Tribute to Victor Young/compilation

September 11, 2010

When asked why he became a film composer Victor Young shook his head. “Why, indeed? Why would any trained musician let himself in for a career that calls for the exactitude of an Einstein, the diplomacy of Churchill and the patience of a martyr? And yet I can think of no other musical medium that offers as much challenge, excitement and demand for creativity in putting music to work.” Victor like Gershwin had an incredible talent for writing beautiful melodies and on 22 occasions he was nominated for the prized Oscar but he won only once for Around the World in 80 Days, received posthumously. “Love Letters,” “My Foolish Heart,” “Stella by Starlight,” “Sweet Sue,” “Golden Earrings,” and “When I Fall in Love” are just a few of the examples of his incredible output. Add films such as Samson and Delilah, Shane, For Whom the Bells Tolls, and The Quiet Man, selections all included in this compilation and you, have a small idea of Victor Young.

Richard Kaufman conducts the New Zealand Symphony performing six suites arranged by Patrick Russ, Henry Mancini, Richard Kaufman, and Steven Bernstein in a pleasant to listen to pops style format. This is a repressing of the Koch 3-7365-2H1 from 1996. It is exactly the same and is available in this limited release of 500 from Craig Spaulding of SAE. Now a word of caution. This recording isn’t a substitute for original soundtrack material but a pleasant one hour listening experience from a fine orchestra/conductor combination. The track error on the original Koch has also been corrected making the listing correct. In the case of Shane 14 minutes is as much material as you can get thus as close to the original soundtrack as you’ll find at this time. Victor Young scores are sorely lacking in the marketplace. Lack of interest, damaged audio tapes or lacks of cooperation from the studios are possible reasons why little or nothing has happened. Believe me when I say that if it were possible companies like Intrada, La-La Land, SAE, FSM or others would have seized the opportunity years ago. Thus the list of OST material is rather thin considering the huge output of films. Tall Men (VCL 1107 1070),Scaramouche (FSM Vol. 15 No. 13), Johnny Guitar (Varese VSD 5377),The Left Hand of God (Varese VCL 1105 1044) is material available and well worth exploring along with the material I’ve listed at the end of the article.

Again I say to the seasoned collector the arrangements will likely not be to your liking because you’re not the target market. Having said that if you’re a fan of Shane this is a must have recording because Kaufman includes the major themes from the film in a nice arrangement from Patrick Russ. The Mancini arrangement of Victor Young hits along with the main themes from Around the World is pleasant listening but strictly pops concert material.

CD# is RKYOUNG101

Track listing:

1. PRELUDE (02:52)

(suite from Shane)

2. THE TREE STUMP (02:59)

3. RODEO MUSIC (00:44)

4. WYOMING SKETCHES (03:12)

5. CEMETERY HILL (04:12)

6. FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS (08:29)

(suite)

7. PRELUDE (02:25)

(suite from Samson and Delilah)

8. MIRIAM (01:27)

9. DANCE TO DAGON (01:53)

10. HEBREW LAMENT (00:56)

11. FEATHER DANCE (01:50)

12. THE FALL OF SAMSON (01:28)

13. EXIT MUSIC (01:44)

14. ST. PATRICK’S DAY (02:17)

(suite from The Quiet Man)

16. KATHLEEN (03:35)

17. INNESFREE (02:38)

18. TRIBUTE TO VICTOR YOUNG (08:51)

(suite – arranged by Henry Mancini)

19. AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS (EPILOGUE) (06:47)

Total Duration: 00:58:19

Listing of Victor Young Material:

1….For Whom the Bells Tolls (Stanyan STZ IK2-2) A Ray Heindorf recording from 1991

2….Samson and Delilah (Varese VSD 5497) from the original motion picture score from 1994

3….Quiet Man (Silva Screen SSD 1118) Alwyn and the Dublin Screen Orchestra from 2000

4….Around The World in 80 Days (Hit Parade Records 13502) OST from 2007

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