A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE (1958) and
LUST FOR LIFE (1956)
Music composed and conducted by Miklos Rozsa
CD Production and Mastering by Clement Fontaine.
Audio restoration: Clement Fontaine and David Archambault.
Disque Cinemusique DCM 138
I wish I could say something really positive about this CD release especially since it features two of Miklos Rozsa's well crafted scores of the 1950s. But since the tracks were transferred from LPs, the sound quality just isn't that good. Clement Fontaine writes in his notes:
We believe that our versions of the Lust for Life and A Time To Love and a Time to Die, produced from vinyl sources using state-of-the-art technology, are better renditions of the original analog recordinmgs and a offer a much more enjoyable listen than the compact disc releases previously available.
I have to disagree, especially when comparing this LUST FOR LIFE with the old Varese Sarabande CD, which is not perfect but isn't any worse than this new release. It also contains more interesting selections from other Rozsa scores.
What struck me about the opening track in A TIME TO LOVE AND A TIME TO DIE was the similarity from other film scores from Miklos Rozsas, for example "Forward" being similar to the opening march in BEN-HUR. But Rozsa had a quite individual style of composition and with so many film scores to work on it shouldn't be surprising that he would have themes that sound similar. His music had a darker and richer texture based somewhat on his Hungarian heritage. This is a very good score and though lasting a little over 40 minutes, it is first class music. The sound for this score is somewhat tinny but not terrible to listen to.
Probably of even greater importance to film music fans is Rozsa's score for LUST FOR LIFE, the 1956 film starring Kirk Douglas expertly portraying the life of painter, Vincent van Gogh. Unfortunately, the sound quality on the suite from this film (tracks 12-18, 22:06 playing time) is not very good, sounding rather shrill and distant.
There are a few very nice film poster pictures in the booklet and the notes are presented in both English and French. This CD was produced in Quebec, Canada.
This CD is worth considering if you aren't very fussy about sound quality and don't already have these two stellar Rozsa film scores.
-- Reviewed by Roger Hall, 30 August, 2012
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