Demetrius and the Gladiators/Waxman

February 27, 2014

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

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