on 11 August 2014
This marvelous cd, one of the best in the legendary RCA Classic Film Scores serie, was recorded in 1973 and contains some of the best Max Steiner movie music, from the 1930s-50s.
After 40 year, and many new champions in the task of reconstruction and re-recording of movie music, the Charles Gerhardt Albums still stand powerful as the necessary starting point for any serious fan and collector of this art.
It is no coincidence if John Morgan and William Stromberg, for example, selected many titles for their gargantuan complete re-recordings that were already chosen in the short but outstanding suites prepared by Gerhardt: in this album we hear music from "King Kong" and "The Charge of the Light Brigade", both scores completely re-recorded by them for Marco Polo and Tribute Film Classics labels.
On the other side, this album offers the only opportunity to listen in excellent stereo to "The Big Sleep" and "The Fountainhead" (both titles are in need of complete re-recordings, by the way...).
The lush sound of the music composed in the Hollywood Golden Age is perfectly captured by the opulent National Philharmonic Orchestra and Gerhardt is a master in recreating all the nuances of this gorgeous music.
One last word about "The Fountainhead": in this album the suite is 8:07 minutes long. But Gerhardt conceived originally a 13:21 minutes suite, including a piano solo cue (Gerhardt playing it by himself at the piano).
This long suite is available as part of the cd "Celebrating the Classics", a limited edition released in connection with the issue by the U.S. Postal Service of 6 Hollywood film composers stamps, in 1999.
For fans of Max Steiner, I also strongly suggest a beautiful cd originally issued by Scannan Film Classics: "The Flame and the Arrow - Classic Film Music by Max Steiner".
The cd comprises short suites (in the Gerhardt fashion) from titles never before released. Kenneth Alwyn conducts the City of Prague Philharmonic in a stunning selection, that includes "Spencer's Mountain", "Mildred Pierce", "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs", "Sergeat York", etc.
1. Now, Voyager: Warner Bros. Fanfare and Main Title / Love Scene and Finale (5:51)
2. King Kong: The Forgotten Island / Natives / Sacrificial Dance / The Gate of Kong / Kong in New York (7:16)
3. Saratoga Trunk: As Long As I Live (2:30)
4. The Charge of the Light Brigade: Forward the Light Brigade (2:37)
5. Four Wives: Symphonie Moderne (8:06)
6. The Big Sleep: Main Title / Marlowe / Bookshop / Murder / Chase / Love Theme and Finale (7:03)
7. Johnny Belinda: Suite (5:05)
8. Since You Went Away: Main Title (1:25)
9. The Informer: Main Title / Love Scene / Sancta Maria (4:33)
10. The Fountainhead: Main Title (Roark's Theme) / Dominique's Theme / The Quarry / Construction - Enright House / Finale - The Wynand Building (8:07)
on 21 September 2015
The only thing that I can say about this strait from the screen recording is that it took seven weeks to arrive, so I had to manage with the DVD sound track. Charles Gerhardt has really worked hard to reproduce this fine recording from Max Steiner`s original construction of the various themes woven into it. I shamefully have to admit that such a beautiful work of heart seems wasted on this Bette Davis film and I have thirty two of Bette`s films. Also included in the eight tracks is the theme from Boggies The Big Sleep which also gets the closeness of Steiner`s /Warners original score. Be warned, if you do buy it you may well get bitten. also included in the package is a very useful booklet. Which film would you have placed it in? other than Now Voyager.