The Sea Hawk LP - the one that began the Classic Film Score series

 

The Sea Hawk - Classic Film Scores of ERICH WOLFANG KORNGOLD
RCA 77932 (M) TT: 50:30
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Lost Horizon - Classic Film Scores of DIMITRI TIOMKIN
RCA 77933 (M) TT: 45:53BUY NOW FROM ARKIVMUSIC
Captain Blood - Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn
RCA 77934 (M) TT: 56:10
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Captain From Castile - Classic Film Scores of Alfred Newman
RCA 77936 (M) TT: 44:26
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Gone With the Wind - Max Steiner's Classic Film Score
RCA 77935 TT: 43:33
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Casablanca - Classic Film Scores for Humphrey Bogart
RCA 880937 (M) TT: 51:07
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Citizen Kane- The Classic Film Scores of BERNARD HERRMANN
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano; Joaquin Achúcarro, pianist; National Philharmonic Orch/Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 81264 TT: 52:18
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Spellbound - The Classic Film Scores of MIKLÓS RÓZSA
National Philharmonic Orch/Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 81269 TT: 54:22
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Elizabeth and Essex- The Classic Film Scores of ERICH WOLFGANG KORNGOLD
Francisco Gabarro, cellist; National Philharmonic Orch/Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 81266 TT: 47:53
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Now Voyager- The Classic Film Scores of MAX STEINER
National Philharmonic Orch/Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 891270 TT: 53:12
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Sunset Boulevard- The Classic Film Scores of FRANZ WAXMAN
National Philharmonic Orch/Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 81265 TT: 53:46
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CLASSIC FILM SCORES FOR BETTE DAVIS
National Philharmonic Orch/Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 81272 TT: 41:00
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CLASSIC FILM SCORES - Music of DAVID RAKSIN
New Philharmonia Orch/David Raksin, cond.
RCA RED SEAL 81268 TT: 46:58
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Here is a important and treasurable reissues!! These thirteen disks are the legendary Classic Film Score series. For the complete story on this and complete listings of contents, check the feature on this site CLASSIC FILM SCORES. The entire series was issued first on LP, later on CD, but most of them eventually were deleted. Now we have them all in magnificent transfers. Engineer Maria Triana has returned to original analog stereo tapes—previous CD versions were in artificially produced Dolby Surround. And the new versions sound wonderful. Gerhardt's magnificent concept of movie music, and the stunning playing by the National Philharmonic, are beautifully conveyed by the rich sonics. Program notes from original LP issues are included are is the covers, although new graphics are on CD booklets. And these are mid-price. If you don't know these recordings, you are missing definitive performances of the best of movie music. Gerhardt was a good friend of mine (see GERHARDT). He told me at the request of RCA he had remastered all of the Classic Film Score recordings, with different compilations and adding some never-issued material. For whatever reason, RCA decided to return to the programming of original CD issues. Too bad, but let us rejoice in what we have. Production values are excellent although it is odd producers elected not to have separate tracks for the six sections of Lost Horizon, although eleven tracks are provided for Gone With the Wind. Collectors surely will wish to have these CD issues from the original analog masters.

If you have a quality audio system, check out the uncommon vividness of the unusual percussion in Bernard Herrmann's White Witch Doctor, and stunning sound of 9 harps in Beneath the 12-Mile Reef. (the composer was at the sessions in 1974 and was delighted). And don't miss the Franz Waxman CD which ends with a hair-raising Ride to Dubno from Taras Bulba. If you owned previously versions of these famous recordings, you owe it to yourself to hear what you were missing. The "odd-man-out" here is the CD of music of David Raksin. This was issued at the same time as the Classic Film Scores series but it is not conducted by Gerhardt, and the orchestra is the New Philharmonia instead of the National Philharmonic. Gerhardt's only participation was as producer, which is a guarantee of the highest quality audio..|

Welcome though these reissues are, let us hope they are not the end of the story. There are other superlative Gerhardt recordings of film music on RCA that were not part of the Classic Film Scores Series, namely a coupling of a suite from Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Return of the Jedi, and The Spectacular World of Classic Film Scores. The latter for the most part contains highlights from the entire series, but it also includes a suite from Tiompkin's score for The Thing, and Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils by Amfitheatrof, neither of which are available elsewhere.

Let us hope!

R.E. B.(December 2013)