Film Music Review
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You Must Remember This Too:
Classic Film Music Arranged for Guitar

16 Tracks (Playing Time =52:48)



Performed and arranged by Gregg Nestor except for “Suite in the Olden Style” arranged and edited by Christopher Palmer. Also features William Kanengiser, guitar; Jessica Pierce, flute; Francisco Castillo, oboe; Kevin Torfeh, cello; David McKelvey, harmonica; and Anna Bartos, soprano.

Featuring music from A PRESIDENT’S COUNTRY (Tiomkin, 1966); ALL ABOUT EVE (Newman, 1950); DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS (Newman, 1949); FRIENDLY PERSUASION (Tiomkin, 1956); GIVE US THIS NIGHT (Korngold, 1936); I CONFESS (Tiomkin, 1953); IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (Gold, 1963); PSYCHO (Herrmann, 1960); WATERSHIP DOWN (Morley, 1978); and WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Newman, 1939). Also includes Rosza’s “Suite in the Olden Style” which features music from MADAME BOVARY, MOONFLEET (the “Bouree” arranged by Gregg Nestor and added to the suite), THE V.I.P.S, DIANE, and YOUNG BESS.

Executive Album Producers for BSX Records: Ford A. Thaxton and Mark Banning. Album produced by Gregg Nestor. Recorded at Penguin Recording, Eagle Rock, CA; except for the “Suite” which was recorded at Villa di Fontani, Lake View Terrace, CA. Engineered by John Strother; “Suite” engineered by Jonathan Marcus and Benjamin Maas. Digitally edited and mastered by James Nelson at Digital Outland. CD Art Direction by Mark Banning. CD liner notes by Steven C. Smith.

BSX Records 8856

Rating: ****


Last year, Gregg Nestor released a surprisingly engaging album of film music, and a few concert miniatures, by Miklos Rosza. The disc drew on the composer’s wealth of thematic ideas that laid well in guitar arrangements, many by the performer himself. That was an album worthy of anyone’s attention.

One of the attractive things about this BSX release is that it pulls together familiar themes, often for two guitars now, as well as lesser known ones (like Korngold’s early song “My Love and I” from GIVE US THIS NIGHT), all in performances that sparkle.

Just looking at the film titles represented here, mostly from the Golden Age of Hollywood, might make one wonder just how these will translate into more intimate situations.

Gold’s finale for IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD opens the disc as an unlikely candidate even for two guitars, but it soon takes on the character of even the finest Spanish guitar music in its dance-like rhythms. The many quick key changes meant that each segment had to be recorded separately and then edited together for the recording. It makes for a rather smooth bit of music making when all is said and done.

The opening for ALL ABOUT EVE is another unlikely candidate that turns out to work surprisingly well in this intimate setting. For his Rosza album, Nestor chose a number of dance-like formal pieces that had a decidedly Baroque influence. There is less of that here, but the same idea is in place for the little “Hornpipe” from DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS. “ Cathy’s Theme” from WUTHERING HEIGHTS is simply exquisite in this setting giving it a very poignant intimate sense that only a solo guitar performance can bring to this music.

The center piece of this disc is a concert arrangement of music by Miklos Rozsa. His “Suite in Olden Style” is an obvious influence to how Nestor has taken to delving into film music that lays well for guitar. The suite was put together shortly before the composer’s death by his long-time friend, Christopher Palmer. That particular arrangement was arranged for harpsichord with flute, oboe, and cello giving it a Trio Sonata feel. The transcription of the keyboard part to guitar feels effortless and very appropriate to the style of the period implied in the selections chosen for the original suite. Nestor has added an additional movement, the “Bouree” from MOONFLEET to make it a six-movement work.

Odder still, though no less successful, is a suite of music from Herrmann’s PSYCHO. Here it feels like a perfectly normal little 20th century guitar piece closer to something by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. It somehow works quite well though.

The Impressionistic colors of Morley’s beautiful main theme is one of the many highlights of the album as is the theme from FRIENDLY PERSUASION. The performance by Anna Bartos of “Music of the Night” from I CONFESS is an interesting choice in an otherwise instrumental disc. Bartos does a fine job of turning Tiomkin’s little tune almost into a polished art song. The selection helps make the transition to the final part of the disc which features that composer’s music and culminates in a 10 minute suite of music, which adds harmonica, from the 1966 film A PRESIDENT’S COUNTRY. We leave with a definite sense of the Old West in our ear, a far cry from the Baroque-styled, and semi-romantic themes which opened the disc. The piece is taken from a short film that featured a number of familiar Western Tiomkin themes arranged for small orchestra. It makes for a trip through some of the composer’s best Western songs, complete with a little horse whip for the theme from RAWHIDE. It works for the most part, adding a bit of humor perhaps to an otherwise serious disc and it makes an apt conclusion to the disc.

Overall You Must Remember This Too makes for an amazingly enjoyable near hour of fine music making. There are enough familiar tunes to help the hesitant be drawn into the disc as a listening experience.

It is a well-thought out program as well, that has enough variety to make it thoroughly enjoyable.

Highly recommended!


--Steven A. Kennedy, 23 July 2009

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