Seven Wonders of the World Soundtrack, Original recording remastered
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'Seven Wonders of the World' is a 1956 film in Cinerama about the Wonders of the World. This is the first time on CD for the unique sound track of the movie mixed from the original tapes.
With music by three composers - Emil Newman, who also conducted the Cinerama Symphony Orchestra for the sound track, David Raskin and Jerome Moross, the music is varied and dazzling.
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As a curtain raiser, Sepia start the disc off with the two pieces from the score (The Holy Land/ The Mediterranean) that were newly recorded for Silva Screens’ Jerome Moross compilation ‘The Cardinal’. A modern digital recording, these two pieces are well matched by the the sonic splendour of the original soundtrack (originally on 7 channels) when the ‘Seven Wonders’ theme bursts forth, the wide stereo image crisp and clean (Listen to it through headphones for the best effect).
Unlike the two previous discs, the composite soundtrack has been used this time which means we get a few sound effects and producer Lowell Thomas’s stentorian narration as well as some abrupt edits. The narration may put some people off but it really works, in fact it adds to the whole experience and is not the least intrusive. We only get some 35 minutes of the soundtrack score but what is there is choice (The exit music which uses the Rio theme will have you dancing around the room!).
Rounding off the disc are two promotional discs that were produced at the time of the film’s original release in 1956. The first is a mono ten inch disc from ‘Admiral High Fidelity’ which contains a small amount of music (not all of it from the film) but has a lot of effects (elephants, trains, etc) and a narration from someone who sounds uncannily like the late Bob Monkhouse. In fact, this disc seems to be more a promotion for the wonder of ‘Admiral High Fidelity’ (as the narrator keeps reminding us) rather than for the ‘Seven Wonders’ film. This is followed by the content of a souvenir disc from Nikreis Records which was sold at the London Cinerama Casino Theatre (now the Prince Edward). This one had more music and was really a potted version of the film. The producers of this CD have cleverly used the stereo soundtrack to recreate this (originally mono) disc in stereo.
As with all Sepia discs the presentation cannot be faulted and there are lots of photos included in the informative booklet. (How they do it all at such a low price is amazing).
If you are interested in fifties film music in general, and Cinerama films in particular this disc is for you. It will take you back to an age when the Cinema was forever looking for new technical marvels to ward off the threat of the little box in the living room – television!
If all this doesn’t put a smile on your face, Sepia tell me they will be releasing a STEREO – yes, STEREO – ‘Search for Paradise’ later this year!!!
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