Original Review: Released in 1989 as a tribute to George Korngold, son of the great composer Erich Wolfgang, who died of cancer during the album's production and who was a tireless campaigner for the release of older, rarer film music titles, this compilation by Varese Sarabande is an excellent collection of little known themes by mainly comparatively little known composers, most of which pre-date 1970, and is of special interest to soundtrack collectors for its inclusion of four suites from Korngold scores, plus a cue from John Williams much sought-after Jane Eyre. The Korngold cues are from the films Between Two Worlds, The Constant Nymph, The Prince and the Pauper and Escape Me Never, the best being the achingly beautiful string theme from Between Two Worlds, titled 'Mother and Son', the quirky and amusing 'Flirtation' cue from The Prince and the Pauper and the wonderfully romantic love theme from Escape Me Never. John Williams is honoured with two cues here: 'Carriage Ride to Thornfield' from Jane Eyre is light and chirpy little scherzo for flutes and strings, but his other inclusion, a suite from the 1969 movie The Reivers, is not particularly to my taste - it sounds too much like whistling Dixie, although some of it is quite nice and it is hailed as a classic by Williams fans. I do like Miklós Rózsa's beautiful love theme from 'The Lost Weekend', though, and also the Midnight on the Cliffs theme from the film Julie, a lovely piano solo written by legendary concert pianist Leonard Pennario - his only film score to date - which uses piano scales to invoke images of waves crashing onto distant shores. I have also finally found an Alex North score I like - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, the main title for which is a mellow, subdued violin theme with a sublime guitar melody. The other cues pass the time quite nicely without any particular standouts, except for my favourite of all: Michael J. Lewis' glorious theme from The Madwoman of Chaillot: a dramatic, uplifting, sweeping string theme with accompaniment from a Jew's harp and an accordion to represent the glories and tragedies of la belle France. Overall, this is a worthy addition to any collection, especially for those who like scores from Hollywood's Golden Era.

Track Listing: Running Time: 66 minutes 39 seconds

Varése Sarabande (1989)

Conducted by Charles Gerhardt. Performed by The National Philharmonic Orchestra. Recorded and mixed by John Acoca. Album produced by George Korngold.

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These web pages were designed and maintained by Jonathan Broxton copyright 1997. All opinions and views expressed on these pages are my own and are in no way intended to reflect those of my employer, the Trent Institute for Health Services Research, or those of the University of Sheffield.