This CD is the real deal, the authentic music from Rozsa's movie scores delivered by an unnamed orchestra with the composer at the helm. The first half is recorded in stereo and recorded in Los Angeles in 1962. The back half is in excellent mono and recorded in Europe in 1952.
While many listeners have heard the Roman marches from "Ben Hur" and "Quo Vadis" as well as the music from "Spellbound" by watching the films themselves, I would draw your attention to the outstanding music herein from "El Cid" and "The Red House", two movies I have never seen.
The three selections from "El Cid" -- Overture, Love Theme and the outstanding El Cid March -- comprise an organic entity boiling over in Spanish flavor. The four selections from "The Red House" -- Prelude, Screams In The Night, The Oxhead Woods and the very disturbing Retribution -- do even more to create an atmospheric thriller in good mono right there on your home or car stereo! The addition of a wobbly female voice in "Screams of the Night" section adds suspense and aura to this already highly effective thriller coming from your equipment.
I'd say this music has to be heard in its entirety to be believed. It eschews the common failings of film music and in effect creates a suite from each movie that rivals, even betters, well known classical music suites. These are impassioned, thrilling, highly fulfilling performances that must be considered authoritative given the leadership of the composer.
The one small drawback to this issue are the scanty two page notes about Rozsa and his role in Hollywood. Still, it is the music you want to hear and the music on this CD is glorious beyond glory. On the evidence of this issue, there is no question Rozsa ranks up there with Bernard Herrmann as the best writers for film in the 20th century.