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Monday, March 06, 2006

CD REVIEW - Music from the Films of Marlon Brando

Before I get on to the subject of today's review, I must first offer congratulations to Gustavo Santoalalla for his Academy Award win for Brokeback Mountain. I think, with two nominations, most people were expecting John Williams to triumph, probably for Memoirs of a Geisha, but I always had a sneaking suspicion that Santoalalla might get the vote, as his largely one-themed score has been the most audible, what with all the coverage Brokeback Mountain has received in the media. Personally, the best new film music I have heard this past year has all come from the pen of veteran maestro Ennio Morricone, with Cefalonia probably just shading it.

Music from the Films of Marlon Brando
Silva Screen SILCD1166 (U.K.)
21 Tracks Disc 1 - 56:12 mins Disc 2 - 50:28 mins

A fine two-disc compilation of music from the best of Marlon Brando's films, generally well-performed by the label's usual forces of the City of Prague Philharmonic and Crouch End Festival Chorus. Quite a few of the tracks are newly recorded under the baton of producer James Fitzpatrick, but there are older recordings conducted by Paul Bateman and Nic Raine, with the only track really letting the side down being the selection from Julius Caesar, which obviously dates from a time before the brass section got sorted out.
Whilst regular Silva Screen devotees will have some of the tracks in this collection, it is still a nice one to pick up for the more rarely heard selections, like the tracks from Sayonara, The Wild One, The Young Lions, One Eyed-Jacks and especially the 7-minute suite from The Men.
More familiar fare includes three selections from A Streetcar Named Desire, The Godfather, Superman, Last Tango in Paris and Viva Zapata.
It is slightly disappointing that a 20-minute suite from On The Watefront takes up so much of disc two; a much tighter suite would have held the interest more, and paved the way for selections from the likes of Desiree, The Nightcomers and maybe Morituri, to name but a few.
David Wishart pays tribute to the actor in the accompanying booklet, as well as providing a guide to all the films and music represented.


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