Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Hungarian composer Miklos Rozsa scored ninety-five films during his lifetime, including some of the most famous cinematic works of all time. Rumon Gamba, a great champion of film music, conducts the BBC Philharmonic in suites from several of these films, among them Ben-Hur, regarded by many as the composer's magnum opus among the film scores, which won Rozsa an Oscar in 1960.
Gramophone Magazine, May 2014
These performances by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Rumon Gamba, who have many a cinematic credit to their name, carry the conviction of an original soundtrack recording in state-of-the-art sound.
MusicWeb International, 16th June 2014
This generously filled release is self-commending to every R=zsa fan. They will welcome new recordings of some much loved music but this will also speak to many others who simply enjoy fine, superbly crafted music.
Liner Note Author: Andrew Knowles.
Recording information: MediaCity UK, Salford (07/19/2013-07/20/2013).
Editor: Rosanna Fish.
The Chandos label has issued some fine recordings of classic film music, and this release featuring scores by Miklós Rózsa is especially nice. The BBC Philharmonic under Rumon Gamba outdoes itself; the MediaCity sound is superb; and the notes by Andrew Knowles are unusually detailed. But the real attraction is the music of Rózsa himself, which is well represented by these four scores that cover a two-decade period. What's striking is how timeless his scores seem. The earliest of the four, The Thief of Baghdad, was finished in 1940 but has any number of features that, with very slight tweaking, would make it suitable for a film released today. Rózsa combined percussion-heavy sounds influenced by Bartók and Stravinsky with expansive pure Romantic melodies for the scenes of love and sentiment, a combination unlike anything being done in concert music at the time. The mix had unusual flexibility, enabling Rózsa to evoke the swashbuckling Thief of Baghdad, the still more exotic Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, the dramatic adventure of Sahara, and the epic Ben Hur, a film that truly would not be imaginable without its score, all without having to depart from his basic idea. It is not formulaic but rather original enough to encompass many strands of film in the middle 20th century, and there's a great deal of satisfying listening to be had here for film music fans. ~ James Manheim
Submitted on 06/12/14 by Allen Cohen