- Conductor: Rumon Gamba
- Composer: Arthur Benjamin, Leighton Lucas
- Audio CD (27 Feb. 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Soundtrack
- Label: Chandos
- ASIN: B0072A4FDY
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 248,966 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Benjamin/ Lucas: Film Music (Chandos: CHAN 10713) Soundtrack
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Arthur Benjamin composed the Storm Clouds Cantata in 1934 for Hitchcocks first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the 1956 colour remake of the film, the incidental music was composed by Bernard Herrmann, who was offered the opportunity to write his own music for the films climax. In an unusual outbreak of modesty, however, he said that he could not improve upon Benjamins cantata, so it stayed. In the film, Herrmann can be seen conducting the work a in a 12-minute-long, tension-filled scene at the Royal Albert Hall, during which the heroine must stop an assassin from shooting a visiting prime minister. The assassin has memorised the music by listening to a recording of the work, and waits patiently for the thunderous climax of cymbals which will muffle the sound of his gun Also on this disc is Benjamins Waltz and Hyde Park Gallop from An Ideal Husband, and the music from The Conquest of Everest, one of his most successful film scores. Leighton Lucas is particularly noted for his film music, including the scores for Alfred Hitchcocks Stage Fright, for Ice Cold in Alex, and for The Dam Busters all represented on this disc. In Portrait of the Amethyst from Yangtse Incident, the music supports scenes of everyday duties aboard the British frigate HMS Amethyst, and culminates in the famous March, with its hint of Heart of Oak, the official march of the Royal Navy. In contrast, the score to the Victorian curiosity Portrait of Clare, represented here with the Dedication, is inspired by piano and other works by romantic composers such as Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt. All are performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Rumon Gamba who records exclusively for Chandos. The disc features exquisite performances by a number of soloists the mezzo-soprano Abigail Sara, pianist Catherine Roe-Williams, and organist Rob Court as well as the voices of Côr Caerdydd.
Gamba directs first-rate performances of these works, all of which are played with electrifying panache and attentiveness by the BBC Orchestra. Unhesitatingly recommended. --IRR, Apr'12
Climbing Everest, catching a train at York: here's British Film music for every occasion. *** --BBC Music Magazine,May'12
Top Customer Reviews
The booklet cover for this album is very much its calling card with eagerly awaited suites from 'Ice Cold in Alex' and The Dam Busters'. It's what drew me, along with two other 'war' scores 'Target for Tonight' and 'Yangtze Incident'. Alright, this latter is strictly post-war, but Richard Todd in uniform and a WW2 Royal Navy ship in conflict....
Who can forget the determined jaunty tune for Katy the ambulance in 'Alex'or the famous 'Dam Busters' march- here, in its correct truncated film form, along with a little of the incidental music reconstructed and arranged by the indefatigable Philip Lane. Mr Lane's efforts extend to virtually all the music offered and he is owed a great debt of gratitude here as in many other albums.
Some of the music on offer was written for shorts and documentaries, including Lucas' 'This is York', not particularly interesting other than the depiction of steam trains, and Benjamin's rather more colourful 'Conquest of Everest'. Perhaps the highlight of the Benjamin scores is the Storm Clouds Cantata from 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' (1934) which Bernard Herrmann opted to keep in the 1956 remake alongside his own score.
Cues from 'An Ideal Husband' 'Portrait of Clare' and 'Stage Fright' round out the album.Read more ›
Sadly (and on first listening) this is a disappointing arrangement. The Ice Cold in Alex March in particular is too stylised and needs to be played con molto brio. This arrangement lacks the cheeky but glorious tempo of the film and has to be viewed as failing to match the original (where is Geoff Love when you need him?). Nevertheless all credit to Rumon Gamba for attempting it in the first place and giving us something to listen to. Now will someone do it properly???