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

Friday, September 10, 2010


Lawrence of Arabia
Music by Maurice Jarre
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Conducted by Nic Raine/Crouch End Festival Chorus (Choir Master: David Temple)
Tadlow Music TADLOW012
Disc 1 - 26 Tracks 77:34 mins
Disc 2 - 20 Tracks 71:04 mins

On Monday, Tadlow Music release their latest stunning production, the complete re-recording of Maurice Jarre's classic score for 1962's Lawrence of Arabia. True, the original soundtrack album has long been available and Tadlow's own James Fitzpatrick brought out a splendid expanded re-recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra on the Silva Screen label some 20 years ago, but this new recording with the City of Prague Philharmonic adds more than 20 minutes to even that version. Not only that, but every care was taken in the choice of venue and recording techniques to ensure that this sounded as true as possible to the original score recording and didn't come off sounding like a concert performance. This was achieved in spades and, not only that, but the City of Prague Philharmonic have seldom, if at all, performed better. All in all, I would unreservedly recommend you add this version to your collection.
However, if you are still not convinced, Fitzpatrick has pulled out all the stops with this release (which is dedicated to his late composer friend) by adding a second disc of his personal picks from Jarre's extensive catalogue, presenting premiere recordings of music that has been begging for release for many a year, including a "Symphonic Dance Suite" compiled from the score for 1979's The Magician of Lublin; a suite from 1968's The Fixer; the "Main Theme" from the '60s TV series Cimarron Strip; music from the 1989 children's Christmas fantasy Prancer; and the "End Credits" from the obscure 1987 film The Palanquin of Tears, 1990's Solar Crisis, 1980's Resurrection, and 1982's Firefox. I'd never even heard of The Palanquin of Tears, so it was great to acquaint myself with this, whilst The Magician of Lublin, The Fixer and Resurrection have long been favourites of mine. As for Firefox, whilst even Fitzpatrick has his doubts about the appropriateness of Jarre's score, the rousing end titles music cannot help but sweep one away.
Added to all of the above, there is also music from more familiar fare, like Ryan's Daughter, Sunshine, Dead Poets Society and Jesus of Nazareth, with a couple more pieces from Lawrence of Arabia thrown in; a new recording of the "Nocturne," which the late, renowned orchestrator Christopher Palmer virtually re-wrote for the 1980's recording; and a straight forward rendition of Kenneth J. Alford's "The Voice of the Guns," which of course featured so effectively alongside Jarre's score for the film.
Of course, with Tadlow's releases, one is always treated to a splendid accompanying booklet, and this is of course the case here; its 24 pages featuring Frank K. DeWald's scholarly notes on Lawrence and its music, including the always invaluable cue-by-cue guide; along with extensive producer's notes by Fitzpatrick, including his guide to his personal choices for disc two; all illustrated with black & white stills from both the original and the recording sessions for this album.
Get along to Tadlow's website at, where you can hear samples from the album, as well as watch footage from the recording sessions, and then order your copy of this magnificent release. Take my word for it, if you're a Maurice Jarre fan, or just of good film music in general, you won't be disappointed.


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