Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Friday, May 19, 2006

CD REVIEW - Alexander Nevsky/Lieutenant Kije and News from Costa Communications

Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky . Lieutenant Kije
Music by Sergey Prokofiev
Orchestra National de Lille, Latvian State Choir, Conductor: Jean-Claude Casadesus
Naxos 8.557725 (EU)
12 Tracks 58:20 mins

I should imagine most students of film music history have probably got one of the various recordings of these pieces, previously issued, but this reissue of the recording made on 1st June 1994 at the Auditorium du Nouveau Siecle, in Lille, France, is worth picking up if you haven't.
The Cantata for Mezzo-Soprano, Chorus and Orchestra, drawn from Prokofiev's score for Sergey Eisenstein's 1938 film Alexander Nevsky, which dealt with the 13th century conflict between Russia and the Teutonic crusaders, runs for 38.35 minutes and goes from the suitably downbeat "Russia under the Mongolian Yoke;" through the spirited, then more stately choral "Song about Alexander Nevsky;" the powerful "The Crusaders in Pskov," from which one a young James Horner's derived inspiration for one of his most familiar motifs; the rousing choral song "Arise, Ye Russian People;" the marvellous, epic set-piece "The Battle on the Ice;" the mournful lament for mezzo-soprano "The Field of Death; to the triumphant and celebratory "Alexander's Entry into Pskov."
The popular suite from Lieutenant Kije is drawn from Alexander Feinzimmer's satirical1933 film of the same name. A number of familiar themes, present in the remainder of the piece, emerge from the opening "The Birth of Kije. "Romance" features a surprisingly sturdy and very Russian theme; whilst "Kije's Wedding" features a well-loved trumpet theme, bracketed by grand fanfares. "Troika" is probably the most well loved piece, with its grand opening and close surrounding the famous and highly infectious sleigh ride music; with "The Burial of Kije" closing with variations on much of the material that has gone before.
Keith Anderson's booklet notes, in three languages, serve as a guide to the composer and the works presented, and the lyrics to the songs are also included.

From Costa Communications

Composer scores #1 opening retelling of classic horror film
Lakeside Releases Score CD May 16 as DVD Hits Stores

"The music is coming from inside the theatre!"

(Hollywood,CA) Composer James Dooley scores the #1 opening "When a Stranger
Calls" for Screen Gems and director Simon West ("Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "Con Air"). Starring Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy and Tommy Flanagan, the film opened February 3 with a DVD release planned for May. Lakeside Records releases Dooley's score CD May 16. Grossing $22 million, this marks the first time any film has scored more than $20 million on Super Bowl Weekend.
"When a Stranger Calls" is a retelling of the 1979 horror film that tells the story of a young high school student's nightmarish babysitting gig where she receives mysterious phone calls at the house to check on the children, only to find them dead. Dooley is well versed in the thriller genre, having previously collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the DreamWorks blockbuster "The

Dooley began his sessions for "Stranger" in Prague, where he did two sessions for sampling, then recorded with 50 piece string session, and later held a 32 piece string session for celli and basses only. The rest of the score was recorded over four days in Seattle with the NorthWest Sinfonia's
85 musicians. The result is a combination of custom aleatoric samples and a traditional orchestra on top.

Dooley's recent credits include DreamWorks' animated short "A Christmas
Caper" starring the penguins from the hit film "Madagascar," on which he previously teamed with Zimmer. This short was seen in theatres this past fall before the claymation feature "Wallace and Grommit: The Curse of the
Were-Rabbit" for which Dooley provides additional music. Dooley also mixed and scored the new animated film, Urmel Aus Dem Eis, or Impy's Island, as it will be known in the US. The film is based on a German children's book about a dinosaur that hatches in modern times on an island where animals learn to speak. Additionally, Dooley has scored some of the industry's most successful videogames including "Socom 3, US Navy SEALs," which he recorded at London's Air Lyndhurst Hall with a 70-piece orchestra.

James Dooley is a graduate of New York University where he majored in Music
Composition. After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles to study film composition with such composers as Christopher Young and Elmer Bernstein. He joined Media Ventures in 1999 and collaborated with Zimmer both as his Chief Technical Engineer and as a composer. In addition, Dooley has partnered with to donate the proceeds from sales of his "The Mars Underground" soundtrack to the Red Cross national disaster relief effort. "The Mars
Underground" is a landmark documentary about renowned aerospace scientist and visionary, Dr. Robert Zubrin quest for Mars exploration.


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