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Rózsa: El Cid

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

Price: £15.97
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Product details

  • Performer: Tamara Saylor Fine
  • Orchestra: New Zealand Youth Choir, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: James Sedares
  • Composer: Miklós Rózsa
  • Audio CD (20 Feb. 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Classics
  • ASIN: B000001SJ1
  • Other Editions: Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 469,775 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. El Cid: Overture
  2. El Cid: Prelude
  3. El Cid: Courage And Honor
  4. El Cid: Fight For Calahorra
  5. El Cid: Palace Music #1
  6. El Cid: Palace Music #2
  7. El Cid: Palace Music #3
  8. El Cid: Road To Asturias
  9. El Cid: Wedding Night
  10. El Cid: Coronation
  11. El Cid: Love Scene
  12. El Cid: El Cid March
  13. El Cid: Battle Of Valencia
  14. El Cid: Death Of El Cid
  15. El Cid: Legend And Epilogue

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Miklós Rózsa's score to the classic movie "El Cid" is indeed one of the greatest film scores of the 1960's. The music is epic and truly "made for wide-screen" with it's sweeping romantic themes, grandious fanfares and great orchestral build-ups. I can definitely recommend it to anyone interested in large-scale romantic film scores, but unfortunately not in this version recorded with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Sedares. The orchestra (under Sedares) plays well (which is why I rate this CD 2 stars instead of only 1, which it would deserve based on the poor production), and gives an overall perfectly acceptable performance.
But what drags this recording down is the dreadful production. It is a telling sign that the pipe organ solo of the final, and in the movie very important climax, has been replaced by a synthesized sound from what could be a cheap 300$ keyboard. Unfortunately this is not an exaggeration in any way (!). The majestically perceived (by Rósza) organ solo here falls completely apart because it sounds tame, uttermost fake and very "cheap", which of course is exactly what it is. The producers should be ashamed to murder Rosza's music, and an otherwise decent recording, like this!
That alone ruins the experience of the CD and clearly demonstrates that this is not a project made with enough musical integrity. It should never have been released like this. I'm sure Rosza would have not approved had he lived to hear the final bad result! This production soils his memory which is undeserved. But since the organ part seems to have been added after the orchestral recordings, the recorded material can hopefully be saved and at some point re-released in a proper way.
For now, I strongly recommend NOT buying this version of the El Cid score!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I disagree with the previous review on here which seems unfairly critical. This is a decent enough recording for the most part - with Rosza's orchestral palette coming alive with suitable passion and dynamism. It seems the finale in particular drew the ire of the previous reviewer, given the substitute synth in lieu of full throttle pipe organ. Yes, it may be somewhat anti-climatic pitched against the orchestral forces, but alas it is a comparatively small slight against the recording as a whole, and in my opinion should not unduly detract against this perfectly adequate CD. Certainly better than the limitations of the original soundtrack.

As has been pointed out - this recording has now been superseded by the excellent complete recording offered up by Tadlow and the City of Prague Philharmonic. But Rosza aficionados may also like this alternative take and interpretation as well, as indeed I do.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8f2e8034) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2e7128) out of 5 stars Superb but then I'm prejuidiced 11 Aug. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
As the Producer of this CD, most would think I'm the least qualified person to review the disc. In addition, my wife performs the finale's thundering organ solo: the dramatic moment when the gates open and the dead Cid mounted on his horse rides to his last battle. Even more so, I knew the composer. Despite having produced and edited this CD, I still love this record and this music, from the extraordinarily tender love music -memorable oboe playing by John Snow- to the choral finale (with organ), this is the music of epic from the last of the Golden Age of Hollywood composers. Rozsa endorsed James Sedares previous two recordings of his works but died the day I finished editing this recording. He would have loved it.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2e6abc) out of 5 stars Recording makes the most of the excellent score 26 April 2000
By Goffe Torgerson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The composer, Miklos Rosa, describes this score as his greatest achievement. That is saying a lot, because he composed some great scores. This is an excellent recording of that achievement. Even if you are not familiar with the movie, it is enjoyable romantic music, powerful at times, and tender and peaceful at other times, but always moving, musically and emotionally.
There is an excellent booklet with the CD, telling about the composer (with a list of movies he scored), the making of the movie, the history upon which the movie is based, and a commentary by Martin Scorsese.
Sadly, Rosa died shortly before this was released.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2e6af8) out of 5 stars Great music for the epic history of Spanish "Reconquista" 12 April 2002
By Juan Alberto Diaz Wiechers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"El Cid" is for me a great movie. It depicts one of the greatest episodes in Western history: the Christian "Reconquista" of Spain from the Moors, which lasted eight centuries. During this period there was a high degree of cultural intercourse, and today, for instance, the Spanish, or properly named Castilian, language, has around 12% of Arabic words, beginning with "ojalá" (May God wish it). There was religious war, of course, but also coexistence between Moslem and Christian states, and Moslem, Christian and Jew communities. Sometimes problems arouse when fanatic non-Spanish Moslem tribesmen from North Africa invaded the civilized Moslem Spanish emirates and threatened the less cultured Christian states. This motion picture is centered during one of these invasions. It talks of Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid Campeador, his wife Ximena, and his relation towards the succesive Kings of Castile and León, showing him, as he was, a loyal subject who nonetheless did not hesitate to force his new king to swore on his knees to have no connection with his brother's assassination. Also a man who commanded as an independent Warlord both Christian and Moslem troops, revered by his soldiers, and named by the Moslems themselves "El Cid" (from Arabic "Sidi" or "lord"). Then come the epic aspects of the music: the Christian-Spanish and the Moslem-Spanish influences, the legend of a hero, the wonderful love theme between Doña Ximena and Don Rodrigo, all music asociated with El Cid and his campaigns, and close to the end, the Death of El Cid in Valencia, the capital of his own short-living State. But, unlike other movies, History does not end there: after his death, El Cid, tided to his horse Babieca, leads his men into his final victory. It is said that he is the only general who has won a battle after his death. And the exit music depicts quite well the passing of El Cid into legend.
In summary, the recording is wonderful. The producers, among them the late Christopher Palmer, and with the approval of the composer himself, assembled a great suite for future generations. And the orchestra and the conductor did a great job. If one day the whole original soundtrack is issued for public release, it will not overshadow this recording, because this one can be understood as a suite for concert performances, in contrast to the Soundtrack, that will present the music in other form. Both presentations of the music will surely coexist side by side in a collection.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2e6228) out of 5 stars Bravo for the Music for El Cid 5 Mar. 2004
By James Eret - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Miklos Rozsa again scores big with his immense musical score for "El Cid." Rozsa beatifully weaves in rousing and moving Spanish themes to underline this epic film of knights, honor, courage and love. The courtly marches of kings and princes are wonderful and spirited, the battle marches are patriotic and larger than life, the love themes are beautiful and touching. It is a great tribute to the considerable composing ability of Miklos Rozsa that he can carry large spectacles with his musical genius. "El Cid" is very different than his other wonderful scores for "Ben'Hur" and "King of Kings" but share themes and variations. "El Cid" is different with its Spanish themes yet just as inspirational as his other epic music. As usual, Rozsa was able to scale down the music for the human side of this tale of a warrior and legendary hero of Spain, music of his wife and family, and quiet moments, all too few, away from battle to keep Spain free from the Moors. Rozsa was the master of this genre and very few composers were his equal. Even through the bombast, Rozsa could compose moving, memorable melodies that inspire, lift the human spirit, and stir the blood during massive battles. This is another classic film score that needs to be heard in its entirety. Highly recommended and buy Miklos Rozsa's other film scores. Most are great to listen to and many are classic additions to any film soundtrack library.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f2e6408) out of 5 stars Epic Music For An Epic Film 22 Feb. 2002
By David A. Wend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
El-Cid ranks along with Miklos Rozsa's score for Ben-Hur as his very best. He carefully studied medieval Spanish music before writing his score to bring to it a more authentic sound. This medieval influence is most evident in the palace music, particularly the more intimate scoring of the latter two.
Certainly, without knowing the name of the film behind this score one can easily guess that it belongs to Spain. There are the recognizable romantic themes (sometimes sounding very close to Ben-Hur) that makes this music unmistakably that of Miklos Rozsa, but there is the Spanish element that separates this from his other large scale scores and makes this one more memorable. The scope and grandeur of the music fills the larger than life subject of El Cid admirably.
Although this is not an original soundtrack recording, James Sedares and the New Zealand Symphony play with the passion of the original. The orchestra has a long association with the music of Miklos Rozsa, and it shows here. The booklet is very informative about the scare and the film and has many stills from the movie and some interesting pictures of Mr. Rozsa. Obviously, this was a labor of love for those involved. An absolute must for Rozsa fans.
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