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Miklos Rozsa: Three Choral Suites Hybrid SACD, SACD

3 customer reviews

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£9.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we dispatch the item. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Dec. 2008)
  • Please Note: Requires SACD-compatible hardware
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, SACD
  • Label: Telarc Classical
  • ASIN: B0008191AG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 60,044 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By NNNNN on 30 Jun. 2005
Format: Audio CD
Towards the end of his life Miklos Rozsa laid out plans for concert suites from his music for "Ben-Hur", "Quo Vadis" and "King of Kings". Now suites existed but Rozsa wanted to incorprate the choral music from those scores that had been left out. Upon Rozsa's death in 1995 Christopher Palmer, who worked with Rozsa on the project, continued the work on the suites but he died before he could complete them. With the layout that Rozsa and Palmer left Daniel Robbins, Julian Kenshaw, Joseph Price and Erich Kunzel finnished the 3 suites. Kunzel here leads the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in spectacular performances of the suites that is truly a labor of love.
Each of the suites is about 20 minutes long and includes choral
and purely orchestral sections. Each also includes one of Rozsa's classic Roman marches. We do not know what the music the Roman Army marched to sounded like but I suspect that if they heard Rozsa's they would ditch whatever they were using. The 3 films cover the same subject area which caused Rozsa to use a similar style but it is amazing how individual and varied each is.The choral writing is often on a grand scale and what better for that than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There are also subtle parts here that they deftly handle. The wordless setting of the Lord's Prayer from "King of Kings" (the version with words was done for the soundtrack album)is truly moving.One of course cannot resist a smile at the gusto the Mormon's bring to the "Fertlity Hymn" from "Quo Vadis".
The orchestra and choir were recorded seperately (in Cincinnati and Salt Lake City) and later mixed together. Such things are not uncommon in classical recordings. There are several recordings of thec Saint-Saens Organ Symphony (No.3)where organ and orchestra are miles apart.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The previous reviewer says it all, but I cannot help but register my amazement at the way the choral parts have been dubbed onto the orchestra. Salt Lake City is about 1500 miles from Cincinnati, but the listener would think everything was recorded in the one venue. I can understand overdubbing a solo voice, but an entire large choir, with such precision, seems incredible.
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By Gilles F. on 30 April 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
PERFECT! VERY FAST SHIPMENT...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Film Music At Its Grandest 14 May 2005
By Timothy Kearney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Miklos Rozsa is one of Hollywood's best known composers. His training was in the classical repertoire, which is evident in his scores for films. While his heart was in the symphonic and choral worlds, most of his better known music was for film. Perhaps this is why his music fits so well to some of Hollywood's greatest epic films, and why arrangements of his music seem to be at home in large symphonic halls performed by the world's greatest orchestras.

Erich Kunzel, conducting the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform three musical suites of Rozsa's music in arrangements started by the composer. The three film scores that have been arranged in suite form are the three of MGM's greatest large scale works: BEN-HUR, QUO VADIS, and KING OF KINGS. Overall, Kunzel and the Pops do a magnificent job in this recording and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does the job listeners have come to expect from this ensemble over the years. Kunzel, who was one of the collaborators that completed the arrangements begun by Rozsa, conveys his love and appreciation in his conducting. The arrangements also keep the spirit of the three films, and listening to these arrangements brings back scenes from these films which are examples of Hollywood at what may be its best, if not its grandest.

This recording of film music by Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops is different from his earlier recordings of Hollywood classics. The suites are arranged by composer and not the orchestra's arrangers. In this recording the music is very similar to what is heard in the films, and are not themes of the music in pop arrangements as is the case of the HOLLYWOOD'S GREATEST HITS collections or the Disney collections which gives this collection more of a classical orientation rather than a pop style.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Could have been the best.... 17 Nov. 2005
By J. Bevan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There seems to be some polarity among these reviews. I'd like to take a different point of view. Telarc started out life as an audiophile label just before the CD era. As such they were committed to top sound during a time when LPs had become shoddy. The Atlanta Firebird was used at conventions and in audio salons to show off how big a bass drum could be, for example.

In that context this recording is almost strange. To record the Tabernacle Choir separately from the Orchestra is just plain wrong. Listening to the SuperAudioCD version, the two organizations are obviously in different acoustical settings.

It is true that the Saint Saens Organ Symphony has been recorded with the organ separate from the orchestra. BUT the organ part in that work is compartively simple, chordal, and doesn't move around much -- synchronization isn't a big deal.

I know of no other recording that tries to put two very large organizations together miles and months apart. As noted it comes off pretty well (from a synchronization standpoint), but the choir is lost in an acoustic which swallows enuciation.

There aren't many "words" in these works. There's a lot of "Ah Ah" vocalizing (sometimes referred to as 'vapor singing'). The hebrew in Quo Vadis comes across nicely but it is acappella.

Bottom line: they should have either recorded it in Cincinnati with the May Festival Chorus or in Salt Lake with the Utah Symphony. Either town has acoustical settings equal to the project.

This could have been a wonderful recording. But the fact that Telarc has gotten away from its audiophile-quality roots is the culprit in this recording being less than it might have been.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Standout Release 29 Aug. 2005
By John Rappold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm a film music nut, and Miklos Rozsa is by far my favorite composer. He's proven quite popular on CD, with many re-releases and re-recordings of both his film scores and his purely concert works. A release like Three Choral Suites can get lost among Rozsa recordings because most of this music has been recorded many times. However, this CD has much to offer the Rozsa fan or the casual listener.

This recording features the Mormon Tabernacle Choir united with the Cincinnati Pops and Mr. Kunzel. The choir adds a welcome dimension and breathes new life into such classics as King of Kings, where the original soundtrack recording suffered from distortion. In this reworking of Rozsa's music, one gets to hear the sheer power and beauty of the King of Kings score, and one can admire the craft that went into these influential film scores.

Speaking of craft, special kudos must be given to Mr. Kunzel for actually seeming to interpret these works, rather than perfomring a perfunctory or rushed reading as I have so often heard on Silva releases. Silva has released many re-recordings of rare film music, but I always get the feeling when listeining to them that the orchestra is almost sight reading the material and there doesn't seem to be a budget for retakes as often times mistakes are heard. Kunzel on the other hand, seems to have taken his time and has brought some fresh interpretations to this material. Sometimes this may fall flat, as in the rushed Rowing of the Galley Slaves from Ben-Hur (those slaves would have been dead from exhaustion long before the piece is over), but most times the fresh perspective works.

As a Rozsa fan, I really love the Quo Vadissuite. In fact Marcus and Lygia is for me the standout piece on the CD, bringing forth music that hasn't been heard apart from the film before, and which was buried way down in the mix of the film; a trait common to MGM. The piece has absolutely beautiful phrasing, and foreshadows Rozsa's techniques for his Ivanhoe score, which he would compose two years later. The Fertility Dance and Finale from Quo Vadis are also standouts.

Even Rozsa's most recorded score, Ben-Hur, has beautiful perfomances, and one gets the feeling that the choir and orchestra are performing with real passion.

The recroding itself is very clean, but a little subdued, with a small lack of presence. I feel as though I'm sitting too far back in a huge concert hall.

Aside from the couple of quibbles above, this is one of the best releases of Rozsa film music in a long time. If you are a Roza fan or someone who wants an introduction to his music, you can't go wrong with this CD.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Best of the Best 28 April 2005
By G. Piercy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What a wonderful tribute to such a great composer as Rozsa. I have listened to this compilation several times now and the sound sequencing and voicing is spectacular. What a wonderful team of having The Cinncinatti Pops and the 360 voice Mormon Tabernacle Choir together. There music and their performance is inspiring. If you like big movie music this is surly the one you want. This was the golden age of Hollywood.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good collection doesn't compare to composer's own work 29 Sept. 2005
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This collection of choral and nonchoral bleeding chunks from Miklos Rozsa film scores is tastefully performed with sensitivity from Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, which is the Cincinnati Symphony with some other players.

The performances comprise extended suites of music from the three films represented -- "Ben Hur", "Quo Vadis" and "King of Kings". The orchestra plays well throuhout and the spoken, sung and wordless choirs add aura to the music. There are no texts included, however, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir elocution is not always so superb that you know what they are singing...or in what language they are singing.

Where this recording is not distinguished is in its sound and in its comparison to the composer's own recorded scores. The sound on this CD, which is a hybrid Super Audio CD, is nothing special in traditional stereo. The sound picture is good with a wide spectrum but not especially brilliant or highly punctuated. It seemed homogenous to me in comparison to the composer's own recording of these scores.

In that recording, Rozsa and an unnamed orchestra outperform Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops in the pieces they both recorded, which include all the Roman marches such as the "Parade of the charioteers" from "Ben Hur". Rozsa's performances are more full throated with greater thrust and vigor than those led by Kunzel, who seems to take a more legato view of the goings on.

In summary, this recording presents a nice review of music from the three films but does not fare well against the composer's recordings, which may or may not be available but were still listed in the BMG inventory when I last looked (September 2005). So even though Kunzel and his group do nicely, I'd advise you listen to the composer's recording to get a better overall idea of the way this music should be performed.
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