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Max STEINER (1888-1971)
The Son of Kong (1933) (45:28)
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) (31:49)
Moscow Symphony Orchestra/William Stromberg
rec. Mosfilm Studio, Moscow, April 2000
NAXOS 8.570183 [77:20]

First a word of warning for Max Steiner completists: this recording was first issued in the year 2000 on Marco Polo 8.225166. It follows the same team's 1996 album of Max Steiner's complete pathfinding film score for the original 1933 King Kong (Marco Polo 8.223763).

Son of Kong was rushed out at the end of 1933 to cash in on the extraordinary success of the celebrated original released earlier that year. Son of Kong was a banal film; cringing comedy following a classic film of great excitement and pathos. The Most Dangerous Game was a horror vehicle dating from a year earlier concerning a madman whose sport was hunting human prey on his remote island.

Steiner used much new material for Son of Kong, suitable for the sequel’s lighter atmosphere but retaining some major King Kong themes for continuity. One of the most interesting Son of Kong tracks is ‘Runaway Blues’ redolent of blue jazz of that era. It reminds us of Steiner’s pedigree, working in Vaudeville and on Broadway before he went over to Hollywood.

When Film Music on the Web was operational as part of MusicWeb, my colleague Gary Dalkin wrote an erudite review of this music as released on the Marco Polo label. I can do no better than refer you to his original appreciation.

The new Naxos 12-page notes are sparser than on the Marco Polo original but tightly-packed and certainly informative enough.

Ian Lace

See also review by Gary Dalkin



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