Here's a fun, surprise soundtrack coming out of the vaults. Counterpoint Records is releasing the first-ever CD of the original soundtrack to Sunset Boulevard, the 1950 Billy Wilder classic with Oscar-winning music from acclaimed composer Franz Waxman.
Sunset Boulevard was the fictional tale of Norma Desmond, a silent-film starlet whose time has long passed (played to perfection by Gloria Swanson). The noir tale sees Desmond meeting a struggling screenwriter (William Holden) and attempting to brighten her faded star in Hollywood. The film was a grand success, earning 11 Oscar nominations, including wins for its script, art direction and score. Its popularity remains, having been named the 12th greatest film of all time by the American Film Institute in 1998.
The original score had, until now, never been released on CD; a 2002 disc from Varese Sarabande featured a well-done re-recording by Joel McNeely and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. But this set from Counterpoint (what seems to be a newer label - if that's the case, what a first release!) includes all of the surviving elements of Waxman's original score (an estimated two-thirds of what is heard in the film) alongside a handful of bonus tracks, including source cues and an unused song from the film, "The Paramount-Don't-Want-Me Blues," newly recorded for this release.
You can pre-order this piece of film history through Screen Archives; the title is expected in late November. There's also going to be a nice listening session happening at 9 p.m. this Saturday, November 13, on radio station 105.9 WQXR-FM in New York. Movies on the Radio host David Garland will present the score and interview John W. Waxman, son of the composer.
View the track list after the jump.
Franz Waxman, Sunset Boulevard: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Counterpoint Records CPT 1001, 2010 - original film released 1950)
Disc 1: Original score
- Money Trouble/The Schwabadero
- Chase and Mansion/An Aging Actress
- The Organ Grinder
- A Curious Collaboration
- Norma's Gallery
- Afternoon Outings/Sacrifice of Self-Respect
- Dramatic Chord
- After Auld Lang Syne/The Pampered Prince
- Parading to Paramount
- Interview with DeMille
- DeMille's Compassion
- The Studio Stroll
- Farewell/Joe Walks Out
- The Comeback
- Sunset Boulevard Cast
- Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Source Excerpts)
- La Cumparsita (Source)
- Diane (Source)
- Charmaine (Source)
- Auld Lang Syne (Source)
- Main Title (Film Version with Effects)
Disc 2: Bonus song
- The Paramount-Don't-Want-Me Blues (Unused Song) - Whitney Claire Kaufman (vocals), Nelson Cole (piano)