Zulu Dawn/Bernstein

December 11, 2013


zulu dawn

A historical film starring Burt Lancaster, Peter O’Toole, John Mills, and Simon Ward told the story of the massacre of 1800 British soldiers along with civilians by a Zulu force of 20,000 warriors. It was directed by Douglas Hickox.

The scoring assignment was given to Elmer Bernstein with the arranging by Christopher Palmer and performed by the Royal Philharmonic with the composer conducting. It has been previously released on Cerberus CD0201 and La-La Land LLLCD 1001.5. There are no differences between the three recordings. It is a small pressing of 1000 units limited to this amount.

“Morning” is a prelude that doesn’t sound like an African of war film at all but exactly what you’d expect a title such as morning to sound like. The percussion gives a subtle hint of what is to come but one still pictures a sunrise and tranquility to begin the day. Not true of track two. The pounding percussion, a variety of different drums, with chanting makes it quite clear in “The Chase” what the subject matter of this film is all about. There is a frantic feeling to it. “Regimental March” makes me recall my band days with trumpets leading the way with the melody followed by a few bars from the tuba section. “River Crossing” begins with a Bernstein opening that is familiar to fans, in other words his mark is on it recalling several films that he has done before it settles into a theme that will be repeated in several tracks and styles such as military like in “Scouting” and “The Hunt.” “More Zulus” begins with material that could easily have appeared in a western before we hear the main theme dissonant with a background of warrior drums. “Glory” is a faithful march style of the main theme using the entire Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. If I were choosing one track for a compilation this would be the track that I would choose to represent the film. If there is a romantic moment in the score “Durnford” would be the choice. The end of the cue shows the romantic feeling that Bernstein is capable of showing.

If you’re a fan of Elmer Bernstein and have managed to miss this release then this is your opportunity to take advantage of having this in your collection. BSX is having good promotions at this time of the year and the $15.95 price can be reduced by another 10 to 15 percent. I believe you’d also be interested in this soundtrack if you like military style scores. It is good solid material that you’ve come to expect from Elmer Bernstein.


Track listing


Morning (Main Title) (00:59)


The Chase (02:06)


Regimental March (02:06)


River Crossing (04:47)


Scouting (01:03)


The Hunt (02:31)


Stand To (01:45)


Error (01:58)


Escape (01:31)


Zulus (02:30)


Men of Harlech (02:21)


More Zulus (04:28)


Glory (02:29)


Formation (02:34)


Into Battle (01:14)


Isandhlwana (Pt. 1) (02:13)


Isandhlwana (Pt. 2) (02:24)


Durnford (01:40)


Saving the Colors (03:48)


Aftermath (02:09)

Total Duration: 00:46:36



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