Film Music Review
The Sammy awards








Editor's Choice -

Best Of The Month

August 2011  



+ = Music by Bernard Herrmann
* = Music by Alfred Newman

Disc One (Total Playing Time = 58:10)

1. +Prelude (1:42)
2. +The Ruins (0:52)
3. +The Red Sea and Childhood (2:49)
4. +The Nile And The Temple (1:12)
5. *Crocodile Inn/Thebes (1:24)
6. *Her Name Was Merit (1:11)
7. *Death Of Pharaoh (0:58)
8. *Chant For Dead Pharaoh (1:47)
9. +The Chariot Ride/ Pursuit (1:49)
10. *Akhnaton (The One Deity)(1:41)
11. *Put Them In Chains/ The Throne Room (1:58)
12. *The Throne Room Part 2 (1:57)
13. +Taia (1:07)
14. *Nubian Drums (1:52)
15. +Party's End (1:02)
16. +Nefer Nefer Nefer (5:26)
17. *Kaptah's Dilemna/ The Garden (3:54)
18. +The Offering (2:16)
19. +The Harp Player (0:45)
20. +The Bracelot And The Helmut (1:25)
21. +The Rebuke (3:24)
22. +The Deed (2:06)
23. +The Harp And Couch (1:16)
24. +The Perfection Of Love (1:17)
25. +Violence (2:15)
26. +The House Of The Dead (1:24)
27. +The Burial (1:26)
28. *Valley Of The Kings (Sinuhe)(5:33)
29. *Valley Of The Kings Part 2 (1:45)

Disc Two (Total Playing Time =59:10)

1. +The Homecoming (1:21)
2. *Hymn To Aton (5:06)
3. *Nefer's Return (1:46)
4. +Nefer's Farewell (2:42)
5. *Sights, Sounds And Smells (0:47
6. *You've Been In My Prayers/ Kaptah (3:26)
7. *Live For Our Son (1:46)
8. *Am I Mad? (3:23)
9. +The Princess (0:55)
10. +The True Pharaoh (1:31)
11. +The Tomb (2:36)
12. +The Proof/ The Holy War (1:34)
13. +Dance Macabre (1:30)
14. *The Death Of Merit (4:20)
15. +The Death Potion (2:19)
16. *Death Of Akhnaton (4:55)
17. *I Am Pharaoh/ Horemheb's Victorious Entrance (1:38)
18. *The New Pharaoh (0:46)
19. *Exile And Death (1:39)

Bonus tracks -
20. +The Nile And The Temple (alternate, 1:26)
21. *The Garden (alternate, 2:46)
22. +The Bracelet And The Helmet (alternate, 1:26)
23. +Danse Macabre (alternate, 1:52)
24. *The Death Of Merit (alternate, 4:50)
25. *Exile And Death (alternate, 2:02)

Album Produced by Nick Redman. Executive Producer: Robertt Townson. Score Restoration: Mike Matessino. Edited and Mastered by Daniel Hersch. 35mm Assembly: Ron Fuglsby. Orchestrations: Edward B. Powell. Vocal Supervision: Ken Darby. Music Editor: Robert Mayer.

Hollywood Studio Symphony. Recorded at Twentieth Century Fox Studios on February 23, March 6, 18, 31, April 16-17, July 6-10 and 19-22, 1954.

Varese Sarabande VCL 0711 1123

Rating: ****


This is the accompanying 2 CDs to the restored 20th Century Fox film now available on Standard DVD and Blu-ray from Twilight Time. With over one and half hours of music, the Varese Sarabande release is more complete than the previous Film Score Monthly single CD (24 tracks - 72:06), whose front and back covers are shown here:

There is much to enjoy on this release since it features music by two of Hollywood's best: Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman. It seems especially approprriate to have this release on the centennial year of Herrmann's birth.

What is so remarkable about this 2 CD set is that each composer contributes their cues and together they flow together so seamlessly, even though each composer has his own way of composing. Herrmann's forceful and use of unusual orchestral combinations are heard on the opening "Prelude" and the tracks which immediately follow it. With Newman there is a more subtle and melodious approach such as on the extended cues, "Valley of the Kings" (Disc One, tracks 28-29), which might remind some listeners of his writing for THE ROBE (1953).


It really isn't necessary to point out any specific cues because they are all effective in underscoring this less than successful film, which is overlong and the acting by Edmund Purdom and Bella Darvi, being particularly wooden. The other main actors from the 20th Century Fox regulars: Michael Wilding as Pharaoh Akhnaton, Jean Simmons, Gene Tierney, Victor Mature -- do a more commendable job of portraying their characters in this sappy epic.

This really is a film that is better heard more than seen, though the widescreen spectacle, the costumes and the sound are quite exceptional for their day. But it is mainly the music score that makes this an extra special film.

Seldom have two composers worked together so effectively and convincingly.

A real treat for the ears and this remastered 2 CD release is top notch all the way with a very appealing CD booklet and excellent notes by Julie Kirgo.

Fully deserving the Best of the Month designation.


-- Roger L. Hall, 31 August 2011

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The Egyptian (1954) [Blu-ray]











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