the buccaneerKR20027-4

When Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959) realized how successful his remake of “The Ten Commandments” was his thoughts turned to remaking another film he had previously filmed “The Buccaneer,” done 20 years prior in 1938. It was to be his last film ending up being directed by Anthony Quinn, his son-in-law at the time. It was given a star studded cast that included Yul Brynner, astHenry Hull. Everything was first class but the box office sales were rather cool, a disappointment for Paramount and DeMille.

The scoring assignment was given to Elmer Bernstein (1922-2004), one of nine films he did in 1958. It was done after “Anna Lucasta” and before “Some Came Running” to give you an idea of the time frame)

It was also recorded in Germany (strike time for the orchestras), performed by the Graunke Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kurt Granke. The Main Title, is one of the more powerful cues written. Beginning with a proud and majestic fanfare, something you might hear from a marching band, it next offers a short melody with sweet sounding strings. This is followed by the brass offering the main title, a variation of the opening fanfare. Up next is the romantic melody, warmly played by the strings. It continues with another variation of the main melody before it ends with patriotic references to Americana themes. This is all done in less than four minutes! These are all themes that you’ll hear throughout the score such as “Lady and the Pirate,” the romantic theme, “Jackson’s Study,” patriotic theme, “Lafitte’s Arrival,” main title and patriotic. There is an abundance of period type tracks offered such as “Elmer’s Virginia Reel,” classical Mozart style material that hints at the themes in the main title. “Honest Dominque” is a tavern type theme featuring the melody from the accordion and guitar background/harmony. If you like the bagpipe “Bagpipe and Drum Melody” gives you an extended track. There is a polka, waltzes, and even a vocal from Yul Brynner “Allez a l’eau.” The final 12 tracks consist of piano demos from Elmer Bernstein offering a variety of different styles.

There have been several releases of this score but none as complete as this Kritzerland release. It is limited to a 1000 copies so it is better to act sooner than later. The stereo sound does it justice to improve the listening experience as the Graunke Symphony doesn’t have the fire of the Hollywood Orchestras. There playing at times seems to plod along in spots. If you only get the soundtrack for the first track your getting your money’s worth.


Track listing

1.

Main Title * (03:42)

2.

Jackson Hisself / Pirate’s Market (00:47)

3.

Honest Dominique (02:09)

4.

The Lady and the Pirate (03:46)

5.

Governor Arrives / Captain Brown (00:57)

6.

The Corinthian Departs / Barataria (04:34)

7.

Mutiny * (02:00)

8.

Raven’s Pursuit / The Hanging (02:41)

9.

Vulcan Music Box (01:19)

10.

Back to Barataria (02:56)

11.

The Knife * / Lafitte’s House (02:22)

12.

British Men-of-War / British Exit / Claiborne’s Mansion (01:48)

13.

Lover’s United (01:34)

14.

The Bayou (00:32)

15.

Treachery at Barataria * (04:02)

16.

Jackson’s Study (01:12)

17.

The Pardon (01:29)

18.

Lafitte’s Arrival (02:03)

19.

Elmer’s Virginia Reel (01:29)

20.

Get a Rope (01:32)

21.

Finale * (03:24)

BONUS TRACKS

22.

Finale (Album Version) (03:26)

23.

New Orleans Dock (Version 2) (01:19)

24.

Bagpipe and Drum Medley (05:49)

25.

Jackson’s Exit (00:15)

26.

Polka (01:34)

27.

Waltz 1 (02:41)

28.

Waltz 2 * (02:24)

29.

Allez à l’eau (01:09)
Yul Brynner, vocal

ELMER BERNSTEIN PIANO DEMOS

30.

New End of Prelude (01:05)

31.

British Toast and Dock (01:17)

32.

Love’s Departure (00:58)

33.

Pirate’s Market (00:34)

34.

Love in the Market (01:29)

35.

Yankee Doodle in Barataria (00:30)

36.

Nocturne (01:17)

37.

Celebration No. 1 (00:36)

38.

Celebration No. 2 (00:28)

39.

First Waltz (01:04)

40.

Second Waltz (00:45)

41.

Third Waltz (00:42)

* Contains “Love Song From The Buccaneer (Lovers’ Gold)”
by Elmer Bernstein and Mack David

Total Duration: 01:15:40

 

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weinberg 12

 

NAXOS #8573085

Mieczyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996) was born to a Jewish family in Warsaw. His father was a composer and he had a mother who was an actress in the Yiddish theater. He entered the Warsaw Conservatory at the age of 12, graduated in 1939 and promptly fled to the Soviet Union to avoid Hitler and the outbreak of the war. It was after this move that he met Shostakovich and they became lifelong friends. He was quite a prolific composer which included 22 symphonies, 17 quartets, and 7 operas.

Symphony #12 was written in memory of Shostakovich in 1976 but wasn’t performed until 1979 by the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maxim Shostakovich. It is nearly 60 minutes in length and relies on the entire orchestra to accomplish its goal of honoring Shostakovich which it does in fine fashion. The first movement an allegro moderato begins with an eye opening theme taking two minutes before the dissonant brass offer a counterpoint. A second theme is introduced by the strings and the woodwinds which build in intensity as it is being developed. There is a return to the main theme again before it ends on an empty note. The allegretto theme is offered by the strings with the harmony coming from the lower register of the strings. The trumpet and brass exchange calling back and forth to one another. While this is certainly not melodic it is also not atonal but something in between. It ends in an abrupt manner. The adagio theme is highly addicting moving from instrument to instrument reaching the timpani which will grab your attention on repeated listens. It continues to the bassoon and bass violin ending there in silence. The final movement an allegro immediately grabs your attention as the marimba quietly plunks the melody against a background of strings. It turns from somewhat peaceful to jagged in nature like something Prokofiev or Shostakovich would have composed. The brass takes over the melody turning it into a mocking distorted phrase.

This is not a work that is going to be an instant love affair for you. I’ve listened to it a minimum of 20 times before I have grown to appreciate what nice work this is and the memorial to Shostakovich.

Having said what I did in the previous paragraph the opposite is true of “The Golden Key.” I instantly thought it was Prokofiev and Shostakovich combined with a hint of Tchaikovsky in the second movement “Elegy.” The opening movement “Buratino’s Dance with the Key” is a rousing uplifting way to begin the work with a melody you’ll instantly remember. “Dance of the Artemon” features some fine bassoon work before it gives way to a great orchestral arrangement offering a mocking trumpet.”Dance of the Cricket” is a brief but humorous interlude before “Dance of the Cat” takes over with melody coming from the strings in a folksy type Russian melody. “Dance of Shushera the Rat” begins in disturbing fashion followed by the plodding of orchestra. Growling horns add to the uncomfortable motif. “The Lesson” begins with another lively theme before it ends with a nice gallop pace from the trumpet not unlike Prokofiev. “The Pursuit,” the final selection is a potpourri of tempos and styles with chase music mixed in. It would play nicely against a silent film with the train coming and villain and hero fighting.

This is the third recording of Weinberg Symphonies done by Vladimir Lande and the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra the other two being Symphony #19 (#8572752) and Symphony #6 (#8572779). This reviewer hopes that there will be more in the future. The quality of the recording and the performance of the symphony and conductor are top drawer.

 

Track Listing:

Symphony No. 12 ‘In memoriam D. Shostakovich’ (1976)

1… Allegro moderato (20:40)

2… Allegretto (8:20)

3… Adagio (11:06)

4… Allegro (17:13)

The Golden Key-Ballet

Suite No. 4 (1954-55)

5… Burattino’s Dance with the Key (2:13)

6… Elegy (3:13)

7… Dance of Artemon (1:13)

8… Dance of the Cricket (0:54)

9… Dance of the Cat and the Fox (1:35)

10. Dance of Shushera the Rat (1:41)

11. The Lesson (2:48)

12. The Pursuit (4:43)

Total Time is 75:40

 

 

MOERANNAXOS 8.573106

 

Ernest John Moeran (1894-1950) spent a portion of his life studying folk music material of Ireland and this new release from Naxos 8.573106 reinforces that statement with a collection of five works, the last of which is a piano rhapsody performed by Benjamin Frith. This recording is by the Ulster orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta, a combination that I’ve grown to look forward to in recent times. While her primary orchestra seems to be the Buffalo Philharmonic, releases which I also look forward to, she also spends a great deal of time with the very fine Ulster ensemble.

“Overture for a Masque” was commissioned in 1944 being written as entertainment for the soldiers. The work immediately begins with the brass offering a fanfare which is upbeat and lively reminding me of a series of curtain calls mixed in with some countryside material.  What is has to do with a mask is beyond me. The beginning fanfare is repeated at the end. The ending is one of those anti climatic ones where you think it has come to an end but not really. A very nice 9+ minute work that deserves more attention than it has gotten as this CD was the first time I had ever heard it although it has been recorded on several occasions.

“In the Mountain Country (1921),” an early work of Moeran while he was still a student, is definitely a babbling brook kind of overture. The oboe and reed section are definitely center stage as they transmit a feeling of peace and serenity. The brass takes the center stage in the mid portion of the overture offering a crescendo and harmony to the work. For the most part they take a back seat to the strings and reed section of the work. The work ends on a very quiet note and nicely segues into the first of three rhapsody’s also included on this CD.

“Rhapsody No. 1 (1922),” also a a work while he was still a student begins in an eerie fashion before it bursts into a crescendo that is startling on first listen. It segues into a nice folk melody from the bassoon sounding like the grandfather in Peter and the Wolf before continuing the romp with flutes, reeds and oboe. The middle section offers a lovely French horn, dreamy violins with a brief solo. The snare drum at the end of the work signals a crescendo and the end of the work.

“Rhapsody No. 2 (revised version 1941)” begins with a melody from the bassoon. This rhapsody is filled with those wonderful Irish folk melodies that put a warm spot into your heart. Rousing ending.

“Rhapsody No. 3 (1943)” features the addition of a piano which enhances the piece with delicate passages as well as swirling virtuoso type material. The piano passages were written for a patron Harriet Cohen to perform which she did in the premier performance with the BBC, Adrian Boult conducting. Several minutes longer than the previous two, the final few minutes are devoted to the piano and this is where the showy type material of the work is revealed.

It has been said that the Ulster orchestra tends to be lacking in fullness, being a bit thin on occasion. This is not the case with this recording. Falletta and the orchestra have done there homework and this is a top notch CD worthy of your collection.

Track Listing:

1. Overture for a Masque (9:27)

2. In the Mountain Country (6:24)

3. Rhapsody No. 1 in F major (11:26)

4. Rhapsody No. 2 in E major (12:17)

5. Rhapsody in F sharp  major for piano (17:32)

Total Time is 57:06

john wayne at fox 001

KR 20027-0

LIMITED EDITION 1000 UNITS

copland rodeo

montenegro  happy hour hoedown

Previously released by Film Score Monthly (vol. 3 #6) The Undefeated (1969) came in a year filled with several fine westerns such as Butch Cassidy, True Grit, The Wild Bunch, Once Upon A Time In The West but this was also a time in Hollywood where they felt that the genre was beginning to lose favor so going forward there were less made. The film in addition to John Wayne starred Rock Hudson and co-starred NFL football stars Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen along with Lee Meriwether and Jan-Michael Vincent. It dealt with the end of the Civil War and was filmed outside Durango, Mexico.

I was first introduced to Hugo Montenegro (1925-1981) and his hit album of themes from the famous trio of Clint Eastwood Italian westerns. The RCA LSP 3927 captured the flavor and feeling of the films so much so that I thought that Hugo was the composer and probably not the only one who thought that way. It was worn out a long time ago. Montenegro approached The Undefeated a completely different way. “The Undefeated,” the opening track which is included as an audio clip, is a compilation of thematic material beginning with a bugle call introduction immediately followed by a soft romantic interlude featuring the oboe first and then the flute. It is a time of peace and serenity which nicely segues into a theme that you’ll easily be able to identify with a western. “Southern Charm” is the love theme for the film a soft and delicate one which briefly reverts to the romantic melody of the previous track before continuing with the theme. The theme is taken from Copland’s ballet Rodeo. “Happy Hour,” a really nice hoedown, is also taken from Rodeo note for note as well as tempo and orchestral arrangement. If you think it sounds like Copland you’re right because it is.”New Campsite” is a short cue that has a brief Hispanic flavor. “Incident in Mexico,” the longest track at over nine minutes, begins with a Hispanic hat dance style, switches to military fanfare provided by the brass right before an extended version of the main theme. Harmony from the brass with snare drum and percussion providing a strong background leads to a new theme, a modern sounding one with complex motifs from the brass. This is all mixed in with the main title. It is a unique sound and style and is a track that I’ll return to on a regular basis. The “End Title” begins with a short version of Yankee Doodle on the harmonica before the main title; a bold and expansive version completes the soundtrack.

This score, which is the second CD of the set, is a nice addition to the Kritzerland set making this an attractive buy if you don’t have the previous release.

I couldn’t hear any significant sound difference between the Kritzerland and FSM CD’s. The only reason for wanting the FSM is if you also want Hombre, by David Rose, the second selection on their offering. I’m also including two audio clips one from Rodeo and the other from The Undefeated so that you can compare what I heard. The recording that I have of Copland is from an RCA living stereo featuring Morton Gould and his orchestra.

 

Track listing

1.

The Undefeated (04:00)
The Undefeated

2.

Southern Charm (01:57)
The Undefeated

3.

Burning the Plantation (02:13)
The Undefeated

4.

Meet Blue Boy (03:17)
The Undefeated

5.

Foggy River (02:40)
The Undefeated

6.

River Crossing (03:45)
The Undefeated

7.

Let’s Go! (03:02)
The Undefeated

8.

Happy Hour (Hoedown) (04:39)
The Undefeated

9.

Do You Mind? (01:07)
The Undefeated

10.

All But Jamison (01:31)
The Undefeated

11.

Bandits (02:51)
The Undefeated

12.

The Horses (01:17)
The Undefeated

13.

Suppertime (02:04)
The Undefeated

14.

New Campsite (01:02)
The Undefeated

15.

Incident in Mexico (09:38)
The Undefeated

16.

Mission Accomplished (01:38)
The Undefeated

17.

End Title (01:07)
The Undefeated

Total Duration: 47:33

john wayne at fox 001

KRITZERLAND  KR20027-0

LIMITED EDITION 1000 UNITS

If you’re a long time collector of soundtracks like I am you’ve likely acquired these scores as they were previously released by FSM and Intrada. However, if you haven’t, here is a golden opportunity to acquire all three for $19.95 a third of what I paid for mine as I purchased them separately.

The 1961 film The Comancheros co-starred Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin, Nehemiah Persoff, and Lee Marvin. The Michael Curtiz directed film, his last, told a typical tale of gambler wanted for murder who joins forces with Texas Ranger John Wayne to battle gun running rustlers with the hopes of getting a pardon.

The “Prologue” begins with seven triads from the lower register, all the same, followed by another triad played more slowly in the upper scale, a harmony for the much quicker initial one. This leads to a snare drum/timpani statement which leads to the main title without any pause. The main theme is carried by the brass with the strings and reeds answering the call. It is a memorable theme with a style that is similar sounding to many westerns of the day. It is a theme that is nicely interwoven into the 20 tracks. It is one that you won’t get tired of listening to but this isn’t a monothematic score. “Riverboat Capture” is underscore that hints of Indians lurking in the background. “Regrets” begins with a bittersweet beginning that segues into a softer laid back version of the main theme. “The Wide Open” is a perfect title for this expansive bold arrangement of the main title. “Attack” is underscore with the Indian sound again but the track is filled with the Bernstein sound. “campfire” is a square dance featuring harmonica and banjo as harmony. “Tobe’s Death” begins with a string statement and then Bernstein cleverly brings the main theme into the track. “Texas Rangers” is a track that shifts back and forth with dissonant brass phrases and a somewhat distorted main theme. Two of the bonus tracks are vocals sung by Claude King one of which is a vocal of Comancheros that doesn’t have the same melody as the main title. The other vocal You Walked Away is a straight country western song. The mono mix of the Main Title is included as an audio clip. It is a good example of the theme.

While this soundtrack will unlikely not make too many top 10 lists it is a solid score that deserves a new release. Keep in mind this is only one of three soundtracks and at $19.95 it is a real bargain.

Track listing

1.

Prologue (01:12)

2.

Main Title (01:40)

3.

Riverboat Capture (01:17)

4.

Regrets (01:48)

5.

The Wide Open (01:48)

6.

Eulogy (01:52)

7.

McBain (01:09)

8.

Digging Again (01:18)

9.

Nostalgia (00:50)

10.

Attack (04:43)

11.

Words (03:19)

12.

The Sign (01:24)

13.

Comancheros (05:31)

14.

Hanging Around (01:36)

15.

Keep Your Distance (00:49)

16.

Campfire Dance (01:59)

17.

Tobe’s Death (00:58)

18.

Leaving (03:46)

19.

Texas Rangers (03:20)

20.

Finale and End Title (01:10)

21.

The Comancheros (02:00)
(unused title song) performed by Claude King

22.

You Walked Away (02:27)
(unused song) performed by Claude King

23.

Main Title (01:40)
(mono mix)

ok corralLLLCD1280 (La-La Land Records)

LIMITED EDITION 2000 UNITS

(audio clip of main theme)

 Dimitri Tiomkin was born in the Ukraine and studied at the Moscow Conservatory under the well known Russian Composer Alexander Glazunov, a favorite of this reviewer. His first breakthrough score to the film “Lost Horizon (1937)” certainly shows the extreme classical talent that Tiomkin had. At the time of the making of “Gunfight at O.K. Corral (1957) he had already won Oscars for “High Noon” and “The High and the Mighty” and been nominated for several more. He became associated with westerns as a result even though this was not really the case.

The Ross Hunter film directed by John Sturges starred two of the bigger stars in demand at the time Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster with a fine supporting cast consisting of Lee Van Cleef, Martin Milner, Jo Van Fleet, Dennis Hopper, John Ireland, and Rhonda Fleming. Today I can look back and recall the film along with the highly popular “Tombstone” with Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell, the Kevin Costner epic “Wyatt Earp” and chuckle to myself that this was all about a 30 second gunfight and a pretty dull one at that. Hollywood sees things differently than history!

The theme “Gunfight at O.K. Corral” as explained by Frank DeWald, CD liner notes writer, is broken down into five parts as this melody is heard on many of the tracks. The opening growl of the dissonant harmonic brass tells you it is Tiomkin in the first five seconds. It follows with a whistling tune (prelude to the Frankie Laine vocal) which turned out to be a chart making song. The style and singing of Laine with a steady flow of the use of two words at a time such as O.K. Corral, boot hill, and your love makes this a very distinctive song with unique rhythm. It follows with a male chorus singing the words before it comes to conclusion.”Remorse” is a track that is classical in nature. It begins with the trademark Tiomkin growl from the brass and a motif of yearning. Listen for the nice harmony from the reed section. “Wyatt Earp” the other half of the track returns to the main melody with the hero sound. “Ed Bailey’s Death” is a fine example of how well underscore works. There is a quick slashing motif and the knife has been thrown. It makes you jump a little out of your seat. “The Ambush” features a nice harp glissando as well as a gallop version of the main title. “A Romantic Interlude” shows the softer side to Tiomkin, the exception rather than the rule in this soundtrack. It plays behind a scene with Laura and Wyatt. Another softer track is “The Love Scene” where they kiss for the first time. Once you get through listening to the first nineteen tracks of the score there are another nineteen bonus tracks including some surviving stereo tracks, source material that came from other films, and two additional demo tracks of the gunfight theme sung by Rex Allen and Tony Romano. In other words, this is a complete 73+ minute CD of all of the material.

Previously the Elmer Bernstein Collection (FSM Box 01) offered sixteen minutes of material with lyrics by Frankie Laine. The complete score gives the listener so much beyond just the main theme that it is a joy to listen to Tiomkin, a master of the monothematic theme weave so much material around the one theme. I believe that his classical training from the Russian masters allowed this kind of theme. If you don’t like the theme this is probably one that you should pass on. However if you’re a Tiomkin fan especially of his western material you’ll enjoy this soundtrack as much as I do.


Track listing

1.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (03:47)
(Frankie Laine, vocal)

2.

Remorse / Wyatt Earp (02:26)

3.

Doc Holliday / Whistling (01:06)

4.

Ed Bailey’s Death / Doc Holliday Escapes / Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (End of Act I) (05:39)

5.

A Cold Trail / The Ambush (02:28)

6.

Intro to a Romantic Interlude / A Romantic Interlude (02:03)

7.

Thoughts of Kate / Dishonored (01:26)

8.

The Love Scene (01:43)

9.

Men and Their Women (03:23)

10.

The Telegram / The Sad Parting / Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (End of Act II) (05:01)

11.

The Poster / Clantons (01:33)

12.

Brotherly Advice (01:46)

13.

A Friendly Call / A Friendly Call – Part 2 (01:22)

14.

James Earp’s Death (04:40)

15.

Hatred / A Tragic Duo (01:53)

16.

Night Thoughts (01:49)

17.

The Night Before / A Walk to Eternity (07:42)

18.

End of Gunfight (03:29)

19.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (Finale) (00:55)
(Frankie Laine, vocal)
20 – 27 bonus stereo tracks:

20.

Doc’s Watch (unused) (00:33)

21.

The Ambush (01:45)

22.

A Romantic Interlude (01:33)

23.

Dishonored (01:16)

24.

Devotion (unused) (00:40)

25.

The Telegram (00:21)

26.

The Poster (00:19)

27.

A Tragic Duo (01:13)
28 – 37 bonus source music cues:

28.

Memphisiana (Union Pacific) (01:23)

29.

Barroom Piano (Cherokee Strip) (00:55)

30.

Tombigee River (Copper Canyon) (00:54)

31.

Dolly Day (The Redhead and the Cowboy) (00:21)

32.

Dodge City Bars (00:40)

33.

Oh Dem Golden Slippers (Run for Cover) (00:36)

34.

Buffalo Gals (00:50)

35.

Varsovienne (The Furies) (00:15)

36.

Kingdom Coming (00:18)

37.

While Strolling Through the Park (00:25)
38 – 39 bonus demo recordings:

38.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – Demo 1 (01:36)
(Rex Allen, vocal)

39.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – Demo 2 (01:38)
(Tony Romano, vocal)

Total Duration: 01:11:42