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Cat. No. CHAN 10713 Price: 10.5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10713 - The Film Music of Arthur Benjamin & Leighton Lucas
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Available From: 15 February 2012

The Film Music of Arthur Benjamin and Leighton Lucas – Abigail Sara (mezzo-soprano), Catherine Roe-Williams (piano), Rob Court (organ), Côr Caerdydd (choir), BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Rumon Gamba

Arthur Benjamin composed the ‘Storm Clouds Cantata’ in 1934 for Hitchcock’s first version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. In the 1956 colour remake of the film, the incidental music was composed by Bernard Herrmann, who was offered the opportunity to write his own music for the film’s climax. In an unusual outbreak of modesty, however, he said that he could not improve upon Benjamin’s cantata, so it stayed. In the film, Herrmann can be seen conducting the work in a twelve-minute-long, tension-filled scene at the Royal Albert Hall, during which the heroine must stop an assassin from shooting a visiting prime minister. The assassin has memorised the music by listening to a recording of the work, and waits patiently for the thunderous climax of cymbals which will muffle the sound of his gun…

Also on this disc is the Waltz and Hyde Park Galop from An Ideal Husband, and music from The Conquest of Everest, one of Benjamin’s most successful film scores.

Particularly noted for his film music, Leighton Lucas is renowned for his scores for Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright, for Ice Cold in Alex, and for The Dam Busters – all represented on this disc. In ‘Portrait of the Amethyst’ from Yangtse Incident, the music supports scenes of everyday duties aboard the frigate HMS Amethyst, and culminates in the famous March, with its hint of Heart of Oak, the official march of the Royal Navy. In contrast, the score to the Victorian curiosity Portrait of Clare, represented here with ‘Dedication’, an arrangement of a song by Schumann, is inspired by piano and other works by romantic composers such as Chopin and Liszt.

Reviews

“...Rumon Gamba and his orchestras bring these scores to life, bathing hem in energy, careful attention to detail and plain old joie-de-vivre ... Recording quality is as one would expect from Chandos ...” *****
Peter Joelsohn  - AudiopholeAudition.com – 29 August 2012

“...Reconstructions, arrangements, and annotations by Mr Lane are all expert, and the fervent performances are captured in typically large-scale Chandos sonics.”
Mark Koldys – American Record Guide – July/August 2012 

"...This is  a superbly played and engineered disc and will surely be wanted by anyone with an interest and fascination in quality vintage British film music." - Roger Hyslop
"...This is a great CD." - Edmund Whitehouse
Journal Into Melody - June 2012

“...Exceptionally well played, beautifully recorded and lovingly presented.”
Nick Barnard – Musicweb-International.com – 25 May 2012

"...As with all the Chandos Film music series discs this is a superb achievement. When one bears in mind that most of the music presented here has been arranged, transcribed or written down from hearing the soundtracks one realises just how much work has gone into making this CD the success it is. All the music is beautifully played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and their conductor on this occasion, Rumon Gamba. This selection of tunes is surely a good distillation of the full film scores. The sound quality is excellent. As always the sleeve-notes are excellent...One can only hope that this CD will encourage performers and record producers further to explore the music of Arthur Benjamin and Leighton Lucas.

A superb achievement. Beautifully played."

John France - Musicweb-International.com - 26 April 2012

“...Gamba directs first-rate performances of these works, all of which are played with electrifying panache (the brass in particular impress throughout) and attentiveness by the BBC orchestra. The recording itself, made in October 2011 at the orchestra’s acoustically inviting new home, Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, is predictably rich, detailed and spacious. This is another hugely enjoyable addition to this consistently top-drawer Chandos series. Unhesitatingly recommended.”
Michael Jameson – International Record Review – April 2012

 

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