Masters and Commanders, the newest release by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on the Grammy Award-winning Telarc label, is a swashbuckling musical portrait of valiant seamen, tempestuous captains, eccentric pirates, pious pilgrims and more. The new recording includes selections from classic films such as Captain Blood, Sea Hawk, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Buccaneer and Plymouth Adventure, as well as the recent Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.
“Cincinnati Pops fans know that I am very fond of sailing, and they are familiar with our popular ‘Victory At Sea’ and ‘Sailing’ albums on the Telarc label,” says Kunzel. “Our latest musical adventure, Masters and Commanders, tells all kinds of tales of the high seas and captures on one album film composers of different generations and styles.”
Highlights from Masters and Commanders include Academy Award-winning composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Captain Blood Overture and Suite from Sea Hawk. Captain Blood, which was the legendary actor Errol Flynn’s first starring role, also was Korngold’s first original film score. Korngold’s evocative cinematic scores set a benchmark for numerous film composers who followed, including John Debney, whose score for the 1995 film, Cutthroat Island, was dedicated in part to Korngold and Miklós Rózsa. The end title from Cutthroat Island is heard on Masters and Commanders, as well as Morton Gould’s Main Title from Windjammer and Henry Mancini’s “Arctic Whale Hunt” from The White Dawn.
Miklós Rózsa, of Ben-Hur fame, composed “The Mayflower” for the film, Plymouth Adventure, in 1952. Franz Waxman’s film music is represented with the Overture to Anne of the Indies and Suite from Captains Courageous.
Hans Zimmer, considered a worthy successor to Korngold’s symphonic idiom, scored big with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and the earlier Crimson Tide, both of which are represented on Masters and Commanders. Three selections from Klaus Badelt’s score from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, also are included.
The recording also includes music by Elmer Bernstein (selections from The Buccaneer); Alfred Newman (“Conquest” from Captain from Castile); and Bronislau Kaper (Main Title from Mutiny on the Bounty). A Richard Tognetti arrangement of Luigi Boccherini’s Los Manolos is included from Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, the 2003 film starring Russell Crowe.