demetrius kritzerland cover

KR20027-6

Following the Cinemascope film The Robe 20th Century Fox continued with a sequel Demetrius and the Gladiators which starred Susan Hayward, Victor Mature, Michael Rennie, Richard Egan, and Debra Paget. The veteran Delmer Daves directed with cinematographer Milton Krasner manning the camera.

Alfred Newman, who was overwhelmed with work at the time, assigned the job to Franz Waxman, who promptly took the major themes from The Robe and incorporated them into his soundtrack. Waxman was at his height in composing having won Oscars for Sunset Boulevard and A Place in the Sun with Prince Valiant, The Nun’s Story, The Silver Chalice, and Taras Bulba on the horizon. And these listings don’t include one of my all time favorite scores Rebecca that he collaborated on with Alfred Hitchcock, his first film in the US. And this was all against the better wishes of his family! Waxman composed classical music, had concerts in Los Angeles where he premiered new works from other classical composers, and dedicated his life to music.

“Prelude” opens the CD with a restatement of themes from The Robe including the lovely romantic theme Diana and the inspiring majestic main title to set the mood for the film. It is filled with brass fanfares, wonderful string motifs, and makes it quite clear that this is a film with religious ideas. “Night in the Palace” is a Waxman track that begins with an air of mystery as pizzicato strings are used in harmony with the brass and percussion to offer tension. The second half is a plodding underscore.”Claudius and Caligua” mono source, which is far more listenable than the stereo clip also included, is excellent underscore which has the Waxman sound. The harp is made good use of at the end of the cue. “Messalina and Demetrius” continues the use of the harp in a dance like style. I’ve always use of the glissando use of the harp and the oboe which is featured in a solo. “Torch/Egyptian Dancers” sound like an Oriental Dance you might expect to hear with the flutes dominating the cue. “Caligula Enters” is dominated by the trumpets with harmony coming from the rest of the brass section. “Gladiator March” is similar in sound with a nice touch of the tambourine. These two tracks have a little distortion. “At the Pottery” offers some nice playing from the reeds in a romantic interlude. The second part of the cue is a dance with the oboe leading the way with strong emphasis from the percussion.

I’ve included two audio clips to give you an idea of the improvement that Mike Matessino, restoration expert, was able to do with the score. The first clip is taken from the FSM release and the second from this Kritzerland offering. You can hear the evidence of the damage done. The only advantage of getting the FSM release would be a bonus track which came from The Egyptian called “Hymn to Aton.” The price is double what you can get the Kritzerland for. I would also encourage you to get the two CD set of The Robe from La-La Land LLLCD1203. Having both in your collection makes sense as this film is a sequel.


Track listing

1.

Prelude

2.

Night in the Palace

3.

Messalina

4.

Claudius

5.

The Catacombs

6.

The Slave Market / Roman Police

7.

Lucia

8.

Claudius and Messalina

9.

Wait

10.

Torch Dancers / Egyptian Dancers

11.

Caligula Enters

12.

Gladiator March

13.

The Victors

14.

After the Fight

15.

Messalina at Home

16.

Temptation (excerpt)

17.

At the Pottery / The Gladiator’s Party

18.

The Kiss (excerpt) / Fanfare for Gladiator’s Entrance

19.

Victory

20.

Temple of Isis

21.

Claudius and Caligula (mono source)

22.

Messalina and Demetrius

23.

Peter’s Return

24.

Caligula’s Rage

25.

Return to Faith

26.

The Dungeon – Glycon

27.

Caligula’s Death

28.

Gloria

BONUS TRACKS

29.

Temporary Dance Track

30.

Temporary Fanfares

31.

Arena Fanfare

32.

Caligula’s Death (unused percussion)

33.

Claudius and Caligula (stereo – damaged)

34.

Temptation (excerpt with sound effects)

35.

Gloria (orchestra only)

 

 

fsm 2002

 kritzerland 2014

Sherlock III/Arnold and Price

February 26, 2014

Sherlock

SILVA CD 1483

The wildly popular series begins its third season and Silva has already released the soundtrack which continues in the same style as the first two offering new orchestral ideas to existing themes as well as the introduction of new material. Keeping in mind that my golden ears can’t grasp the newer styles of many soundtrack and as a result I choose as a reviewer not to tackle material that I just don’t understand this music I don’t find grating on me at all but a fun listening experience. Arnold and Price have found the right combination of electronics, strings, and thematic material to make it successful. There is little evidence of the shrieking, clanging, and uncontrolled outbursts of dissonant brass that in my opinion detract not enhance the music. The Empty Hearse, the first of the three new episodes, deals with the return of Sherlock Holmes as Mycroft summons him back to London to deal with an underground terrorist organization as well as John Watson who thought he had died and the startling realization that he was now alive. Highlights of the eight tracks include the opening cue “How It Was Done” which begins with an emphasis on the percussion and an attention grabbing theme. It is a very modern sounding one that segues into a theme which can be heard in the two previous seasons. “God Rest His Soul” begins as a quiet piano passage but quickly changes into a tension building action cue. “Floating Dust” offers the Dies Irae theme first as a variation and then the real thing. Listen carefully or you might miss it. The two main themes from season 1 and 2 both return in a full orchestral arrangement in “#Sherlock Lives.” is a mixture of material beginning with mandolin, the two Holmes themes, soft piano, and concludes with a reference to the main title again. The Sign of the Three episode deals with the wedding of John Watson and the speech from Sherlock are in flashbacks of the great assistance that Watson was in their case solving. “Lestrade-The Movie” begins with a frantic motif from the strings harmony from the brass. You can feel the tension in the cue as it slowly builds. There is a hint of the main title ever so briefly. “Waltz for John and Mary” is a violin sonata played very nicely by Eos Chater, a romantic interlude of sorts and one I’ve included as an audio clip. “Stag Night” offers the twangy guitar in a funky style with just a hint of reference to the main title. His Last Vow, the final episode deals with stolen letters, Holmes being shot by a mysterious woman in black, and a new nemesis to Holmes Charles Magnussen. Moriarty and Mycroft also appear. “Magnussen” begins like a Russian somber tone poem and also ends on the same style with urgency in between from staccato like strings. “The East Wind” also plays out like a funeral march with a brief interlude of quiet piano that somewhat offers a ray of hope. “The End Title” closes the CD on an upbeat note with a bouncy rendition of the main title. This is a nice addition to the first two seasons also available from Silva (#1377 and 1383) both of which I’ve previously reviewed. May the series and the music last for many more years. Recommended Track Listing: THE EMPTY HEARSE

  1. 1.  How It Was Done (2:44)
  2. 2.  God Rest His Soul (1:44)
  3. 3.  Floating Dust (3:28)
  4. 4.  #Sherlock Lives (2:48)
  5. 5.  Back To Work (2:57)
  6. 6.  Vanishing Underground (2:28)
  7. 7.  John is Quite a Guy (4:05)
  8. 8.  Lazarus (3:36)

THE SIGN OF THE THREE

  1. 9.  Lestrade-The Movie (3:07)

10. To Battle (4:01) 11. Stag Night (2:16) 12. Mayfly Man (4:17) 13. Major Sholto (2:59) 14. Waltz for John and Mary (1:07) HIS LAST VOW 15. Magnussen (3:33) 16. Forwards or Backwards (4:41) 17. Redbeard (2:11) 18. To Lie in Leinster Gardens (3:14) 19. Addicted to a Certain Lifestyle (3:50) 20. The Problems of Your Future (5:33) 21. Appledore (3:37) 22. The East Wind (4:00) 23. End Titles (0:49) TOTAL TIME IS 73:05

recyclinglily

MMS13016 MOVIE SCORE MEDIA/KRONOS

When a soundtrack immediately grabs your attention on the first listen, which was the case with “Recycling Lily,” I knew that it was only going to get better with subsequent spins and as I did I experience the entire gamut of emotions from teary eyed to smiling. This is what you’re in store for when you purchase this release.

For his directorial debut, Pierre Monnard came out with an offbeat love comedy about a compulsive obsessive recycling inspector who is trying to romance a waitress who is also into hoarding stuff big time, another compulsion completely opposite of his. The result is a hilarious comedy.

New to this reviewer is the composer combination of Schweidler and Schneider who have taken the main title “Nobody’s Perfect,” written by William White, a popsy upbeat theme, incorporated it into the soundtrack such as “Fat and Lonely” in a delicate piano solo with strings and key support from a harmonica. This is followed by piano and harmonica again but this time it is a jazz improvisational kind of sound from both instruments. “Almost Kissed” is a return to the main title again with softer piano and more prominence given to the strings.

Different orchestration and styles play a big part in this recording play a big part in this recording and you’ll never know what’s coming up next. “The Inspectors” definitely has the flavor of Goldsmith western with the hint of Morricone as the track has harmonica and whistling. If you were to pull this cue out of the soundtrack and play it on its own no one would think of this particular comedy situation. The supporting theme “Recycling Lily” is a swirling waltz with the strings offering dual melodies and is the clip I’ve chosen to we your appetite. One can see the dance floor filled with starry eyed dancers. The theme is repeated in “Happy World,” “On the Bike,” and “The End.” Along with “Nobody’s Perfect” this is an important part of the soundtrack. “Recycling Surf” takes you back to the sound of Dick Dale or the Ventures with its twangy guitars and strong presence of the percussion. “Lucky Burger” is from the same era only on the slow side with a female group repeating falling in love at the lucky burger over and over again. Sadness is the order of the day on “Emma Falling” with piano chords being backed by harmonica and strings. It performs a theme that is somewhat like “Recycling Lily” making it a variation of it in my opinion.

The forty minutes move by quickly and before you realize it it’s over and ready to play again. Sound recording is fine as digital is firmly entrenched in our way of doing films. Recommended


Track listing

1.

Nobody’s Perfect (William White) (03:08)

2.

Recycling Lily (01:55)

3.

The Inspectors (02:10)

4.

Happy World (02:25)

5.

Burning Puppy (01:32)

6.

On the Bike (02:20)

7.

Fat and Lonely (01:37)

8.

Cleaning Up Blues (01:27)

9.

Almost Kissed (02:22)

10.

Kissed (02:53)

11.

Cleaning Up and The Crash (01:46)

12.

Police Arriving (01:24)

13.

Emma Falling (02:54)

14.

Australia (02:00)

15.

Running in the Woods (01:47)

16.

Carrying Mom (02:24)

17.

Showdown (01:11)

18.

Coming Home (03:06)

19.

The End (01:33)

20.

Lucky Burger (00:55)

21.

Recycling Surf (01:00)

Total Duration: 00:41:49

Real Humans/Rikard Borggard

February 20, 2014

ImageProxyMMS 14003 MOVIE MEDIA SCORE

Mikael, owner of Movie Score Media, has just released the soundtrack to the highly successful Swedish television series Real Humans, a science fiction thriller that deals with hubots who are beginning to display human characteristics which the real humans need to deal with as they are slowly beginning to takeover. Composed by Rikard Borggard, his first CD release of soundtrack material is a real winner offering a unique style that fits perfectly to the subject matter. This release is a compilation of the first two seasons. When we communicated via email Borggard referred to himself as an autodidact which I had no clue as to what that was but upon looking it up it means self taught. I further learned that Borggard got his start in composing by forming the Teater Giljotin in Stockholm in 1989 and was given further opportunity with the Cullberg Ballet and Bern Stad Teater.

The material is very easy on the ears with an addictive beat in an electronic/piano style that has a real air of eeriness to it. No loud droning, clanking synthesizer sounds, or ear piercing shrieking strings. The “Main Theme” quickly makes reference to the death theme Dies Irae before it settles into a synthesizer mode with an infectious pulsating rhythm to it. A friend who was also listening with me at the time commented that this was the perfect kind of background music for him and was surprised when I told him where it came from. “The Family” introduces quiet piano melody with strings as a background in contrast to the opening title. Another piano driven track with excellent use of a wordless choir is “The Field” which has a background of strings and the mentioned chorus. “Hubsec” begins with a loud frantic sequence where action is the order of the day before it settles into two layers of strings in a slow funeral like fashion. “Real Humans” (Closing Theme) returns to the theme from the middle portion of the opening track which is the steady rhythm of a disco beat. Other tracks that grabbed my attention were “Leo and Carl” which begins with a woofer vibrating phrase before it segues into strong rhythm. “By the Lake” begins with a somber piano and then nothing but creepiness and a waiting feeling for something to happen.

This CD or MP3 file is one that should not be overlooked as it seems to have a purpose to it more than just background music to a successful television show. I’m including an audio clip of track no. 3 “The Family to give you an idea of the overall feeling of the score. I consider this to be an excellent first effort from Borggard and I’ll look forward to additional releases in the future. Recommended.

Track listing

1.

Real Humans (Main Theme) (02:43)

2.

Introducing Mimi (01:04)

3.

The Family (01:44)

4.

Leo and Carl (02:14)

5.

By the Lake (02:14)

6.

Evacuation (03:04)

7.

Looking for Mimi (02:15)

8.

The Parsonage (01:54)

9.

Odi and Silas (02:40)

10.

The Field (02:10)

11.

Silas’ Childhood (01:38)

12.

Programming (02:04)

13.

Douglas and Florentine (02:36)

14.

Hubsec (01:44)

15.

The Virus (03:34)

16.

Bea (03:50)

17.

The Motel (02:20)

18.

Hubbattleland (02:34)

19.

Florentine’s Pain (03:04)

20.

Real Humans (Closing Theme) (01:32)

Total Duration: 00:46:58

digital spaceVCD47229 VARESE SARABANDE

 

Soundstream came onto the audiophile in 1975, started by Thomas Stockham Jr. from Salt Lake City with a digital recorder that was sold or leased to 18 companies for the purpose of making digital long play albums. In 1978 JVC/Soundstream recorded Morton Gould and the London Symphony Orchestra, promoting the digital and JVC/Varese Sarabande released it in 1980. Five years later with the invention of the CD it was released in that format with the addition of 2 additional tracks of Star Wars material not included on the LP. The result is this highly sought after CD which has been discontinued for quite awhile and one that you would enjoy having in your collection because of the strong performance of the London Symphony, the conducting of Morton Gould and the selection of material which are not normally chosen for compilations.

 

Morton Gould was quite a familiar name to me growing up, my father having several of his RCA long play albums in his collection. The oh so infectious tune “Limehouse Blues” from Blues In The Night, “Slaughter On 10th Ave”, and The Grand Canyon Suite were just some of the ones that I remember. Many of you reading this are not familiar with Morton at all as his original compositions are not household names. Making the top 40 list was not his cup of tea. And the selection of material was certainly unique with Windjammer, The Red Pony, and Passionate Friends. The title of the album is actually quite misleading given the fact that other than the two Star Wars selections the album doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Digital Space unless you want to consider “wide open spaces” and then we can count Big Country, Windjammer, and The Red Pony. Given the artwork

cover and any lack of what is included on the front you could have very easily passed this up as yet another compilation with Horner, Williams, and Goldsmith and their science fiction hits when it was available as a new release. Luckily for this reviewer the Gould name got my attention while shuffling through the long play albums and it was my introduction to some soundtracks I wasn’t familiar with.

“Windjammer” is the opening selection written by the conductor and is a good example of what music can effectively do to describe and enhance a scene in this case the sailing ship Christian Radich which was even more important in a Cinerama picture which this was. You can see and feel the salt water and one of the multi tracks offers the sound of the wind to enhance the track even more. When you listen to the track note the effective use of the brass to make this fine ship even more majestic.

“The Big Country” sets itself apart from other western material  as the opening strings begin at a presto pace almost frantic to introduce a huge bold theme of epic proportions. The introduction is a motif itself and blends together with the main theme both at the beginning and towards the end of the cue. While there are some people who can’t name the film they are certainly aware of the melody. It’s inclusion in this fine selection of symphonic selections is most welcome.

“The Red Pony,” the morning on the ranch cue from Aaron Copland, written several years before “The Big Country,” is another selection that tells a story like Windjammer, depicting the life of a farmer; the sun rising on the prairie and the beginning of a new day complete with the orchestra mimicking the rooster crowing. The slow yawning piece builds in intensity over the duration of the work.

“Airport,” the last film Newman worked on, describes in music the hustle and bustle of an airport terminal including what I think is a key element the use of the bongo drums which gives it a feeling of being in more modern times. The theme is a raucous one reminding me of passages from An American in Paris. Intertwined in is the love melody which is featured later in the complete score.

“Things to Come,” the epilogue track to this futuristic film dealing with war was written by the English composer Sir Arthur Bliss in 1936. Written by H.G. Wells and directed by Alexander Korda still holds up today as a watchable film. The score was destroyed during World War II but the material was reconstructed by the film historian Christopher Palmer who we have a lot to be thankful, this being only one of many that he worked on. The cue offers a majestic ending to the film and hope in the future.

“That Hamilton Woman” composed by Miklos Rozsa on the surface seems like an odd choice for a compilation album but in truth it is one of his more melodic scores. The romantic bars from the strings ooze romantic passages of love. To my ear I can hear touches of “Lost Weekend,” “Double Indemnity” and other classic Rozsa material.

“Star Wars” is a classic standard in our society as recognizable as the Star Spangled Banner or any number of other songs. It’s composer John Williams has become the #1 soundtrack composer of all time having had more nominations than any one.

“Tribute to a Badman” yet again might seem to be an odd choice for a compilation but the selection process for this album was carefully chosen and what you hear is a rare side of Rozsa, a western scene not unlike something you might hear from Moross, Bernstein, Tiomkin, and others. Listening carefully you’ll hear a typical Rozsa melody which is smoother sounding than most. It is a bold theme but doesn’t have the impact or bite of Magnificent Seven.”

“Passionate Friends,” doesn’t have that British sound even though it was composed by an Englishman Richard Addinsell. It has the sound of Max Steiner filled with the colors of Hollywood. This recording offered the stereo premiere of the composition and fits ever so nicely in the style of this CD.

“49th Parallel” was the first effort of the classical composer Sir Ralph Vaughan Williams in films and while it has the forced feeling that it is propaganda against the Nazis it is nonetheless a powerful moving theme that will touch your heartstrings. Williams will of course go on to do “Sinfonia Antarctica” one of the greatest scores of all time that became his 7th symphony.

“Spitfire” begins as a fugue, with the brass giving it away as modern. Sir William Walton primarily wrote for Shakespeare films being awarded an Oscar for “Hamlet.” There are two parts to the suite, a coronation march played in an almost frantic matter. The second part is the fugue with a pause to offer a short passage of material that is thought provoking and peaceful in nature.

The CD and LP are still available on the used market at what I feel is a premium price (40-50 dollars). This CD is also listed in my top 100 CD’s.

 

 

 

 


Track listing

1.

Main Title (03:00)
WINDJAMMER (Gould) 1958

2.

Main Title (03:10)
THE BIG COUNTRY (Moross) 1958

3.

Main Title (03:33)
AIRPORT (Newman) 1970

4.

Morning On The Ranch (04:27)
THE RED PONY (Copland) 1948

5.

Epilogue (03:00)
THINGS TO COME (Bliss) 1936

6.

Love Theme (04:47)
THAT HAMILTON WOMAN (Rozsa) 1941

7.

Main Title (05:51)
STAR WARS (Williams) 1977

8.

Princess Leia Theme (05:32)
STAR WARS (Williams) 1977

9.

Suite (04:51)
TRIBUTE TO A BADMAN (Rozsa) 1956

10.

Main Title (04:18)
PASSIONATE FRIENDS (Addinsell) 1949

11.

Prelude (02:25)
49th PARALLEL (Vaughan Williams) 1940

12.

Prelude and Fugue (08:09)
SPITFIRE (Walton) 1942

Total Duration: 00:53:03