Cyrano de Bergerac/Tiomkin

February 8, 2011

cyrano main title

tiomkin directs the orchestra


As a reviewer I’ve been blessed to own all of the SAE/CSR releases and am grateful I’ve been able to write about all of them. Each one is a recording that likely would not have been a reality had it not been for the love of film music by Craig Spaulding and Ray Faiola. This is the case with the two CD set of Cyrano de Bergerac limited to 1500 copies.


Released through United Artists by the team of Kramer/Foreman the filmed starred Jose Ferrer who won an Oscar for his outstanding performance. Even with a budget of only 800,000 dollars the film failed to return the investment and Foreman and Kramer were let go with one more film to do under their contract, High Noon.


The musical score was somewhat of a departure for Tiomkin who had never tackled a project that took place in the 17th century. He certainly did his homework and produced a work that fit nicely into the time period. If one is familiar with his work one can certainly hear his style. Making good use of the Harpsichord as well as a smaller chamber orchestra resulted in a good accurate score.


The “Main Title” while certainly not indicative of the period  is a rousing opening action cue denoting what is to come in this rollicking adventure of the man with the long nose. I’ve included an audio clip from this track, the theme which is used through the film. “The Servant Girl,” not used in the final edit is nonetheless is a fine musical cue giving one a feeling and longing with a hint of the harpsichord, baroque dance, and a feeling of Haydn. While the “Guitar Solo” is a nice track it sounds a bit out of place sounding more like a Italian Café scene from the 40’s. Out of place also is the track “Run Down” which sounds like a typical modern danger/action music cue from the 50’s.”The Covent” with female chorus is a moving religious track with a solemn harpsichord. This is quite moving and an excellent track. “Tiomkin Directs the Orchestra” is a track that Ray put together to show the separate takes of a multi-layered cue complete with dialogue of Tiomkin. Since this is really not a track I’ve included the whole cue for your enjoyment.


This is a mono recording taken from the original acetates and there is some surface noise as well as a limited dynamic range. Your speakers will not be challenged at all. The restoration, done by Ray Faiola, is well done considering the material he had to work with. He has always been based on quality not quantity and as a community we should be grateful for what was accomplished. As is usually the case liner notes are like small books and this one at 32 pages is no exception. It is extremely well researched and covers the movie pre and post as well as all the information you would ever want to know about the Tiomkin score.

Track listing

Disc/Cassette 1
1. Main Title (01:55)
2. King Of Clowns (00:36)
3. The Servant Girl (05:34)
4. Invitation (02:36)
5. Dark Parisian Streets (04:25)
6. The Pastry Shop (01:48)
7. Cyrano’s Disappointment (03:22)
8. Roxane’s Request (01:10)
9. Entrance Of The Guards (00:25)
10. The Cardinal’s Decree (00:32)
11. No Thank You! (01:56)
12. A New Recruit (02:56)
13. Lover By Proxy (03:27)
14. Lute Solo (00:39)
15. Roxane’s Delight (02:04)
16. A Challenge From Roxane (01:17)
17. A Pair Of Suitors (10:56)
Disc/Cassette 2
1. Diversion (02:23)
2. The Cuckolded Count (08:06)
3. A Last Letter (02:42)
4. Roxane’s Arrival (05:02)
5. Volunteer (06:45)
6. There Could Be An Accident (03:10)
7. Guitar Solo (01:18)
8. Run Down (01:28)
9. The Convent (07:53)
10. Foully Murdered (05:04)
11. Tango Cyrano (03:06)
12. Tiomkin Directs The Orchestra (03:22)

Total Duration: 01:35:57



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