8:44

13. They Live 3:25

14. Aliens – Prelude / Ripley’s Rescue 5:55

15. Ghostbusters – Main Theme 3:14

Disc 3

1. Nightmare On Elm Street – Main Theme 4:16

2. Christine – Bad To The Bone 4:56

3. Poltergeist – Main Theme 4:21

4. The Thing 4:31

5. Halloween II – Main Theme 4:33

6. The Fog 4:00

7. Dressed To Kill – The Gallery 6:04

8. The Shining – Music For Strings, Percussion and Celesta (excerpt) 7:02

9. Dracula – Main Titles & Storm 4:56

10. Phantasm Main Theme 4:00

11. Alien – The Nostromo / End Title 3:46

12. Halloween – Main Theme (Mix 1) 2:39

13. The Fury 2:55

14. Suspiria 6:05

15. Exorcist II: The Heretic – Regan’s Theme 2:40

Disc 4

1. The Omen – Suite For Choir And Orchestra 3:56

2. Young Frankenstein – Transylvanian Lullaby 4:09

3. The Exorcist – Tubular Bells 6:02

4. Duel – The Café / Truck Attack 5:09

5. Taste The Blood Of Dracula – The Young Lovers / Ride To The Ruined Church 6:27

6. Rosemary’s Baby – Lullaby 2:42

7. Twisted Nerve Suite 5:35

8. The Devil Rides Out – The Power Of Evil 2:04

9. Dracula, Prince Of Darkness – Suite 5:07

10. The Haunting – The History Of Hill House 4:36

11. Dracula – Main Title & Finale 7:30

12. Horrors of the Black Museum 3:34

13. The Thing From Another World – Main Theme 2:06

14. Bride Of Frankenstein – Creation Of The Female Monster 8:43

15. Nosferatu Overture 3:03

Total Time – 276:32

Exodus/Gold

October 8, 2009

Exodus_007  

Released on December 15th, 1960 the epic (200+ minutes) Otto Preminger film based on the Leon Uris novel starred Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Sir Ralph Richardson, and Sal Mineo who received an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Exodus was awarded the coveted Oscar for best score in 1961, winning the award over the films Elmer Gantry (Andre Previn), Spartacus (Alex North), The Alamo (Dimitri Tiomkin), The Magnificent Seven (Elmer Bernstein) and Psycho (Bernard Herrmann). In addition he also won two Grammy awards for best soundtrack and best song of the year. The theme from Exodus has gone on to become one of the more popular film melodies of all time, being on 100’s of different compilation albums. The Ferrante and Teicher version climbed all the way to #2 on the Billboard charts. In addition, at the time of this writing Soundtrack Collector has listed (25) recordings of the score material. Why then did Tadlow choose to reconstruct and record this material yet again? This reviewer can remember purchasing a new RCA LP #LOC1058 when it was first released and being somewhat disappointed in the overall audio quality of the recording and the omission of a great amount of material (34 minutes instead of 80). Even the RCA LP was a re-recording of the original score performed by the Sinfonia of London conducted by the composer. Thus the answer is a complete recording with far superior sound. There is a lot more to Exodus than just the famous melody. In fact if someone wanted to take the themes like Korngold did with some of his Hollywood scores and adapt it to a symphony/tone poem the result would be most satisfying.

Otto Preminger requested Gold be on location in Israel and Cypress and Ernest immediately went to work using first impressions and the extensive research he had done. “Prelude” gives us the majestic main theme of hope and inspiration followed by a militaristic theme giving us a preview of what will come as the story unfolds. Gold perfectly sets a proper mood in “Summer in Cyprus,” a lush, exotic, and tropical Mediterranean setting easily comes to mind. However, it suddenly changes into a Hebrew type theme which will be used as a motif throughout the film. “Escape/General offers some excellent action/tension underscore with some frantic moments. “The Tent” introduces the theme for Karen, one that sounds like someone sitting around a campfire playing an Americana tune on the harmonica. It is actually an accordion and it is given the string treatment before moving into further militaristic music. “Kitty” is a lovely romantic theme played by violin and piano and is also played in “Love Is Where You Find It” with a larger orchestra. The main theme is not overused but carefully placed in the remainder of the score. Also included on the CD is a choral version of Exodus “This Land Is Mine,” words by Pat Boone. The remaining 50+ minutes of the second CD include two waltzes from Gold from his films “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “Ship Of Fools.” “Judith,” a Sol Kaplan score, previously recorded material (Silva SILCD 1183) from the Goldsmith score of “QB VII,” (Queen’s Bench #7) “Schindler’s List,” “Cast A Giant Shadow,” and two Exodus theme arrangements, one by Gold for a Decca recording in the 60’s featuring the cello and a Fitzpatrick (executive producer) symphonic overture of the main and other themes from the score.

This reviewer can only marvel at the vast improvement of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. They have gone from high school like to a first class ensemble over the last few years. I’m confident in saying that Tadlow and Silva have had something to do with their development. Not only will soundtrack collectors want this for their collection but also just the casual listener will find this to be a satisfying experience. Highly recommended.

Tadlow CD# is TADLOW 007 (2 CD set)

Produced by James Fitzpatrick

Mastered by Gareth Williams

Track Listing:

Disc/Cassette 1

 

1. Prelude (02:42)

 

2. Summer in Cyprus (01:55)

 

3. Escape / The General (02:06)

 

4. Ari (03:49)

 

5. On the Beach* (02:06)

 

6. The Tent – Karen / Lorries / The Convoy* (04:13)

 

7. The Star of David* (00:40)

 

8. Odenheim’s Death / Karen’s Story* (04:02)

 

9. Approaching Haifa / The Oath* (03:03)

 

10. Kitty* (02:02)

 

11. Akiva’s Hideout (01:41)

 

12. Love is Where You Find It / The Valley of Jezreel* (06:08)

 

13. Yad El / He is Dead* (02:26)

 

14. Goodbye / Intermission Music – Fight for Survival (02:44)

 

15. Karen’s Father (In Jerusalem) (03:51)

 

16. Akiva’s Arrest* (03:21)

 

17. Execution Chamber / Don’t Let My Brother Die* (01:36)

 

18. Acre Prison / The Chess Game (Conspiracy)* (05:41)

 

19. D-Day / The Bombs (Prison Break)* (07:43)

 

Disc/Cassette 2

 

1. The Arsenal* (01:26)

 

2. The Operation* (01:47)

 

3. Children on the Hill* (02:04)

 

4. Dawn / Finale – The Fight for Peace (06:45)

 

5. Exit Music – Hatikvah (03:30)

 

6. EXODUS – This Land is Mine (02:20)

Lyrics by Pat Boone

* Contains previously unrecorded music

BONUS TRACKS

 

7. IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD – Exit Music (02:06)

 

8. SHIP OF FOOLS – Candlelight and Silver Waltz (05:11)

 

9. JUDITH – Main Title Music (04:09)

Sol Kaplan

QB VII – Jerry Goldsmith

 

10. Main Title (02:02)

 

11. The Holocaust (02:52)

 

12. Visit to the Sheikh (02:14)

 

13. The Wailing Wall (03:15)

 

14. Kaddish for the Six Million (03:20)

SCHINDLER’S LIST – John Williams

 

15. Schindler’s List (04:18)

 

16. Remembrances (05:55)

CAST A GIANT SHADOW – Elmer Bernstein

 

17. Prelude (03:00)

 

18. Land of Hope (03:21)

EXODUS

 

19. Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra (06:56)

 

20. Concert Overture (04:28)

 

Total Duration: 02:12:48

Track listing for RCA LP for comparing

 

 

1. Theme from Exodus (02:23)

 

2. Summer in Cyprus (02:15)

 

3. Escape (01:19)

 

4. Ari (03:00)

 

5. Karen (02:00)

 

6. Valley of Jezreel (04:22)

 

7. Fight for Survival (01:28)

 

8. In Jerusalem (03:30)

 

9. The Brothers (01:08)

 

10. Conspiracy (03:00)

 

11. Prison Break (03:20)

 

12. Dawn (03:57)

 

13. Fight for Peace (01:22)

 

 

Total Duration: 00:33:04

Sursum Corda remastered

How rewarding it must have been when Korngold went to the podium, received his Oscar for best score for The Adventures Of Robin Hood, part of which consisted of material from “Sursum Corda,” which was booed when it was first introduced in 1920. Likely because of the booing Korngold took the time to write some program notes for the premiere of the work in the U.S. in Chicago in 1922. At the time it wasn’t understood because it was too modern. Today that idea is laughable and while the work isn’t played often it is well accepted as part of the growing interest in the music of Korngold. Erich today is equally accepted as a classical and golden age film composer with his themes readily exchanged between the two genres.

“Sursum Corda” (Lift Up Your Hearts) is patterned after tone poems of Richard Strauss and is also dedicated to him, Korngold’s childhood mentor. It tells a story of hope and optimism (major keys) with some conflict but you somehow know that good is going to win out in the end. It has two wonderful melodies one of which was the leitmotif for Robin Hood in the film. Being a former horn player I can fully appreciate the great difficulty in performing this piece. Perhaps the difficulty of the work contributed to the less than enthusiastic response from the audience. I could certainly see many hours of practice necessary to get the passages correct. The BBC Philharmonic is in top-notch form and performs this work nicely under the baton of Matthias Bamert.

The other work included on this CD is “Sinfonietta,” Op. 5 an amazing work from a 14 year old who impressed Richard Strauss, Jean Sibelius, and others with his amazing talent. Had it not been for Nazism and a 50-year absence of being performed who knows how popular this work could have been? The entire work is based on the theme Motif of the Cheerful Heart written in B major (Erich loved major keys) it is bright and cheerful. His sound and style were already being formed with this work. One who is familiar with his Hollywood works can already hear the style from so many of the great Warner Bros. Films he worked on. One cannot help but enjoy this symphonic work.

Available at a budget price from Chandos #10432X this recording has been remastered from the original 1994 Chandos #9317. Both recordings are the same the difference being a 24bit remastering. Recommended

Performed by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Matthias Bamert

Produced by Ralph Couzens

Engineered by Don Hartridge

Track Listing:

1.…Sursum Corda (19:31)

Sinfonietta, Op. 5

2.…FlieBend (10:32)

3.…Scherzo (8:56)

4.…Molto andante (8:09)

5.…Finale (15:14)

Total Time=62:42