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Film Music Classics - Steiner: Music For The Films


Release Date: 09/25/2007 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8570184   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Max Steiner
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony OrchestraMoscow Symphony Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Standards strongly maintained– giving a budget price injection to a notably well curated series.

This is another emigrant from Marco Polo [8.570184] and joins the Naxos Film Music Classics series, a burgeoning one that reflects well on the company’s steady devotion to the art on disc. The music is by Max Steiner and was written for two Bette Davis vehicles, All This, and Heaven Too and the post-War A Stolen Life.

One thing that distinguishes the series, apart from the purely musical values embodied by the Moscow Symphony’s performance under the experienced John Morgan, is the nature and quality of the supporting notes; you won’t necessarily want to plough through the purely theatrical-dramatic
Read more ramifications, nor – if you’re not much of a cineaste – will you much be exercised by what Bette Davis thought, or didn’t think about her roles in these films; but it’s good to know that these details are here.

All This, and Heaven Too has a hundred minutes of music, which is here condensed to under half that length by means of eliminating repetition and such like. The orchestration is by Hugo Friedhofer, whom Steiner held in the highest professional esteem for his work – and no wonder. The result is a kind of through-composed Wagnerian approach, rich, vibrant, exciting and fully up to the expected Steiner Standard.

There are twelve cuts and some run scenes together. The Carriage Ride scene, for instance, lasts a mere 1:32 whilst track eight holds All Hallows Eve, the Lotis Song, Springtime and the Carousel and consequently lasts 5:42. The Duke’s Dying and finale lasts an even longer 7:28. In other words there is plenty of variety both musical and in terms of cutting.

That Carriage Ride is written in Steiner’s best light and airy style whereas A Night To Remember for Louise is full of rich, verdant and gorgeous lyricism. A feature of the writing is the opposition between the open-hearted lyricism of the love music and the more eerie, malevolent writing; for such things Steiner reserves percussion and here we find him using two pianos and celesta and more besides. Romance and portent hover over the final scene before the End Cast – always a good feature of the series in presenting an "authentic" listening experience.

The companion work is a more sparsely and simply orchestrated affair lasting twenty-six minutes in this reconstruction. Best to pass over the note’s reference to a "sea chanty" and better to concentrate on the precision of the writing and its effective realisation. A Stolen Life has a central storm scene which is the opposite of grandiose in its orchestration – instead the clever use of the piano effectively evokes the hubbub without undue exaggeration. There are some splendid little dance moments and some cod Nauticalia that amuses.

Standards are strongly maintained in this release – giving a budget price injection to a notably well curated series.

-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
All This, and Heaven Too by Max Steiner
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Symphony Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 44 Minutes 51 Secs. 
Notes: Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia (02/2002 - 03/2002) 
2.
A Stolen Life by Max Steiner
Conductor:  William T. Stromberg
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
Venue:  Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia 
Length: 26 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Mosfilm Studios, Moscow, Russia (02/2002 - 03/2002) 

Sound Samples

All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Main Title
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): To France - The Caretaker - The Duke
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Carriage Ride
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Henriette - Gluck: Armida: Overture
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): A Night to Remember for Louise
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Mysteries of Life
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): The Smiles of Hypocrisy
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): All Hallows Eve - Lotis Song - Springtime - The Carousel
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Reunion and Understanding - Springtime Again - Henriette
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Jailed
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Rushing to a Dying Duke - The Duke - Final Farewell
All This, and Heaven Too (restored J. Morgan): Finale - End Cast
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): Main Title - Sailor's Hornpipe
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): A Stolen Life - Twins
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): Karnock - Shopping Tour
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): Storm - Aftermath
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): Interlude
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): Talbot and Confrontation
A Stolen Life (restored J. Morgan): Finale

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