on 4 November 2011
First there was the 1964 LP soundtrack on CBS records, then the same work was reproduced on CD by Varèse Sarabande. In 1991 Cloud Nine Records brought out "More Music from The Fall Of The Roman Empire" which augmented the original soundtrack with a dozen or so previously unreleased pieces taken from the original studio tapes. On that CD some old favourites were repeated from the original, and some (presumably less popular) tracks such as Notturno, Lucilla's Sorrow, Morning, Resurrection and Persian Battle, omitted. This of course was not a problem if one already possessed the original soundtrack.
But what was needed was a single CD set which brought everything together without the limitations inherent in analogue original recordings. In other words, a whole new production from the ground up, encompassing all of Dimitri Tiomkin's score. Well, here we have it, and more - because here you will also find some music that DT scored, but which never made it into the film, or was "dialled out" before release.
One piece of music is labelled as "Aftermath & The Journey To Rome" in the Varèse Sarabande CD, but "The Undoubted Caesar" in the new Prometheus 2-CD set. Which is correct - or was the same piece intended to be used (but wasn't) for both events in the film? The music (in my opinion) seems to relate well to the latter scene, which is presented without background music in the film. Perhaps the director felt that scene had more dramatic impact without music.
A favourite track - Pax Romana - has been re-recorded at various times since 1964, (Unicorn Kanchana, 1985, for one) but another favourite, The Roman Forum, has until now, sadly lacked this attention.
So here we have a rare event indeed. The whole soundtrack (and more) totalling around 140 minutes of music, for The Fall of the Roman Empire, using DT's original written score, and offering the freshness and immediacy that modern recording techniques allow. If you are an enthusiast of Dimitri Tiomkin's music, this 2-CD set from Prometheus Records is undoubtedly a "must have" for your collection.
on 2 February 2012
I always loved Tiomkin's score for this film and hoped that someone would find the original stereo tracks misplaced somewhere and release them on disc. Well, this brilliant reconstruction and powerful performance by the City of Prague Orchestra is so much better than that. I find that even well preserved original materials can hardly compare to the dynamics of modern recording done exceptionally well. Of course, already severely biased toward Tadlow by way of the complete "Taras Bulba" they released not long before this, I came in expecting quite a lot. The complete "Fall of the Roman Empire" is a revelation, as much for the pieces already available on the soundtrack album as various parts never heard before. It's a delightful listen from beginning to end.
on 5 May 2012
This is a score that I and many others including composer Tiomkin himself never thought would see the light of day in it,s complete form. I have the original soundtrack a collectors item itself but this new recording is a gem. Great performance, amazing re-construction painstakingly put together, this series of complete film scores are a godsend to us film music enthusiasts and this one really stands out from the crowd. I read in the booklet that Miklos Rozsa would have scored this film if he hadn,t fallen out with Samuel Bronsten on a previous project, no disrespect but we wouldn,t have tracks like Pax Romana which is my favourite part of the score. Highly recomended and lets have more from this series.