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Arthur Benjamin and Leighton Lucas: Film Music / Rumon Gamba

> Conquest of Everest Suite (arr. M. Caratelli and C. Schurmann) - I. Title Music -
> Conquest of Everest Suite (arr. M. Caratelli and C. Schurmann) - II. Walls that Surpass the Imagination -
> Conquest of Everest Suite (arr. M. Caratelli and C. Schurmann) - III. The Great Lift -
> Conquest of Everest Suite (arr. M. Caratelli and C. Schurmann) - IV. Top of the World and Final Bars
> The Man Who Kew Too Much (arr. P. Lane) - The Man Who Kew Too Much: Storm Clouds Cantata (arr. P. Lane)
> An Ideal Husband - Waltz
> An Ideal Husband - Hyde Park Galop
> Yangtse Incident: Portrait of the Amethyst (arr. P. Lane) - Theme -
> Yangtse Incident: Portrait of the Amethyst (arr. P. Lane) - Hornpipe
> Yangtse Incident: Portrait of the Amethyst (arr. P. Lane) - The Amethyst March
> Portrait of Clare (arter R. Schumann's Myrthen, Op. 25) - Portrait of Clare (after R. Schumann's Myrthen, Op. 25): Dedication
> The Dam Busters (arr. P. Lane) - The Dam Busters: Prelude and Dam Blast (arr. P. Lane)
> Stage Fright (arr. P. Lane) - Stage Fright: Stage Fright Rhapsody (arr. P. Lane)
> Ice Cold in Alex Suite (arr. P. Lane) - I. Prelude
> Ice Cold in Alex Suite (arr. P. Lane) - II. Love Scene
> Ice Cold in Alex Suite (arr. P. Lane) - III. March
> This is York (arr. M. Riley) - Opening Titles -
> This is York (arr. M. Riley) - Setting the Path - Diagram Lights -
> This is York (arr. M. Riley) - Thornton-le-Dale -
> This is York (arr. M. Riley) - Smoking Engine – Pan across York – Committee Room – Portraits – Railway Museum
> Target for Tonight (arr. P. Lane) - Target for Tonight: March-Prelude (arr. P. Lane)

Album Summary

>Benjamin, Arthur : The Conquest of Everest
>Benjamin, Arthur : Storm Clouds, cantata from The Man Who Knew Too Much, film score
>Benjamin, Arthur : An Ideal Husband
>Lucas, Leighton : Yangtse Incident
>Lucas, Leighton : Portrait of Clare
>Lucas, Leighton : The Dam Busters
>Lucas, Leighton : Stage Fright
>Lucas, Leighton : Ice Cold in Alex
>Lucas, Leighton : This Is York
>Lucas, Leighton : Target for Tonight
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composers

Notes & Reviews:

Arthur Benjamin composed the Storm Clouds Cantata in 1934 for Hitchcock's first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the 1956 color remake of the film, Bernard Herrmann was offered the opportunity to write his own music for the film's climax. In an unusual outbreak of modesty, however, he said that he could not improve upon Benjamin's cantata, so it stayed. Also on this disc is Benjamin's Waltz and Hyde Park Gallop from An Ideal Husband, and the music from The Conquest of Everest, one of his most successful film scores. Leighton Lucas is particularly noted for his film music, including the scores for Alfred Hitchcock's Stage Fright, for Ice Cold in Alex, and for The Dam Busters - all represented on this disc. All are performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Rumon Gamba. The disc features exquisite performances by a number of soloists - the mezzo-soprano Abigail Sara, pianist Catherine Roe-Williams, and organist Rob Court - as well as the voices of Côr Caerdydd.

BBC Music Magazine
Here's British film music for every occasion, with seven samples of Lucas (usually refined, sometimes limp) and a meatier trio by Benjamin.

Fanfare Magazine - Paul A. Snook
As always in this series, Gamba and - in this case - the National Orchestra of Wales approach this music with the highest level of idiomatic respect and authenticity, and Chandos offers its comparable sonic and production support. Although we must be grateful for the two Benjamin premiere recordings, it's the Lucas that makes this release unmissable.

American Record Guide, July / August 2012
Reconstructions, arrangements, and annotations by Mr Lane are all expert, and the fervent performances are captured in typically large-scale Chandos sonics.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff (10/03/2011-10/05/2011).

Arthur Benjamin (1893-1960) is by far the better known of the two composers represented on this CD, a beautifully recorded body of mostly premiere recordings. Benjamin's most well-known piece of music was "The Storm Clouds Cantata" from Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much -- the piece was used in both the 1934 and (with expanded scoring and dimensions) the 1956 versions by the director, and it is the latter that has been recorded here. This is the performance that we and the concert audience in the movie would have heard had we not, as viewers of the film, been "distracted" by the assassination attempt taking place around the performance -- the music served its purpose in the two movies, and stands well on its own as a fine example of sturdy, early 20th century choral writing in the mode of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. And while it is a pleasure to finally have a fully realized performance of that piece, which overlays the most suspenseful moments of each movie, the composer's finest piece of music here is the suite from The Conquest of Everest, a richly melodic yet modernistic orchestral work, which contains hauntingly beautiful writing for the strings throughout -- this is a piece that could, under the right cultural conditions, earn a place in the concert repertory. There are some less substantial but equally enjoyable orchestral "lollipops" in this collection, such as the composer's waltz and "Hyde Park Galop" from An Ideal Husband, and then we yield to the music of Leighton Lucas (1903-1982). A self-taught musician (and former dancer) whose performance work was mostly centered on the ballet, Lucas was a less imposing creator than Benjamin, much more in a light music vein, but he could deliver memorable and weighty pieces for the proper cinematic occasion, as demonstrated by his music for The Dam Busters represented here, and his piano rhapsody from Hitchcock's Stage Fright (1950) -- the latter is his shining moment here, a moodily elegant, post-romantic piece that is a fine showcase for the soloist and the orchestra alike. Lucas' work for such less-well-remembered movies as Target for Tonight, This Is York, and Ice Cold in Alex (part of the latter borrowing a little too much from Holst's The Planets, every bit as shamelessly as John Williams would do 20 years later on Star Wars) is also on hand -- all of it is presented with dignity and a good deal of energy by Ruman Gamba and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. ~ Bruce Eder



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Works Details

>Benjamin, Arthur : The Conquest of Everest :: Suite. 1. Title Music
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Ensemble: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
  • Running Time: 1 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Benjamin, Arthur : The Conquest of Everest :: Suite. 2. Walls that Surpass the Imagination
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Benjamin, Arthur : The Conquest of Everest :: Suite. 3. The Great Lift
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Benjamin, Arthur : The Conquest of Everest :: Suite. 4. Top of the World and Final Bars
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 4 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Benjamin, Arthur : Storm Clouds, cantata from The Man Who Knew Too Much, film score
  • Performers: Robert Court (Organ); Abigail Sara
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 7 min. 50 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 1934

>Benjamin, Arthur : An Ideal Husband :: Waltz
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 5 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Benjamin, Arthur : An Ideal Husband :: Hyde Park Galop
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947

>Lucas, Leighton : Yangtse Incident :: Portrait of the Amethyst. 1. Theme
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 12 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957

>Lucas, Leighton : Yangtse Incident :: Portrait of the Amethyst. 2. Hornpipe
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957

>Lucas, Leighton : Yangtse Incident :: Portrait of the Amethyst. 3. The Amethyst March
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1957

>Lucas, Leighton : Portrait of Clare :: Dedication (after Schumann's "Widmung")
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1950

>Lucas, Leighton : The Dam Busters :: Prelude and Dam Blast
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 5 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1954

>Lucas, Leighton : Stage Fright :: Rhapsody
  • Performer: Catherine Roe-Williams (Piano)
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 5 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Lucas, Leighton : Ice Cold in Alex :: Suite. 1. Prelude
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1958

>Lucas, Leighton : Ice Cold in Alex :: Suite. 2. Love Scene
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 4 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1958

>Lucas, Leighton : Ice Cold in Alex :: Suite. 3. March
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 2 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1958

>Lucas, Leighton : This Is York :: Opening Titles
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Lucas, Leighton : This Is York :: Setting the Path - Diagram Lights
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Lucas, Leighton : This Is York :: Thornton-le-Dale
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 1 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Lucas, Leighton : This Is York :: Smoking Engine - Pan across York - Committee Room - Portraits - Railway Museum
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 4 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1953

>Lucas, Leighton : Target for Tonight :: March-Prelude
  • Conductor: Rumon Gamba
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Film Score
  • Written: 1941