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Editor's Choice -

Best Of The Month

August 2010  

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)

World Premiere of the Complete Film Score

Music composed by Maurice Jarre.

The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nic Raine.
Concert Master: Lucie Svehlova. Ondes Martenot: Francois Evans Ondes Martenot EnsembleCithare: Gareth Williams.

Album Producer: James Fitzpatrick. Executive Producer: Janet Fitzpatrick. Associate Producers: Gareth Williams, Francois Evans, Nic Raine, Jan Holzner. Recording Engineer: Jan Holzner. Recorded at Smecky Music Studios, Prague, March 2010.

Sleeve Notes by Frank DeWald and James Fitzpatrick. Session Photos: Petr Kocanda.

CD One: 26 Tracks (Total Playing Time = 77:34)

Complete Score for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Conducted by Nic Raine. Original orchestrations by Gerard Schurmann. New Score Preparation by Paul Campbell. Proof Reading and Score Revisions by Leigh Philllips. Additional Score Transcriptions by Tony Mikulka. New Orchestral Parts Preparation by Jiri Simunek.

 

CD Two: 20 Tracks (Total Playing Time = 71:04)

The Music of Maurice Jarre (A Personal Choice by James Fitzpatrick)

The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by James Fitzpatrick (Tracks 1,8,9,10, 11 13, 18). Other tracks conducted by Nic Raine (Tracks 2,3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 16, 20), Derek Wadsworh (Track 17) and Paul Bateman (Track 19). Crouch End Festival Chorus, Conducted by Nic Raine (Tracks 14, 15).

Orchestrations and Arrangements by Christopher Palmer and Patrick Russ (MOON OVER PARADOR), Dominic Nunns (THE MAGICIAN OF LUBLIN), Nic Raine (THE FIXER, THE PALANQUIN OF TEARS, DEAD POET'S SOICIETY), Cliff Bradley (CIMARRON STRIP, RYAN'S DAUGHTER, RESURRECTION), Patrick Russ (PRANCER, SUNSHINE, SOLAR CRISIS), Christopher Palmer (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, JESUS OF NAZARETH), Michael Mention (FIREFOX), Leigh Phillips (VOICE OF THE GUNS).

Tadlow Music TADLOW 012 (Distributed by Silva Screen Records Ltd.)

Rating: ****

 

Tadlow Music continues to release outstanding restorations of vintage film scores. Outstanding past releases include: TRUE GRIT (Elmer Bernstein), THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (Miklos Rozsa), EL CID (Rozsa), and EXODUS (Ernest Gold), and all of them I have selected as Editor's Choice, Best of the Month. That's quite an achievement for a new record label!

Have you ever heard a film soundtrack that stays in your mind for days (or weeks, or even years) afterward? That's how the LAWRENCE OF ARABIA soundtrack was with me, especially the sweeping desert theme. I have been a longtime admirer of Jarre's film music ever since I first watched LAWRENCE OF ARABIA on the really big screen and was thrilled with his monumental score.

There have been several previous releases, including a remastered CD of the original soundtrack (13 tracks) with Jarre conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra. I have the original LP release from 1963 (PRT Records PYL 6040) and believe it just as good as the remastered CD. But this soundtrack album with Jarre conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra is incomplete.

Now we have another complete film score with double the amount of music (26 tracks) than on previous releases for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.

This most auspicious CD release is obviously a favorite one for producer James Fitzpatrick, who knew Maurice Jarre for many years, and produced a CD containing much of the score with Tony Bremner conducting, which has been a popular release. Yet, Fitzpatrick writes in his sleeve notes he was not satisfied with it. He promised Jarre that "if ever I could find the funding then I would have another go at Larry"!

Fortunately, Fitzpatrick found the needed funds and now we can all enjoy the magnificence of this epic score.

Of his three Oscar-winning scores, the others also being David Lean directed films, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO and A PASSAGE TO INDIA, I believe LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, his first Oscar-winner, is his best one.

For many listeners and filmgoers, the opening Overture and Main Title is what they best remember from LAWRENCE, as they should since this music sets the tone and mood for the entire score with the major themes presented. The opening soars with wonderful themes that carry the viewer and listener along on this fascinating story of British Lieutenant T.H. Lawrence. Frank DeWald, in his excellent booklet notes, writes that:

His rich thematic material for LAWRENCE included both "Western" and "Eastern" melodic ideas, and his sweeping theme for the desert proved highly memorable...Jarre also gave LAWRENCE a distinctive sound by using two non-symphonic instruments in important solo roles: the cithare (zither) - in this case electronically amplified - and Ondes Martenot. Both had been used before (and would be used again) by many of Jarre's colleagues, but rarely together or with such prominence as here.

Besides the richness of the music itself, expertly prepared by several orchestrators, this recording with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, under Nic Raine's careful direction is one of their all-time best recordings of film music.

Disc Two includes some lesser known themes from films such as THE MAGICIAN OF LUBLIN (Disc Two, tracks 2-7) and a Suite from THE FIXER (track 8). While none of these themes are as memorable as LAWRENCE, they are still worthwhile additions to this CD release. There are also a few extra tracks for LAWRENCE (track 13: Nocturne - alternate version) and (track 20: The Voice of the Guns - original version, Kenneth J. Alford).

It is the first disc with the complete score to LAWRENCE that most listeners will probably be thrilled to hear in all its magnificence.

The 2 CD collection is released "In Memory of Maurice Jarre, 1924-2009" and it is a most appropriate tribute to his memorable film score for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.

This is yet another triumph for Tadlow and its producer, James Fitzpatrick.

A milestone release of one of the great epic scores of the 1960s!

-- Roger Hall, 31 August 2010

 


See the memorial tribute to Maurice Jarre in the Spring 2009 issue of

Film Music Review (Vol. 11/ No. 2)


Read an extensive interview with James Fitzpatrick, CD album producer of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA here

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collector's Edition, 2 DVDs: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA

   

 

 


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