In my teens I started to collect soundtracks when other kids were collecting The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and even Jimi Hendrix. By my early twenties I had eighteen soundtracks (all vinyl of course) and one of my proudest possessions was Ben-Hur by Hungarian composer Miklos Roza (1907-1995) a Volume One and Two, purchased separately, I followed that up with El Cid, King Of Kings, Quo Vadis, and Sodom And Gommorrah, I just fell in love with his 'epic' soundtracks, but for me Ben-Hur stood high above the rest.
I recently received this double cd containing every morsel of music contained in the movie, intakes, outakes, alternate takes, you name it - its there from the trumpet introduction (30 secs.), Anno Domini, Overture, Valley of The Lepers. I do not have the album in front of me but I'm sure I counted over 50 tracks.
The album also contains a booklet with some photos which I had never seen before and a written introduction By Charton Heston..Mr. Epic himself. If you are famililar with the movie the compositions range from romantic, excitement, rage and eventually sadness. It would be hard to nominate the best track on this fine album...Parade Of Charioteers, Ramming Speed, Love Theme and Valley Of The Lepers come to mind.
Miklos Roza is considered one of the founding fathers of film music, with 3 Oscars and 16 nominations at last count, not to mention various other awards. It is not hard to see why this fine composer is held in such high esteem. I would rank him No.1 in my top 5 film composers which include Maurice Jarre, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Lalo Schifrin. So There you have it, the Double cd of the Ben-Hur soundtrack is available at the moment.....come to think of it...it should be made a crime to allow such a great work to languish on the shelves .....Brilliant