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Sunset Boulevard - Classic Film Scores Of Franz Waxman


Release Date: 06/04/2008 
Label:  Rca   Catalog #: 7017  
Composer:  Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 08 Mins. 

Special Order: This CD requires additional production time and ships within 2-3 weeks.  

This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews



WAXMAN Sunset Boulevard. Prince Valiant. Peyton Place. A Place in the Sun. The Bride of Frankenstein. To Have and Have Not. Mr. Skeffington. Objective, Burma! Rebecca. The Philadelphia Story. The Two Mrs. Carrolls. Old Acquaintance. Taras Bulba Charles Gerhardt, cond; Natl PO RCA 7017 (68:46)


In my review of arkivmusic.com’s reissue of the RCA Erich Wolfgang Korngold The Sea Hawk album ( Fanfare Read more 30:6), I expressed the hope that they would follow it with this Franz Waxman CD as originally conceived by Charles Gerhardt. Well, here it is. To briefly review, Gerhardt planned to consolidate the music of various composers in the RCA Classic Film Score Series when preparing them for CD. This required expanding and reediting the music in order to account for longer CD playing time. The remastered CDs would contain never-released selections, and when music from some films was initially included on different LPs, it was rearranged into longer suites designed to appear on albums devoted to individual composers. Gerhardt only accomplished his fully realized goal in The Sea Hawk and Sunset Boulevard albums. They were the first two releases from the series to appear on CD. These Korngold and Waxman albums retain the truly sensational sound of the original LPs. Subsequently, RCA made the incomprehensible decision to reissue all of the Classic Film Score Series albums (including The Sea Hawk and Sunset Boulevard ) exactly as they appeared on LP with shorter running times, no expanded suites, cheap looking covers, and drastically inferior Dolby-encoded sound. The far superior CD versions of The Sea Hawk , and now, Sunset Boulevard can be identified by their original cover art and the notation that they are remastered by Gerhardt, but not in Dolby-encoded sound. Arkivmusic.com has fortunately chosen to reissue the Gerhardt-supervised versions.


As is the case with The Sea Hawk , this Waxman CD is required listening for anyone with any serious interest in film music. In addition to all the music contained on the original Sunset Boulevard LP, it includes excerpts from Peyton Place, To Have and Have Not, Mr. Skeffington, Objective, Burma!, and The Two Mrs. Carrolls . There is some unbelievable music here, including suites from Waxman’s back-to-back Oscar winning scores for Sunset Boulevard (1950) and A Place in the Sun (1951). In Prince Valiant , Waxman out swashbuckles Korngold in terms of orchestral razzle-dazzle, and “The Creation of the Female Monster” from The Bride of Frankenstein defined an influential standard for spooky horror film music that has never been surpassed. The haunting and intoxicating music from Rebecca will be difficult to get out of your mind once you have heard it. “The Ride to Dubno” from Taras Bulba is a brilliant orchestral showpiece that should be a rousing encore for symphonic or Pops concerts. Everyone, of course, has his or her individual favorites. I would have preferred Gerhardt interpretations of music from The Nun’s Story (especially the imposing Main Title sequence) and Tony Palmer’s concise suite from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde rather than the relatively lightweight selections from To Have and Have Not and The Philadelphia Story.


Concerning Gerhardt’s performances, they are so consistently good that it is virtually inconceivable that anyone will ever conduct this music better. He is greatly aided by the sound, especially in The Sea Hawk and Sunset Boulevard CDs as compiled by Gerhardt. Engineered by Kenneth Wilkinson, they are representative of the fabled acoustics of London’s Kingsway hall (in my opinion, the finest of all recording venues). Along with Sunset Boulevard , ArkivMusic has now also reissued most of the other albums in the RCA Classic Film Score Series exactly as they were formulated in their previous RCA Dolby-encoded CD versions. Conspicuous by their absence are Citizen Kane (Bernard Herrmann) and CDs containing music from John Williams’s Star Wars coupled with the best available interpretation of an extended suite from Close Encounters of the Third Kind , and an amazing performance of excerpts from Return of the Jedi that even manages to make the Ewok mumbo jumbo at the end sound musical. ArkivMusic plans to release them if and when they can get their hands on the original materials. The good news is that there is plenty of great music to be heard on all of these CDs by Korngold, Max Steiner (including the best version of music from Gone With The Wind ), Alfred Newman, Miklós Rózsa, and David Raksin, among others. They all sound pretty good, but I cannot emphasize enough that there is no comparison to the sonic impact of the Gerhardt-supervised Sunset Boulevard and The Sea Hawk CDs, or the analog LPs. We still need someone to rearrange all of these recordings exactly as Gerhardt envisioned in their original non Dolby-encoded sound, or better yet, reissue the whole series on SACD.

FANFARE: Arthur Lintgen


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Works on This Recording

1.
Prince Valiant: Suite by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954 
Date of Recording: 1974 
Length: 9 Minutes 51 Secs. 
2.
Peyton Place: Main Theme by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957 
3.
A Place in the Sun: Suite by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951; USA 
4.
Bride of Frankenstein: Creation of the female monster by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
5.
To Have and Have Not: Main Theme by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
6.
Sunset Boulevard: Suite by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950 
7.
Mr. Skeffington: Forsaken by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1944 
8.
Objective, Burma!: Parachute Drop by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945 
9.
Rebecca: Suite by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940 
10.
The Philadelphia Story: Suite by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
11.
Old Acquaintance: Elegy by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943 
12.
The Two Mrs. Carrolls: Suite by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947 
13.
Taras Bulba: The Ride to Dubno by Franz Waxman
Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962 

Featured Sound Samples

Prince Valiant: Suite
Peyton Place: Original Main Title

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