CD Reviews Miklós Rózsa

Digital premiere recordings

This is a wonderful recording – Elmer Bernstein and the Utah Symphony Orchestra’s control and interpretation of Rozsa’s music being completely assured. The greatly expanded 1984 version of the “Spellbound Concerto” (double the previous length) is the major item on the disc. This revised version for two pianos and orchestra is vastly different to the … Continue reading Digital premiere recordings

El Cid

The sound quality of this recording benefits from a richness which the MGM soundtrack album could not achieve back in 1961 but, having said that, this is by no means the definitive EL CID recording which collectors had been led to expect from advance publicity and is a severe disappointment in terms of interpretation and … Continue reading El Cid

El Cid

Swiftly following-on from the highly praised recording of Miklós Rózsa’s THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, Tadlow Music producer James Fitzpatrick has drawn on the same forces, namely the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Nic Raine and recording engineer Jan Holzner, to record Rózsa’s monumental score for the film EL CID. It’s remarkable that … Continue reading El Cid

Green Fire / Bhowani Junction

An entertaining, undemanding adventure film set in South America, GREEN FIRE (1954) made good use of the new CinemaScope and stereophonic sound processes. Miklos Rozsa didn’t think much of the film; “I got saddled with the film” and, on seeing the first screening, “I was….. bored to death” he said in his autobiography. Fortunately, his … Continue reading Green Fire / Bhowani Junction

Ivanhoe

VANHOE is the archetypal Miklos Rozsa historical score. A medieval pageant full of glorious, rousing themes. It is an ambitious subject for a re-recording, not least because it contains the lengthiest and most complex battle music which Rozsa ever scored – for the sequence displaying the storming of Torquilstone Castle. It is wonderful to have … Continue reading Ivanhoe

Julius Caesar

MGM’s prestigious 1953 production of JULIUS CAESAR remains a powerful film even today and is one of the finest examples of filmed Shakespeare. No expense was spared on creating a prestigious production which utilized an impressive cast of some of the most talented screen and stage actors of the day. The dramatic effect was boosted … Continue reading Julius Caesar

King of Kings

Samuel Bronston’s production KING OF KINGS (1961) has decidedly grown in stature over the years. From being first derided by critics as a simplistic treatment of the life of Christ, it has stood the test of time and can be seen to be a convincingly told, sincere epic with fine set pieces and magnificent production … Continue reading King of Kings

Knight Without Armour

Many of Miklos Rozsa’s film scores have featured solo piano, unusually as on-scene music, so it is perhaps not surprising that someone (in this case Tony Thomas) has come up with the idea of re-recording a selection of these. The objective has been to concentrate on Rozsa’s earlier scores between 1937 and 1948, with the … Continue reading Knight Without Armour

Madame Bovary

Here is the best film music album of the year thus far; the first complete recording of Rozsa’s decorous, immensely involving score which is actually a classroom demonstration of what movie music can do. The helpful notes by Christopher Palmer lead the listener through Flaubert’s story of a thwarted romantic who marries for social aspirations, … Continue reading Madame Bovary

Miklós Rózsa Treasury (1949-1968)

In the printed booklet notes to this handsomely presented box set, producer Lukas Kendall reveals that when FSM first began a CD contractual arrangement with Warner Bros/Turner Entertainment Co., who own the classic M-G-M film library, it was Rózsa who was foremost in his mind. Hardly surprising, of course, because when Rózsa was under contract … Continue reading Miklós Rózsa Treasury (1949-1968)

Sodom and Gomorrah

This double CD duplicates music which was originally released on the two disc gatefold LP issued on the Legend label in 1986. There are 15 minutes of “bonus” unused source music but which are not original Rozsa compositions. At the time of the Legend release this was one of the most complete Rozsa soundtracks to … Continue reading Sodom and Gomorrah

Spellbound

Miklos Rozsa’s love theme for Spellbound was the closest the composer came to having a popular “hit” tune which resonated with the public. He once described it as his most “durable” score in view of the numerous recordings which had been made, and indeed which continue to be made, of the main theme and the … Continue reading Spellbound

The Epic Film Music of Miklós Rózsa

This ambitious recording with Kenneth Alwyn conducting the City of Prague Philharmonic is a first rate Rozsa compilation. Although the usual audience pleasers such as BEN-HUR and EL CID are included, there are enough less familiar pieces to make this an extremely interesting and entertaining CD. Things get off to a rousing start with a … Continue reading The Epic Film Music of Miklós Rózsa

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

More melodrama than noir, despite being often labelled as such, THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) is primarily a B movie elevated to A class status by virtue of its star cast and an intriguing plot which makes for an entertaining film, aided by Miklos Rozsa’s evocative score. Rozsa scored over forty films during … Continue reading The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

The World, the Flesh and the Devil

Following on the heels of last month’s Miklos Rozsa release, THE GREEN BERETS, this month’s Golden Age album from FSM is another rarity, one of only a handful of fantasy scores written by the venerable composer. THE WORLD, THE FLESH, AND THE DEVIL was a post-apocalyptic story released in 1959, along the same lines of … Continue reading The World, the Flesh and the Devil