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VILLA RIDES! The Western Film Music of Maurice Jarre

 

Music composed by Maurice Jarre.

The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nic Raine.

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.

26 Tracks (Total Playing Time = 75:54)

Rating: ***1/2

 

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), LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and most recently, TARAS BULBA -- all of them I have selected as Editor's Choice, Best of the Month. That's quite an achievement for any record label!

The latest release features the World Premiere of the complete film score for Maurice Jarre's VILLA RIDES! (tracks 1-20). Also included as Bonus Tracks are Main Titles and cues from five more Jarre western scores: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN (tracks 21-22), EL CONDOR (track 23), RED SUN (track 24), CIMARRON STRIP (track 25), THE PROFESSIONALS (track 26).

Since VILLA RIDES! takes up most of this CD, it deserves the most attention. This isn't one of Jarre's greatest scores but does fit the story quite well, with a very nice Main Title theme (track 1, 2:50) featuring an opening by a whistler and guitar before it is expanded into the full orchestra. This theme is heard throughout the score. One of the most effectuve uses of the main theme is for "The Battle" (track 15, 4:10) with a flavorful highly rhytmnic Mexican style orchestration.

The CD notes by Frank K DeWald are, as usual, well written and informative. There is also a page of "Producer's Notes" by James Fitzpatrick, explaining the difficulties of recording Jarre's tricky rhythms and the mixing of certain instruments (guitars, percussion, keyboards and orchestral basses as a pop style rhythm section and separate from the full orchestra.

James Fitzpatrick identifies this score as a favorite one from his youth, and so his high regard for Jarre, and also the expert orchestrator, Leo Arnaud, are understandable and quite deserved. This may not be the best known of Jarre's many film scores but it is a very listenable one, as are the other scores provided as bonus tracks.

This CD is a fine tribute to Maurice Jarre who Fitzpatrick calls "this most original and individual of composers."

 

-- Roger L. Hall, 20 September 2011

Comments regarding this review can be sent to

Film Music Review

 

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

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

Read the extensive interview with James Fitzpatrick, CD album producer of VILLA RIDES! Click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 


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