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Monday, October 15, 2007


Music by Elmer Bernstein
Sepia 6000 (UK)
12 Tracks 43:16 mins

This second new limited edition release from Sepia reissues the original Liberty LP of the much-missed Elmer Bernstein's score for this 1957 post-American Civil War western, which starred Jeff Chandler.
Of course Bernstein became something of a staple of western scoring following his brilliant music for 1960's The Magnificent Seven, producing particularly strong work for a series of John Wayne oaters, but this score predated those years and, whilst showing glimpses of the later style, it is a much more conventional score in finest Hollywood traditions, with a strong and noble main theme that the composer puts through a variety of variations throughout the score, starting with the opening "Prelude," together with some romantic string writing for the Chandler-Joanne Dru relationship, and some poignant flute writing, together with elegiac cello, first heard effectively in the album's second track "The hanging." A strangely, spirited, almost medieval theme appears in "The Search," which is glimpsed again in the suitably innocent scoring for "The Children's Gift." One original source track, "Ransom House Waltzes," brings a melodic interlude to Bernstein's dramatic scoring.
As with the other Sepia release, an impressive booklet accompanies the disc, with stills and artwork, plus notes on the film, its composer and music.
Please do support these initial releases from Sepia Records, available from Backtrack at; telephone 01797 222777 (00 44 1797 222777 if calling from overseas).


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