The swashbuckling epics that Rózsa scored for screen in the 1950's (Ben Hur, Quo Vadis etc.) tend to obscure his reputation as a great thriller music writer.
Most of the music on this newly remastered RCA disc emanates from his 1940's days with three of the scores particularly important. These are 'The Red House', 'The Lost Weekend' and 'The Thief of Bagdhad'. Here Rózsa's style is inimitably apparent, the big heartfelt themes transport the listener back to those halcyon days of film. The suite from 'The Red House' includes important scenes such as 'Meg finds the Red House' and 'Teller Shoots at Meg' whilst 'The Lost Weekend' excerpts have the important 'Nightmare' sequence. More interesting numbers include the evocative 'Sunstroke' from 'The Four Feathers', the Overture to 'Ivanhoe', one of those classic Errol Flynn scores and finally 'The Mountain Lodge' from the classic thriller 'Spellbound'.
At 54 minutes this reissue does not add anything from the original LP however it has been remastered for Dolby Surround and sounds absolutely wonderful. Notes and photos are reproduced to excellent effect and make intensely absorbing reading. Any serious film enthusiast must have this CD in his/her collection, at the bargain price at which it is being offered.
Copyright © 1999, Gerald Fenech