On April 1, Sony’s Masterworks division and Turner Classic Movies marked the cable network’s twentieth anniversary with a new 2-CD collection of vintage Hollywood movie themes. Play It Again: The Classic Sound of Hollywood continues the Masterworks/TCM series that has previously encompassed archival releases from Doris Day, Mario Lanza and Fred Astaire. Composers represented include Bernard Herrmann, Max Steiner, Maurice Jarre, Elmer Bernstein, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Henry Mancini, Ennio Morricone and John Williams. Most of the tracks on Play It Again aren't derived from the original film soundtracks, but rather from renditions played by the likes of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Boston Pops.
The first disc is drawn entirely from RCA Red Seal’s series of Classic Film Scores as recorded by conductor Charles Gerhardt and London’s National Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 1970s. It includes three suites from composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold featuring his themes from Of Human Bondage, Between Two Worlds, and The Sea Hawk. Underscoring the diversity of this set, the disc also contains cues from the sensationally steamy Peyton Place (Franz Waxman), the creature feature The Thing (From Another World) (Dimitri Tiomkin) and even the Biblical epic Salomé (Daniele Amfitheatrof). In 2010, Masterworks reissued this series as it originally appeared on LP, orphaning a handful of recordings. The three of these "stray" recordings are the Peyton Place main title, the "Dance of the Seven Veils" from Salomé and the suite from The Thing. In addition, the Korngold suites for The Sea Hawk and Of Human Bondage are different edits from those contained on the reissued Korngold CD in the Gerhardt series; this disc marks their first appearance on CD in over a decade.
What will you find on Disc 2? Hit the jump for that, and more - including the full track listing and order links!
The second disc of Play It Again of course features a suite from Casablanca scored by Max Steiner; his scores for the original King Kong and Gone with the Wind (arguably his masterpiece) are also represented with Gerhardt-led suites. Ennio Morricone’s evocative main title for The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is reprised here along with instantly identifiable tracks from Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho (“The Murder”) and Vertigo (“Scène D'Amour”), Elmer Bernstein’s The Magnificent Seven (the main titles and “Calvera’s Visit”), Maurice Jarre’s Doctor Zhivago (the prelude and “Lara’s Theme”) and Lawrence of Arabia, Miklos Rosza’s Ben-Hur (“Parade of the Charioteers”) and John Williams’ Close Encounters of the Third Kind (“The Dialogue”). This anthology is rounded out by its lone song, Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s timeless “Moon River” from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The recording is Mancini's own instrumental version.
“We, at Turner Classic Movies, believe in bringing movie lovers closer to the movies they love, and Play It Again – The Classic Sound of Hollywood is a great way to do that,” says Dennis Adamovich, senior vice president of digital, affiliate, lifestyle and commerce enterprise for TCM, TNT and TBS, in the press release for Play It Again. “The carefully curated selections on the 2-CD compilation not only evoke vivid memories of the films for which they were written, but also stand apart from those films as magnificent compositions. As TCM celebrates its 20th anniversary, we are proud to be working with Sony Masterworks on this extraordinary collection." Play It Again features a brief introductory set of liner notes from compilation producer David Foil; no discographical annotation or remastering information is provided.
This 2-CD set with many of Hollywood’s greatest movie themes - and a nifty cover photo of the legendary original Carthay Circle Theatre, recently resurrected at Disney's California Adventure theme park - is available now from Sony Masterworks and TCM, and can be ordered at the links below!
Various Artists, Play It Again: The Classic Sound of Hollywood (Masterworks/TCM 88843 03384-2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
CD 1 (All tracks by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Gerhardt)
- Main Title (from "Peyton Place") (Waxman)
- The Thing (From Another World): Suite (Tiomkin)
- The Dance of the Seven Veils (from "Salome") (Amfitheatrof)
- Of Human Bondage: Main Title/Christmas/Sally/Nora/Lullaby/Finale (Korngold)
- Between Two Worlds: Main Title/Mother and Son/Piano Rhapsody (Korngold)
- The Sea Hawk: Main Title/The Albatross/The Throne Room of Elizabeth I/Entrance of the Sea Hawks/Rose Garden/The Orchid/Panama March/Escape from the Galley/Sword Fight/Strike for the Shores of Dover/Reunion/"Rise, Sir Geoffrey Thorpe!"/End Title (Korngold)
- Main Title: Dixie, Mammy, Tara, Rhett (from "Gone With The Wind") (Steiner) - National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Gerhardt
- Prelude & "Lara's Theme" (from “Doctor Zhivago”) (Jarre) - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Jarre
- The Murder (from “Psycho”) (Herrmann) - Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Essa-Pekka Salonen
- Lawrence of Arabia (Jarre) - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maurice Jarre
- Main Titles and Calvera's Visit (from "The Magnificent Seven") (E. Bernstein) - Royal Scottish National Orchestra, conducted by Elmer Bernstein
- Scène D'Amour (from “Vertigo”) (Herrmann) - Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Essa-Pekka Salonen
- Casablanca: Main Title/The Immigrants/Morocco/"Sam, I thought I told you never to play..."/As Time Goes By/Flashback/Rick Remembers Paris/Love Scene/The Airport/Major Strasser's Death/"...the beginning of a beautiful friendship" (Steiner) - National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Gerhardt
- Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (Titles) (from “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly”) (Morricone) - Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, conducted by Ennio Morricone
- The Dialogue (from "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind") (Williams) - Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by John Williams
- King Kong: The Forgotten Island/Natives/Sacrificial Dance/The Gate of Kong/Kong in New York (from “King Kong”) (Steiner) - National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Gerhardt
- Parade of the Charioteers (From “Ben-Hur”) (Rosza) - Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by Arthur Fiedler
- Moon River (from “Breakfast at Tiffany's”) (Mancini/Mercer) - The Mancini Pops Orchestra, conducted by Henry Mancini
CD 1, Tracks 1-3 first released 1977
CD 1, Track 4 first released 1973
CD 1, Track 5 first released 1972
CD 1, Track 6 first released 1975
CD 2, Tracks 1 & 7 first released 1974
CD 2, Tracks 2 & 4 first released 1987
CD 2, Tracks 3 & 6 first released 1996
CD 2, Track 8 first released 1999
CD 2, Track 9 first released 1995
CD 2, Track 10 first released 1990
CD 2, Track 11 first released 1962
CD 2, Track 12 first released 1961
Vinyl finds says
How is the audio quality? Better than the original mastering on LP or CD? Varies per song? Thanks in advance...