Erich Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra Celebrate Great Film Music on Vintage Cinema
Vintage Cinema, the newest release by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra on the GRAMMY® Award-winning Telarc label, chronicles the journey of classic film scores from 1933 to 1962 in sequence, highlighting the musical evolution of film scoring. Both the CD and SACD versions of the recording are due in stores on October 28, 2008.
“With Vintage Cinema, this classic Hollywood music comes alive, thanks to fantastic playing by our orchestra coupled with state-of-the-art recording technology,” says Kunzel. “I am very grateful to Bob Woods, Elaine Martone, and the entire team at Telarc for partnering with us on this fabulous walk down memory lane.”
The disc showcases developing musical styles used in films spanning nearly 30 years, beginning with Max Steiner’s theme to the original King Kong (1933), a classic fantasy adventure movie that has dazzled generations of fans and spawned two re-makes. From Skull Island, where the giant gorilla Kong rules, the listener is swept to merry old England for Eric Wolfgang Korngold’s theme to the spectacular 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood.
As one of the most popular and influential movie directors of all time, Alfred Hitchcock understood the vital role music plays in film. Hitchcock film music appears twice on Vintage Cinema. Miklós Rózsa’s suite from the 1945 thriller Spellbound captures the psychological suspense with the unique timbre of a theramin and Rózsa won his first Oscar for this score. Setting the stage for what is in store for Cary Grant, is legendary film composer Bernard Herrmann’s overture to Hitchcock’s “wrong man” thriller, North by Northwest (1959).
Celebrated American composer Aaron Copland lent his considerable talents to Hollywood on several occasions, including the 1947 screen adaptation of John Steinbeck’s The Red Pony. This Cincinnati Pops recording includes selections from the folk-like score. Two Oscar-winning scores by Franz Waxman, one from Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard, as well as A Place in the Sun the following year, deliver quintessential 50’s film music.
Composer Alex North captured the flavor of New Orleans in his 1951 score for A Streetcar Named Desire, the first important Hollywood score to incorporate jazz. The great Leonard Bernstein scored only one film, but On the Waterfront (1954) is widely regarded as cinematic classic.
Vintage Cinema then turns to the 1960s in its three final tracks: Rózsa’s Spanish-flavored overture to the lavish Charlton Heston epic, El Cid (1961), Elmer Bernstein’s main title theme from To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and the rousing “Ride of the Cossacks” from Taras Bulba, a 1962 film scored again by the inimitable Franz Waxman.
Vintage Cinema is the 87th Telarc recording by Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Their previous release, Bolero (CD-80703), was declared “another sonic blockbuster” by Audiophile Audition. The 2007 release of Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Selections (CD-80674) was one of the most popular classical recordings of the Christmas season, while another 2007 release, Masters and Commanders (CD-80682), was lauded by American Record Guide as “a rousing program of nautical music, performed by a top-notch orchestra and conductor.” A 2006 release, Russian Nights (CD-80657), was praised by Gramophone as “gorgeously played and sumptuously recorded.”