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Editor's Choice -

Best Of The Month

December 2010  

 

 

 

 

PATTON (1970)

Music composed and and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith.

 

2 CDs

Disc One:
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Total Time = 37:03)
Echoplex Session (Total Time = 5:29)
Total Playing Time = 42:43

Disc Two:
Original 1970 Score Album (Total Time = 33:46)
Album Extra - End Title (sans dialogue = 1:11)
Total Playing Time = 35:02

CD Produced by Nick Redman and Douglass Fake.
CD Executive Producer: Roger Feigelson.
Orchestrations: Arthur Morton. Digital Mastering: Dan Hersch.

Original 1970 Score Album originally issued as 20th Century Fox Records S4208.
Digital mastering Douglass Fake.
CD booklet notes by Julie Kirgo.
CD Art Direction: Joe Sikoryak.
Production Assistant: Regina Fake.

Intrada CD MAF 7110

Rating: ****

This excellent 2 CD set with both the original soundtrack and 1970 score LP album replaces two earlier single CD releases:

 

 

The first one co-produced by Jerry Goldsmith, and conducting the Royal Scottish National orchestra and released by Varese Sarabande in 1997. The other CD released by Film Score Monthly in 2005.
Both of these single disc releases have another film score included to fill out the CD.

 

This new Intrada is all PATTON and it's a milestone of recovering all relevant recordings from this Goldsmith score -- generally acknowledged to be his masterpiece and I would agree with that designation.

The first disc includes the original motion picture soundtrack and though relatively short (37:03), Goldsmith has composed a score that is used sparingly and very effectively too. In the helpful CD booklet notes, Jerry Goldsmith is quoted with the following about his major themes:

I wanted to treat Patton as a three-tiered personality, because he was complex and multi-layered. So there was, naturally, the Warrior, which would be treated with the march, the religious aspect of him, which was the chorale, and then the fanfare, which was the archaic, his belief in reincarnation.

After that quote from Goldsmith, Julie Kirgo adds:

There you have the score for Patton, in the composer's own words, surely the most succinct statement in film music history.

Kirgo also describes the difference between the two discs:

Perhaps the greatest difference is one of character: the album [disc two] is brighter, jauntier, less harrowing than the darker, moodier, more discordant OST [disc one], in large part because the score as heard in the film is replete with some of the most unnerving, unearthly music Goldsmith ever wrote -- music pointedly not included on the album.

That might be stretching the truth a bit since the 1970 album does contain some of that "unnerving" quality, as on track 4 ("The First Battle") which is also found on the original soundtrack. Yet, it is true that Disc One does contain more of that somber quality, as in track 4 ("The Cemetery" - 2:42) and track 8 ("The Prayer" - 1:11). As Kirgo mentions in her booklet notes, neither of these darker cues are included on the 1970 original score album.

Perhaps the most distinctive element of this terrific score is the trumpet echoplex heard first in the Main Title. On Disc One, there is a fascinating "Echoplex Session" (track 18 - 5:29) from the original recordings included on the Fox Laserdisc from 1997. You can hear the various examples of this hypnotic trumpet effect, used so effectively by Goldsmith throughout the PATTON soundtrack.

Disc Two contains the 1970 Original Soundtrack Album and opens with the famous Patton speech (4:54) delivered with gutsy intensity by Oscar-winning actor, George C. Scott. It also contains a brief speech by Scott after the End Title on track 13 (1:01).

The sound quality on discs is extremely clean and bright and better than the previous Varese Sarabande release with Jerry Goldsmith conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

One might say that Goldsmith was as victorious with his music as George C. Scott was with his portrayal as Patton. And for this supreme film score, Goldsmith fully deserved to receive an Oscar but he didn't get it.


Nevertheless, on its 40th anniversary, Goldsmith's PATTON has received its own special award -- the music heard on this excellent Intrada release.

Kudos to all involved in this 2 CD set of Goldsmith's greatest score.

It is my pleasure to name this terrific PATTON Intrada release as Best of the Month.


--Roger Hall, 31 December 2010

Additional Note:

Jerry Goldsmith was chosen for a Lifetime Achievement Sammy Award in 2008 which he so richly deserved.

 


 

 

Blu-Ray: PATTON (2 Discs)

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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