In the case of Objective Burma! (score restored by John Morgan), it isn't necessary to have seen the movie to enjoy Waxman's music because just a glance at the segment headings gives one a pretty good idea of what's going on, the music filling in the rest. Titles like "Briefing in an Hour," "Take Off," "Jumping," "Killing the Sentry," "Two Came Back," "Burmese Village," "Missing the Plane," "At Night," "Invasion," and "The Camp--Finale" pretty much tell the story in themselves. Then, with Stromberg's direction and Morgan's reconstruction, lo and behold, the music actually sounds like the pictorial images we envision, rather like a series of miniature tone poems, much of it march-based, of course. Waxman never composed music to sell soundtrack albums but to convey the nuances of every film he wrote for; it's hardly a clever or revolutionary concept, just a practical one that pays off.
Originally released in the Marco Polo line in 2000 and now on the lower-priced Naxos label, Objective Burma! has the kind of sound we have come to expect from this source, William Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony having produced so many other good film recordings for the company. While the sonics are a bit less than completely open or transparent, plus a little distant, there is some relatively good, realistic stage depth and imaging involved.
John J. Puccio