on 24 June 2011
From the early 30s until the time of his final film score (for "Airport") in 1970, the great Alfred Newman was a pivotal figure in the development of film music into an art form valid in its own right.
This collection featuring Newman's music is another issue in Naxos's excellent "Film Music Classics" series. As the name suggests, the collection focuses on work from the early years of Newman's long and distinguished career, in the form of the score for the Charles Laughton classic "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1939), and an extended selection of cues from the Gary Cooper/Milland Legionnaire adventure "Beau Geste",from the same year. The collection is rounded off with a short suite from the 1950 Bette Davis drama "All About Eve".
As is usual with this series, this recording (as the saying goes) does what it says on the tin. There's the usual impeccable restoration work (shared on this occasion between John Morgan and William Stromberg), and the usual polished delivery from conductor Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. As for Newman, well, it was business as usual; just the delivery of evocative, atmospheric film music of very high quality.
As a clincher to anyone contemplating the purchase of this cd, there's the added attraction that in common with the rest of the series, it's available at a budget price. To buy or not to buy? Bit of a no-brainer, to be honest!