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Friday, July 31, 2009


The Third Man and other Classic Film Themes
Naxos Nostalgia 8.120880
22 Tracks 57:42 mins

This new release on the Naxos Nostalgia label is just that, a little under an hour of pure nostalgia for fans of European cinema of the '40s and '50s.
It claims to be original recordings, which undoubtedly these are, but they are in fact a mix of tracks used directly in the featured films and cover versions of themes recorded at around about the time of the films' release, or a liitle later. Whatever, it's certainly a delightful listen, with lots of familiar and not so familiar music on offer, starting with six tracks from Anton Karas' original score for 1949's The Third Man, including his famous Harry Lime Theme, all courtesy of the composer's instrument of choice, the zither. There follows a cue from Georges Auric's score for the same year's Passport to Pimlico, the light-hearted scherzo "The Siege of Burgandy," with Ernest Irving conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. After this, we have a performance by Anton Walbrook, with the Vienna Bohemian Orchestra of the delightful French-language waltz theme from 1950's La Ronde.
We revert to 1949 for the next three selections, starting with Charles Wiilliams' lovely "Jealous Lover" from The Romantic Age, a theme that was later to be chosen as the title music of Billy Wilder's The Apartment. It's back to Georges Auric for the suitably Scottish flavoured "Prelude" from Whiskey Galore; and then we have the famous "The legend of the Glass Mountain" from The Glass Mountain, by Nino Rota, performed here by Mantovani and His Orchestra.
Next up is Benjamin Frankel's "Can-Can Finale" from 1952's The Importance of being Earnest; followed by a performance on guitar by Narciso Yepes of a familiar traditional tune used in the same year's Jeux Interdits.
Flo Sandons, vocal doubling for Silvana Mangano, performs the title track from 1951's Anna, with Percy Faith providing a lush treatment of the delightful "Non Dimenticar" from the same film.
I was looking forward to the "Themes" from 1953's Genevieve, performed of course on the harmonica by the film's composer Larry Adler and enjoyable though they were, there was sadly little emphasis on his charming main theme, which only makes a brief appearance at the end. His "Love Theme and Blues" gets a separate track of its own, followed by Bruce Montgomery's mysterious, but propulsive "Nova Scotia Rhapsody" from the same year's "The Kidnappers.
David Rose provides a lush arrangement of Nino Rota's famous "Gelsomina" from La Strada, with Larry Adler returning to perform Jean Wiener's bluesy "The Touch" from 1954's Touchez Pas au Grisbi, followed by a second offering from Mantovani, this the beautiful Alessandro Cicognini-Carl Sigman composed "Summertime in Venice" from 1955's Summertime.
The album closes with Georges Van Parys & Jean Renoir's delightful "Merry-Go-Round" from 1954's French Can-Can, here performed a couple of years later by Percy Faith and His Orchestra.
The accompanying booklet provides details of all the featured selections, together with a more comprehensive guide by David Ades of the Robert Farnon Society.

From Costa Communications:


Star Wars and Star Trek leads Chris Pine, Samuel L. Jackson, and William Shatner featured in film

Comic-Con Panel Was A Huge Success With Over 4,500 Sci-Fi Fans Attending

(Los Angeles, CA) - A Quantum Quest panel, featuring award-winning film composer Shawn Clement and co-director and writer/producer Dr. Harry Kloor, was a hug success at Comic-Con. The panel also included, Janina Gavankar (The L Word), actor Robert Picardo (Star Trek), actor Doug Jones (Fantastic Four), president of Ant Farm Julian Hills, moderated by publicist Maggie Begley, with a special phone call from actor Chris Pine (Star Trek). Shawn Clement scores the Large Format, 3-D, computer-generated animated film Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey, which takes viewers on an atomic solar safari through the universe. Clement, whose credits include Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, recorded his original score for Quantum Quest with an 82 piece orchestra at Skywalker Sound, and incorporated real NASA-discovered space sounds into his dramatic score.

The voiceover cast is a who’s-who of sci-fi, including galactic superstars Chris Pine (Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ box office hit Star Trek), William Shatner (Boston Legal, Star Trek) and Brent Spiner (Independence Day, Star Trek: Next Generation) from the Star Trek franchise, and Samuel L. Jackson (The Spirit, Pulp Fiction, Star Wars), Hayden Christensen (Jumper, Star Wars), James Earl Jones (Star Wars), and Mark Hamill (Star Wars) from the Star Wars films. The “Quantum Quest” cast also includes astronaut Neil Armstrong, Doug Jones (Pan’s Labyrinth, Abe Sabien – Hell Boy), and Tom Kenny (Transformers).

Presented by Digimax, Taiwan’s premier digital content provider, Quantum Quest is produced by Digimax and Jupiter 9 Productions. The animated film features full 3-D stereoscopic sequences recreating actual space imagery captured from seven ongoing NASA and NASA/ESA space missions, including Cassini-Huygens, SOHO, Mars Odyssey, Mercury Messenger, Mars Express, Venus Express, and the STEREO mission to the Sun. This film combines the excitement of a science fiction adventure with informal science education. The movie focuses on a photon named Dave, who tries to save his people, who are caught in a galactic battle between the forces of good and evil.

Endorsed by X-Prize Organization, International Space University, Challenger Center and the Young Astronaut Council, Quantum Quest will provide its free educational materials to millions of students worldwide, and a portion of the film’s profits will fund science scholarships. The Quantum Quest materials will meet National Science Content Standards and are intended to motivate and excite students around the globe about science. Since the inception of the project, the film has had regular input from the Cassini project in order to achieve the best balance between scientific accuracy and artistic license.

Quantum Quest is directed by Dan St. Pierre and Dr. Harry Kloor, and written and conceived by Dr. Kloor. Producers are Dr. Kloor, President of Jupiter 9 Productions, Helen Pao-Yun Huang, Chairperson of Digimax, Jeff Tzong-Jer Yang, Vice President of Digimax, and Rayna Napali of Jupiter 9 Productions. Tom Teng from Digimax, Teddy Zee, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Jon Vein are executive producers. The film will be released worldwide in large format and subsequently in conventional 3D theaters this September. The film is distributed and marketed in Asia by Digimax, and by Jupiter 9 Productions in all other territories. (


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