CD REVIEW – GREAT CLASSIC FILM MUSIC
Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra; Iain Sutherland, conductor
Somm Ariadne 5006 (77:12)

I have been looking forward to this release since it was announced on the LLMMG website in February, albeit with a rather grander title. Great expectations are not always realised, but they are here.

The photo of Clark Cable and Vivien Leigh on the front of the booklet gives us a clue to what one of the items will be – Max Steiner's Tara's Theme from 'Gone With the Wind.' John Williams is well represented by 'Star Wars', 'E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial'’ and Ian Sutherland's own arrangement of 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind.' Another movie great of earlier times, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, is represented by 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' and 'Escape Me Never.'

Two battles 525 years apart are recalled by Sir William Walton in his Charge-Battle-Chant d'Auvergne from 'Henry V' and Spitfire Prelude and Fugue from 'The First of the Few.' Other tracks come from Goodwin, Lai, Moross, Prokoviev, and Khachaturian. All are briskly played by the excellent orchestra (e.g. The Title Music from '633 Squadron’ is 20 seconds shorter than Ron Goodwin's original).

The Orchestra was specially-constituted and based in the Dutch city and municipality of Hilversum. Dating from the 1980s, it was originally formed to give broadcasts, mainly of light music, as well as later making a number of commercial recordings. For some years, Iain Sutherland was its chief conductor and music director. It is from the extensive archive of recorded performances under his baton that the music on this album has been selected.

The original studio and live sessions were recorded at NOS Studio, Hilversum – eight tracks during 1983 and five in 1986. Surprisingly, it has never been issued before. Completing the package are half-a-dozen pages of informative notes by Robert Matthew-Walker.

Transfer and mastering were undertaken in the capable hands of Paul Arden-Taylor of Dinmore Records. The recorded sound is as fine as the playing. Although the applause is obviously well deserved, I suppose it could irritate with repeated hearings.

A warm welcome, then, to another quality release from the veteran Scottish maestro.

Peter Burt 2019

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