This Rhino collection reintroduced through Turner Classic Movies is one of the better sets of film scores by Miklos Rozsa, all conducted by the composer from the actual period scores. The two-disk collection is a memento of Rozsa's years employed by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio before he broke out independently.
The contents include suites (no individual tracks, just a run-on of elements from each score) from each film starting with 1949's Madame Bovary and ending with 1961's King of Kings. The score included here does not double the King of Kings score from Angel's "Film Scores of Miklos Rosza" and includes 13 minutes of original music. Other films in the package are Ivanhoe (1952), Knights of the Round Table (1953), Beau Brummel (1954), Valley of the Kings (1954), Moonfleet (1955), Green Fire (1954), The King's Thief (1955), Diane (1955) and The World, The Flesh and The Devil from 1959, that Cold War message movie about bigotry after nuclear devastation that I recently saw again on TCM.
This is a treasurable collection of some of Rozsa's better film scores, many of which are not duplicated on other collections. The first two (Madame Bovary and Ivanhoe) are in mono and all the others are in early stereo. There is plenty of fidelity and the brass -- so important is Rozsa's romantic statements -- play well throughout. Everything sounds pretty good, to be honest, better than you might expect considering one critic here downgraded this a point for sound value. These all sounded great in both my 5.1 home stereo and in my six-speaker car sound system.
Another big plus for this collection is a 52-page booklet that never dedicates less than two pages of text and photos to each movie score. There are six pages dedicated to the composer -- including a photo of him playing the bizarre buccina, which it says is "an ancient musical instrument used in his score for Quo Vadis" (it looks like one of those horns the Romans played in Ben-Hur) -- and a couple pages dedicated to production notes that tell you how these recordings were made.
I learned here for the first time that some of the stereo originals were recorded on three tracks, meaning they could conceivably be reintroduced someday in super audio with real three track output. The booklet includes documentation on each suite with its contents, lyricist (as applicable), and recording dates. There is a list of production credits on the inside back cover that shows everyone involved.
Considering the level of documentation included in this outstanding booklet, this has to be one of the better Rozsa collections ever put on CD. It's too bad it's NLA. Fortunately, Amazon Marketplace allows you to relive this glorious period by acquiring this wonderful collection before it's gone for good. Don't hestiate if you enjoy romantic film scores from Hollywood's golden age.