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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 23 June 2011
Any devotee of film music, especially that from the "golden age", will need absolutely no introduction to the now legendary series of recordings made in the 70s by Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Many have asserted, however, that the "Dolby Surround" encoded cd releases did no favours for anyone (probably most of us) listening to the music on a conventional hi-fi set up.
After many moons, Sony Music has attempted to remedy perceived deficiencies with a new re-mastering, and if this example is anything to go by, it shows. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's film music sparkles anew in all its romantic, dashing glory, with cues from the likes of "Robin Hood", "Kings Row", "Escape Me Never", and of course, "The Sea Hawk". As for the delivery, well, there's probably nothing new to say on the subject. Suffice it to say that Gerhardt and the NPO knew how to light a bonfire under the music, and delivered it with a seemingly effortless panache.
Naturally, all this comes with a downside. Fifty odd minutes could never be enough, and at the end, you're left haplessly panting for more; a situation which sadly, can't now be remedied!
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on 21 May 2014
I can only echo the other reviewers. However I see no credit is given for the additional performers on the song from The Constant Nymph. They are contralto Norma Procter and the Ambrosian Singers. There is an interesting story of the CD history of this recording. When RCA decided to issue the Classic Film Scores on CD, they put Charles Gerhardt in charge of the project. The conductor decided against simply issuing the original LP as it stood. He took Korngold material from other LPs in the series to make a CD with 70 minutes running time - about 20 minutes more then the LP. This was issued as GD87890 in 1989. For whatever reasons, RCA were not pleased, and removed Gerhardt from the project. GD87890 was deleted and replaced by a straightforward reissue of the LP. Although it was interesting to have all the additional music on the first CD, the original tripartite Sea Hawk overture, which made such a stunning start to the Classic Film Scores series was dismembered. I personally prefer the straightforward reissue of the LP.
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on 5 May 2015
Pure gold dust, if you'll excuse the pun. All of these discs are superbly engineered by the magician 'Wilkie' (Ken Wilkinson) and the playing is simply fantastic. The National Philharmonic consisted of the finest principals from all the major orchestras of the time and they revel in this music. Gerhardt is no slouch either, spending an inordinate amount of time preparing the scores and producing these wonderful suites. Unlike the original LP you might well be taken by surprise when the Ambrosian singers chime in with 'Strike for the shores of Dover' - I nearly fell off the chair! It's brilliant! Comparison with the later LSO / Previn collection reveals some significantly slower tempi and the recording is good, although no match for this masterpiece. If you like this one try the Bernard Hermann volume with its vicious Death Hunt, 8 solo horns braying like hungry wolves. All of these albums give a great balance between swooning strings and some pretty spectacular percussion writing.
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on 23 July 2013
Having a film and classical collection of thousands of tracks this collection of Korngold music under the baton of Charles Gerhardt is without doubt one of my favourites. First purchased by myself on vinyl in the 1970,s and again on CD in the 80's this remastering is by far the best. Incredibly romantic pieces played with insight and stamina by the NPO.
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on 5 December 2013
A toure de force of Erich Wolfgang Korngold film music scores , played with true interpretation by National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt.

Value for money.
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on 3 February 2013
Although there is a number of collections of Korngold's film scores - in my humble opinion - this is the best!
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