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Thursday, January 29, 2009


The Miklos Rozsa Collection: Music for Guitar
Agrrangements by Gregg Nestor
BSX Records BSXCD 8845 (US)
22 Tracks 67:05 mins

Rozsa fans will welcome this pleasant little addition to the late, great man's discography, a charming collection of music both for the concert hall and for film, arranged by internationally acclaimed guitarist Gregg Nestor, who was allowed access to the composer's personal archives to produce arrangements as "concise and accurate as possible to the composer's original intentions."
The disc commences with two concert works, the well-known Kaleidoscope, from 1946, a charming collection of stylistically different tunes, but all in the familiar Rozsa style; and the much later (1986) Sonata for Guitar. These are followed by arrangements of some of the composer's film themes, most of which work well enough for one or two guitars (Nestor is joined by William Kanengiser and Raymond Burley), though his more epic works, particularly the El Cid selections - with the exception of the main body of the "Love Theme," where Francisco Castillo and Carole Kleister-Castillo on oboe and violin also contribute, do sound somewhat lacking. Perhaps the reason so many of the selections work well is that, rather than going for Rozsa's most famous themes, lesser known ones have been chosen, though I can think of some not included here that would have worked equally well (like the love theme from A Time to Love and a Time to Die). So, instead of biggies like Ben-Hur or Spellbound, we instead have themes from That Hamilton Woman, Young Bess, Madame Bovary, A Woman's Vengeance, Providence, Blood on the Sun, Green Fire, Moonfleet, Tip on a Dead Jockey, Lydia, and the suite from Crisis, the score of which was of course virtually written for two guitars.
I'm not sure the album will appeal to the general film music follower however, who will be used to music with more "meat on its bones," but I found it a pleasant album to have on in the background.
The accompanying booklet features a memoir by another guitarist, Angelo Gilardino, together with Herrmann biographer Steven C. Smith's guide to the selections presented and mini-biographies of the artists involved.
Limited to just 1000 units, you can order your copy from


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