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on 24 December 2010
I won't talk about the music, which is marvellous. But prospective buyers should be warned that you will not be sent the product as described, with 'exhaustive booklet', but a cheap CD-R reprint with a distincty home-spun feel: unreadable print etc., no background information at all. The soundtrack itself is marred by sudden blanks when a new track starts. Unless you don't mind such things, avoid!
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on 7 November 2000
This is the best digitally-processed CD yet available (directly/indirectly transferred from the original nitrate-film masters). You can't get (so far) any closer to Mr. Korngold on the Warner Bros. sound stage! If you are an Korngold enthusiast (especially of his film symphonies), get this CD now while it's still "in print." It's already a "collectors item" in North America.
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HALL OF FAMEon 3 December 2003
This is another in Marco Polo's series of modern recordings of classic film scores. And this is one of the REAL classics. It was written in haste by Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) for the Warner Brothers release, but you'd never know that. There have been recordings of bits and pieces of the score before, but this is the very first one that contains all of its 75 minutes (an amazing amount of music for a film lasting only 102 minutes). Even more amazing is the fact that Korngold didn't think he could write the music because there is so much action in the movie--which means lots and lots of notes for underscoring--and because he didn't 'relate' to it. But he was prevailed upon and the result is, simply, quite amazing. The action music is appropriately perky (as the whistling tune when Robin meets Little John), agitated (as in the attack on Sir Guy and his men, and for Robin's arrest), dramatic (as for the music of the archery tournament). And then there is the insouciant theme song for the Merry Men which opens the score and recurs throughout the film. And on and on. From a strictly musical point of view, the score shows Korngold's utter ease at using leitmotivs for various characters, scenes and situations, and his ability to combine them contrapuntally when appropriate.
I have always loved Korngold's 1919 tone poem 'Sursum Corda' and knew that he quoted and extended much of that material in this score. He had done so at the urging of his father, the eminent Viennese music critic Julius Korngold, and indeed motives from that piece occur throughout the score. It first appears as a trumpet tune during the film's first appearance of Errol Flynn as Robin. The tune is memorable in all its guises.
Like all other Korngold scores, the musical materials are quintessentially late Romantic in both their kind and use. This means there is Romantic sweep, arching melodies, extraordinarily seamless counterpoint, lush orchestration (done here, actually, by Hugo Friedhofer to Korngold's extensive specifications), exciting action and ceremonial music, melting love music (the Love Scene between Robin and Maid Marian, with its use of shimmering vibraphone and celesta is sui generis for its time, and erotic as can be). All the things that we associate with the best of movie scores of this period are here. And this is one of Korngold's best. I well remember seeing this film as a boy and whistling the March of the Merry Men as I left the theater.
The restoration of the score from the parts of the original score still extant and from the optical track of the film itself is done by movie music expert, John Morgan. The performance by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra is led by conductor William Stromberg whose CD of music ['Death Valley Suite,' et al.] by Ferde Grofé I raved about earlier this year. Both the performance and the recording are terrific.
A word needs to be said about the CD's booklet. It is quite extensive and extremely informative. There is an account by movie historian Rudy Behlmer of how the movie came to be made and the score composed. There is a 15-page set of notes by Korngold biographer, Brendan G. Carroll, detailing in scholarly detail all manner of things about the music, including a scene-by-scene description of the movie's action and the music that accompanies it. There are two pages of black-and-white pictures of the original recording of the movie's score, conducted by Korngold himself. And there is a two-page essay by John Morgan about how the score was restored. One couldn't ask for a better production values.
I know that movie music buffs will be snapping this one up.
Heartily recommended.
Scott Morrison
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on 22 July 2012
This is the biggest disapointement of the classic film scores from holywoods golden age.Now dont get me wrong theres nothing wrrong with the orchestra or the conductor.Its just that this disc skips and pauses during playback.Very poor.Go for the varse sarabande album;which is light years ahead of this.Andy.
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on 24 December 2010
Beware! This is NOT the original Marco Polo recording. It is a badly transferred copy onto a CD-R, repackaged by Naxos. The original recording is brilliant, but this release has many audio 'drop-outs' and jumps. This is a great shame as the original was a ground-breaking recording with more of the score than ever before recorded. Sadly, the original release is currently out-of-print, so until it is re-released we are stuck with this one!
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on 12 September 2011
always loved the movie and now i have tne soundtrack. I have been trying to find the cd for years. I play it when i go to bed and become Robin hood
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on 29 January 2009
Except the fact that it is the very Original recording, really no reason to buy this item. It is far from beeing a good remastered CD. The orchestra sound is awful. Rather Prefer the Naxos (Marco Polo) rerecording.
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on 6 May 2015
Made over 50 years o but still the best Robin Hood.
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