Adventures of Casanova/Friedhofer

August 31, 2011

Eagle-Lion Films like Lippert, Pine-Thomas, and Monogram made a lot of ‘B’ movies. IMDB shows 155 spanning nearly twenty years. The forties were the peak years including some pretty decent films such as Trapped with Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, music by Sol Kaplan. It was during this time frame that Casanova (1948) came out. Filmed in Mexico this film is available for free viewing on the internet. The main interest I have in this film is the fine Hugo Friedhofer score. A word of caution. This is an archival recording and you’re going to hear a little noise in the background. I found that my listening experience improved by lowering the volume. I could still hear the music just fine but the background was quiet. Any score from Friedhofer is a welcome addition to this reviewer’s collection. You’ll hear the work and influence that Friedhofer had on Korngold. What you’ll hear is the difference in the orchestra he worked with on this score as opposed to the Warner Bros. ensemble which could have been three times the size.

 

The “Main Title” begins with a fanfare that introduces the strings who offer a typical Friedhofer melody not unlike Korngold could have written. Keep in mind Hugo did a lot of arranging/orchestration for him when they both worked for Warner Bros. The theme offers the time period as well as a bit of romance. “Death to Oppression” is a brief track with action as it offers some dissonant brass and a military fanfare. “Bring Casanova/The Great Lover/Husband Arrives/The Sister is four combined tracks which offer a very romantic version of the main title. The love theme blossoms complete with solo violin complemented by the harp. It shifts to danger mode before a Spanish guitar is a prelude to the love theme again. “Lorenzo and Casanova/The Sword/Bianca and Father” starts with a quiet moment before tension arrives followed by a drum roll with fanfare and a romantic theme very much like Korngold. “The Plan/Attack is of interest as it offers some very nice horn work in addition to tension and urgency from the strings. “Find the Traitors/Ambush” is action packed with drum rolls and swirling strings. “Audacious Casanova/Bianca and Zanetta’s Plan” begins in a courtly fashion with romantic medieval strings and fluttering flutes. “Count de Brissac Plots/Casanova’s Kiss” is more of a medieval style mocking track. “Escape” opens with tension, a statement from the horns; a good underscore track without going over the top. “Lovers’ Meeting/Success/Casanova’s New Servant is romance in the air, a bit of dashing chivalry, a bit of mockery, and a nice exchange from flute and clarinet. “Lovesick Fools” is a Spanish romantic guitar one could hear as part of a serenade. “Kisses Before Dinner” begins with a fluttering clarinet and offers the love theme once again. This track probably has the most noise of all. “Count de Brissac Makes His Move” has mounting tension and an air of oriental like melody dominates the track. “A Great Swordsman, A Great Lover” offers a hint of that nice love melody again. “Lorenzo and de Brissac/Lorenzo Dies/Casanova Arrested” is more action underscore with parts of quiet moments. “Zanetta Reveals The Truth” has its yearning but also danger motifs. “Casanova’s Last Supper” opens with yearning strings followed by a religious cue from the organ which is followed by a military fanfare. “Jail Visitor” is a longing track with religious feeling. “Casanova Escapes/Duel to the Death/The End offers a flurry from the violins backed by the horns calling out. The duel is somewhat subdued but there is urgency from the strings. The harp signals the end with a brief return to the main title followed by an ending fanfare which brings this score to a close.

 

Limited to a 1000 units don’t delay in having this in your collection. You can’t ever get enough of Friedhofer.

Track Listing:

1… Main Title (2:02)

2… Death to Oppression (1:20)

3… Casanova/The Great Lover/Husband Arrives/The Sister (4:04)

4… Lorenzo and Casanova/The Sword/Bianca and Father (2:58)

5… The Plan/Attack (2:30)

6… Find The Traitors/Ambush (4:30)

7… Audacious Casanova/Bianca and Zanetta’s Plan (3:11)

8… Count de Brissac Plot’s/Casanova’s Kiss (1:38)

9… Escape (3:52)

10… Lovers’ Meeting/Success/Casanova’s New Servant (3:26)

11… Lovesick Fools (1:42)

12… Kisses Before Dinner (5:55)

13… Count de Brissac Makes His Move (1:11)

14… A Great Swordsman, A Great Lover (2:38)

15… Lorenzo and de Brissac Duel/Lorenzo Dies/Casanova Arrested (5:14)

16… Zanetta Reveals The Truth (1:46)

17… Casanova’s Last Supper (1:54)

18… Jail Visitor (2:08)

19… Casanova Escapes/Duel To The Death/The End (3:53)

Total Time is 56:41

Kritzerland CD# is 20019-7

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