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Great Classic Film Music - Volume II
Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra/Iain Sutherland
rec. 1988-1995
SOMM ARIADNE 5009 [74:03]

This second volume in the SOMM series of Great Classic Film Music covers a lot of ground - many different genres of films released between 1940 and 1987. In general, Iain Sutherland weaves magic through each selection making this second collection very enjoyable.

Two contrasted films from 1940 are represented: Korngold’s The Sea Hawk with Sutherland capturing very well its thrilling sweep and grandeur (the throne room detail) and the scented Love Theme.  The film, Spring Parade, was a vehicle for Hollywood’s Universal studio’s mainstay, Deanna Durbin, mainly remembered today for her singing in such films as One Hundred Men and a Girl. The March from Spring Parade’s parade sequence is a stirring, colourful item.

The programme commences with a stirring rendition of Jerry Goldsmith’s Star Trek music, the most recent film represented here, and ends with Maurice Jarre’s Lawrence of Arabia music. For this, Sutherland includes much ethnic subtlety and nuance but I do wish his reading was a little less Romantic and had more thrust and bite. 

There’s bite enough for James Bond’s You Only Live Twice and I liked the ethnic nuances and subtleties of ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ from Morricone’s The Mission. I warmed too, to the Cole Porter hits embedded in the otherwise darkly sinister, slippery music for Evil Under the Sun. Gershwin’s music highlights Funny Face – and in passing I have always treasured the way Audrey Hepburn sang, ‘How long has this been going on?’ in the film – enchanting!

I was equally enchanted by the effervescent Irish whimsy of Barton Lane’s Finian’s Rainbow music. Benjamin Frankel’s ‘Carriage and Pair’ music from So Long at the Fair brought back warm memories of this sophisticated mystery drama set in the elegance of 1859 Paris.  So, too, did Kurt Weill’s ‘September Song’ which graced September Affair starring Joan Fontaine and Joseph Cotton. Walton’s Shakespearean based scores sound suitably majestically imposing here and it is good to hear the Andante music of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 used in the film Elvira Madigan.

All in all, this album has much going for it.

Ian Lace

Previous review: Brian Wilson

1) Star Trek: The Next Generation – Jerry Goldsmith; Main Title (1987) [3.39]
2) You Only Live Twice - John Barry (arr. Iain Sutherland) Main Title (1967) [2.50]
3) Back to the Future – Alan Silvestri Main Title (1985) [3.34]
4) The Mission (‘Gabriel’s Oboe’) – Ennio Morricone (1986) [4.00]
5) The Eagle Has Landed – Lalo Schifrin (arr. Iain Sutherland) Main Title (1976) [3.05]
6) The Sea Hawk - Erich Wolfgang Korngold – Main Titles and Love Music (1940) [4.46]
7) Evil Under the Sun – Cole Porter (arr. John Lanchbury) Title Music (1982) [6.08]
8) Funny Face – George Gershwin - Overture (1957) [5.48]
9) Finian’s Rainbow – Burton Lane Prelude (Main Title) (1968 – the film) [6.25]
10) Spring Parade – Robert Stolz arr. Charles Previn (March) (1940) [2.14]
11) September Affair - Kurt Weill arr. Iain Sutherland (September Song) (1950) [4.43]
12) So Long at the Fair – Benjamin Frankel (‘Carriage and Pair’) (1950) [2.46]
13) Elvira Madigan – W.F. Mozart (Andante – Piano Concerto 21) (film 1967) [7.21]
14) Richard III – William Walton – Prelude (1955) [7.08]
15/16) Henry V – William Walton – Passacaglia/Death of Falstaff [2.42]; ‘Touch her sweet lips and Part’ (1944) [1.42]
17) Lawrence of Arabia – Maurice Jarre - Main themes (1962) [4.00]


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