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Film Music Review (Volumes 1-7)

 
   

 

 

 

 

GOOD MOVIE MUSIC (2005)

 

 

Tracks:

1. William Walton: HENRY V - Death of Falstaff (4:42)
2. William Walton: HENRY V - Touch her Soft Lips (1:31)
3. Ennio Morricone: THE MISSION - Theme (2:51)
4. Ennio Morriocne: THE MISSION - Gabriel's Oboe (2:25)
5-14. Bernard Herrmann: PSYCHO - Suite (17:02)
15-21. Virgil Thomson: LOUISIANA STORY - Acadian Songs & Dances (14:02)
22. Elmer Bernstein: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (7:24)
23-25. Virgil Thomson: LOUISIANA STORY - Suite (18:25)

Philharmonia Virtuosi, Richard Kapp, conductor. Edited and mastered by Daniel Czernecki.

essay CD 1089.

Rating: *** (Good)

This is an unusual compilation to say the least. First of all, there's the title. Is this really just "Good Movie Music"? How about Great Movie Music? Every one of the film scores represented can be classified that way. In fact several of them have become true film classics.

The compilation features a wide range of film score excerpts covering the years from the 1940s to the 1980s.

The opening two tracks are from William Walton's monumental score for the classic British classic filming of HENRY V (1944). These two tracks have been recorded many times before yet they are given a good performance on this CD. The same applies to the two often recorded tracks from THE MISSION (1986). Both are adequately performed by the Philharmonia Virtuosi.

The famous Suite from PSYCHO (1960)has been heard so many times that it is really uneccessary to include it, unless it was felt it would help sell the CD. Once again the performance is generally fine, though it does sound like the orchestra is a bit too rushed in spots, as in "The City" (track 6).

As with PSYCHO, also with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962), which has been better performed and recorded, especially by Elmer Bernstein himself. Again it was probably included because of its popularity and deservedly so for it was Bernstein's own favorite film score and is a masterpiece of film scoring.

The most welcome music is from Virgil Thomson's Oscar-winning score for THE LOUISIANA STORY (1949). Both the delightful "Acadian Songs & Dances" (tracks 15-21) and "Suite" (tracks 23-25) are included and make this CD worth having just for this score.

It might have been a wiser choice to include several of Aaron Copland's film scores, like OF MICE AND MEN or THE RED PONY, instead of the all too often recorded MISSION and PSYCHO.

As it stands, this CD is worth having mainly for the deligtful LOUISIANA STORY tracks. The other scores have all been recorded in better versions.

The conductor, Richard Kapp, has provided some nice personal comments in the CD notes.

So in the final analysis, and referring to the CD title, this CD is merely rated as "Good."

 

--Roger L. Hall, 25 October 2006

 


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