Knight Without Armour

Many of Miklos Rozsa’s film scores have featured solo piano, unusually as on-scene music, so it is perhaps not surprising that someone (in this case Tony Thomas) has come up with the idea of re-recording a selection of these. The objective has been to concentrate on Rozsa’s earlier scores between 1937 and 1948, with the…

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El Cid

The sound quality of this recording benefits from a richness which the MGM soundtrack album could not achieve back in 1961 but, having said that, this is by no means the definitive EL CID recording which collectors had been led to expect from advance publicity and is a severe disappointment in terms of interpretation and…

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The Epic Film Music of Miklós Rózsa

This ambitious recording with Kenneth Alwyn conducting the City of Prague Philharmonic is a first rate Rozsa compilation. Although the usual audience pleasers such as BEN-HUR and EL CID are included, there are enough less familiar pieces to make this an extremely interesting and entertaining CD. Things get off to a rousing start with a…

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The Sea Hawk

There are not enough superlatives to describe this recording triumph by John Morgan and William Stromberg. Nearly two hours of the complete score from Korngold’s wall to wall music for THE SEA HAWK played brilliantly and impeccably true to the original by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. This is romanticism personified, with gloriously rich melodies and…

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The Way West

Ric Burns’ 6-hour epic documentary chronicles the way the American West was won – and lost; a poignant and frequently tragic story of the victimization of the Native American people during the settling of the continent from 1845-1893. The PBS mini-series, now available on a4-video boxed set also from Shanachie, featured a versatile and moving…

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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

It’s a great pity that one of Jarre’s finest scores (although I admit to bias, being a fan of his music) should have been mutilated for the album release. Obviously Capitol Records were more concerned with having a commercial Top 40 LP rather than what should have been a classic soundtrack album. The original format…

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Enemy Mine

Wolfgang Petersen’s new film is sort of a remake of the hypnotic 1968 HELL IN THE PACIFIC; both stories imprison two opposing soldiers in a remote locale, and they gradually become friends. Where Lalo Schifrin was less interested in exploring the development of the characters than in musically simulating sound effects, Maurice Jarre spends most…

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Jesus of Nazareth

It is amazing to realize how much our perception of what “Roman epic” music must sound like has changed, once we have been exposed to Miklos Rozsa. In many celebrated scores, Rozsa clearly defined this type of music, and, right or wrong, set the standards by which other similar scores have to be judged. Not…

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The Robe

When The ROBE, the first film in the widescreen CinemaScope process premiered during the winter of 1953/54, not the least of the PR emphasis was on the innovative multichannel stereophonic sound system (“ … superior new Stereophonic Sound enhances the scope of audience participation!”). While the various sound systems that went with such giant screen…

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