Korngold, E W - Film Music, Vol. 2 - Gamba, Rumon (conductor)

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'By sheer coincidence I recently re-watched the wonderful 1940 Errol Flynn film for which this score was composed. I’d momentarily forgotten the composer’s identity and when that incredibly arresting fanfare started up, was all but swept out to sea with Flynn and the boys. Now comes Rumon Gamba with this exhilarating new recording in terrific sound. Buckle your swash and away!'

Released in July 1940, The Sea Hawk was Korngold’s last swashbuckler, and is arguably the finest film ever made in the genre. Certainly it is one of Errol Flynn’s greatest films, and had a lavish budget for its time of $1.7m. It represents all that was best about Hollywood’s golden age – fine casting, an intelligent and literate script, lavish production values and, above all, one of the best scores ever written for a film, which has profoundly influenced the medium to this day. One of the most difficult assignments of Korngold’s career, it required a score of extraordinary length and complexity. The music was superbly multi-layered and thematically complex, literally sweeping the film along and matching its extraordinary visuals. Composition began just two days after the filming had been completed: in a special projection room equipped with a piano, Korngold had the reels of film run for him repeatedly while he improvised his music on the piano to the running footage. Later, he would then complete a full, annotated piano score. His training in the late romantic symphonic traditions served him well.

This recording has been very much a personal project for Rumon Gamba who comments, ‘as with the rest of the Chandos Film series I very much wanted to keep the music limited to a single disc, instead of being a dogged reconstruction of the complete score, including every single cue – some being just a quick trumpet figure or drum roll. I felt it was more important to represent the symphonic sweep of the score which is one of this film’s greatest strengths’. Gamba has created a comprehensive ‘suite’ of six ‘movements’ that follows the action chronologically and only leaves out some insignificant cues and general repetitions. He continues, ‘I believe that hearing Korngold’s score in this manner will make for a wonderful listening experience representative of the narrative and in keeping with the spirit of this marvellous picture’.

The BBC Philharmonic performs the score with a symphonic precision and energy familiar from the first volume of Korngold’s film music, released in 2005. Reviewing Volume 1, Music from the Movies observed that ‘Chandos has been doing great things in the film score re-recording world over recent years… With this release, however, they break new ground… this Chandos CD is for me the crowning achievement so far of what was already an impressive addition to the Golden Age film music’.

BBC Philharmonic/Rumon Gamba
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
The Sea Hawk (ed. Rumon Gamba)
Artikelnummer CHAN10438
Streckkod 0095115143827
Utgivningsdatum 2007-10-08
Kategori Filmmusik
Skivbolag Chandos
Enhet CD
Antal enheter 1
Artister Gamba, Rumon (conductor)
Dirigenter Gamba, Rumon
Kompositörer Korngold, E W
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