Sometimes The Runner Stumbles/Gold

April 7, 2014

  runner stumbles

BSXCD 8943


When I think of Ernest Gold I also think of Exodus, his Oscar winning film which has been recorded and included on 100’s of compilation releases over the years. He has done so much more that I need to revisit some of his scores which I’ve neglected to do.

Gold (1921-1999) was born in Austria and became a child prodigy like Korngold at an early age. His jewish heritage didn’t sit well and while attending the state academy of music in Vienna the family fled from Europe in 1938 to America to escape the hatred of Hitler for the jews. He eventually found his way to Hollywood and composed there from 1945-1992, over 100 films. Early on he did a lot of work for Lippert, Republic, and the Columbia ‘B’ unit. One of the films he did was The Land Unknown for Lippert which I have in my modest collection of films. It is nothing but ordinary. His scores got a whole lot better and this first time CD release to Sometimes the Runner Stumbles, starring Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, Maureen Stapleton, Ray Bolger, and Tammy Grimes told the story of a relationship between priest and nun.

“Main Title” begins with two themes that are dominant in the score. It is a string and wind ensemble without brass or percussion. The oboe begins a religious feeling theme very quiet. It segues into a variation of the second theme “My Rumble Seat Gal” and then the strings give the main title a lush treatment. “When Did She Arrive?/ The Tour” is a full on romantic treatment of the main theme with solos from the oboe and harp. “My Rumble Seat Gal” is a young female chorus with trumpets carrying the melody. It is repeated in other tracks sometimes a brass band style with a hint of cymbals. The lyrics which are clever were written by Mrs. Gold. “What About Your Responsibility” features religious overtones with the use of the organ. The orchestrations are well done and feature classical references such as a minuet, and a funeral like adagio. Gold makes the best out of a small ensemble and manages to give it a much fuller sound. Many of the tracks are less than 20 members.

Fans of Gold will find this to be a welcome addition to their collection and others who are more into a laid back easy on the nerves listening will certainly enjoy this. I’ve included an audio clip of the main title.

Track Listing:
1…. The Runner Stumbles Main Title (1:53)
2…. When Did She Arrive?/The Tour (4:26)
3…. Solona Evangelical Methodist (0:26)
4…. My Rumble Seat Gal (1:04)
5…. Flowers (1:01)
6…. Visiting the Webbers (2:55)
7…. Sister Rita’s Idea (0:39)
8…. What About your Responsibility to the Children (1:25)
9…. Living Arrangements (2:11)
10.. Coming in Sisters (3:36)
11.. Monsignor Nicholson Arrives/I Sleep in the Convent (2:27)
12.. Do You Want Me To Leave? (1:51)
13.. I love You Sister (0:45)
14. Praying with Erna (1:24)
15.. The Confessional (0:55)
16.. Your Sins Are Forgiven (2:58)
17.. There’s Nothing Human About You (0:53)
18.. The Letter and the Fire (4:20)
19.. Rita Declares Her Love for Father Brian (4:40)
20.. Mrs. Shandig’s Confession/Peace Be With You Father/End Credits (6:31)
Total Time 47:07


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