Film Music Review
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Editor's Choice

Best Of The Month

December 2012  



World Premiere Recording of the Complete Film Score

Music composed by Miklós Rózsa

Album Produced for Prometheus Records by James Fitzpatrick.
Executive Producer: Luc Van de Ven.
Recording Engineer: Jan Holzer.
CD notes by Frank K. DeWald and James Fitzpatrick.

The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Nic Raine. Concert Master: Lucioe Svehlova.

Score Reconstruction and Additional Orchestration by Leigh Phillips.
Music and Parts Preparation by Rebecca Thomas and Tony Mikulka.
Original orchestration by Eugene Zador.

Orchestra and Choir recorded at Smecky Music Studios, Prague, March 2012. All music published by EMI Robbins Music Catalogue.

2 CDs:

Disc One (19 tracks = 67:53)

Disc Two (19 tracks = 68:43) -
includes QUO VADIS Concert Suite (tracks 16-19)

Prometheus Records XPCD 172

Rating: ****


This is yet another superlative release produced by James Fitzpatrick and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, under Nic Raine's dependable and highly astute direction.

Needless to say that this release joins others produced with great distinction by James Fitzpatrick for Tadlow and Prometheus, including these five which have been named for Sammy Film Music Awards:

EXODUS -- music by Ernest Gold (1960)
THE ALAMO -- music by Dimitri Tiomkin (1960)
CONAN THE DESTROYER -- music by Basil Poldouris (1984)

THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE -- music by Dimitri Tiomkin (1964)
L AWRENCE OF ARABIA -- music by Maurice Jarre (1962)

There are many majestic and magnificent orchestral themes, some of them later used in Rózsa's greatest film score to BEN-HUR (listen especially to tracks 1 and 12 on CD 2). But unlike BEN-HUR, there are a series of wonderful vocal pieces in QUO VADIS, based on actual chant melodies from antiquity for chorus and soloists, including these titles:

"Resurrection Hymn" and "Incarnate Godhead" -- arranged by Miklós Rózsa and Hugh Gray

"Eunice's Song at Antium" -- adapted by Miklós Rózsa and Hugh Gray

"Nero" -- sung by John Langley
"Eunice" -- sung by Camille Maalawy

"Main Title," "Dance of the Vestal Virgins," "Resurrection Hymn," "The Vision of Peter," "Ecce Homo Patrus," "Finale and Chorus." -- sung by The City of Prague Philharmonic Choir, Choir Master: Miriam Nemcova.

Also, I include praise for Frank DeWald's informative detailed booklet notes, Leigh Phillips for his excellent QUO VADIS reconstructions and additional orchestrations, plus Rebecca Thomas and Tony Mikulka for music and parts preparation. These are all time-consuming and often difficult tasks that seldom get mentioned in CD reviews. Bravo to all of them!

In his notes about the recording, James Fitzpatrick offers these comments:

As always in this series of classic score reconstructions, recording took place at the famous and historic Smecky Music Studios - a film music recording venue since 1946...For these sessions we employed a slightly different recording style from previous albums - with the added advantage of being able to use three fabulous Neumann 150 microphones on the ambient "Decca Tree." These gave the orchestra a wonderfully full and rich sheen that was further enhanced by the use of 4 additional ambient mics and a whole array of spot solo mics...All the musicians, I felt, rose to the challenge.

I agree with Fitzpatrick's comment about the musicians rising to the occasion of recording one of the great epic film scores from the 1950s and with glorious sound thanks to those mics mentioned by Fitzpatrick and recording engineer, Jan Holzer.


QUO VADIS is another superb reconstruction CD release and I give it my highest recommendation.

It is recommended especially for those who value film scores by one of the greatest classical and film composers of his era, Miklós Rózsa.

Roger Hall, Editor, Film Music Review
1 December 2012

For information on this 2 CD release of QUO VADIS, go to

Tadlow Music


To order, write to Prometheus Records at:

Read the interview with Album Producer James Fitzpatrick here

QUO VADIS is listed on the list of

100 Essential Film Scores of the 20th Century



Quo Vadis  [Blu-ray]


QUO VADIS (Blu-ray) -
with a very good bonus documentary about the film and the score




Quo Vadis (Two-Disc Special Edition)


QUO VADIS (DVD - 2 disc Special Edition)











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