TIOMKIN: Music for the films: Lost Horuzon, The Guns of Navarone, The Big Sky, The Fourposter, Friendly Persuasion, Search for Paradise, and The Thing from Another World.
Ambrosian Singers / National Philharmonic Orchestra / Charles Gerhardt, cond.
EPOCH SACD CDLK 4608 TT: 57:00

HAYDN: Mass in Time of War. Symphony No. 96 in D "Miracle"
Patricia Wells, soprano. Gwendolyn Killebrew, contralto. Alan Titus, baritone. Michael Devlin, bass-baritone. Norman Scribner Choir / ORchestra / New York Philharmonic (Symophony) / Leonard Beernstein, cond.
EPOCH SACD CDLX 7346 TT: 67:38

BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor Op. 37. Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, Op. 58.
Artur Rubinstein, piano. London Philharmonic Orchestra / Daniel Barenboim, cond.
EPOCH SACD CDLX 7345 TT: 75:43


This Epoch SACD is an exciting release, the first multi-channel issue from RCA's famed Classic Film Score Series. It features music by Russian-born pianist / composer Dimitri Tiomkin (1894 - 1979). He had a fascinating childhood, studied with Glazunov, was a friend of Prokofiev, and a superb pianist as well. After moving to Germany, he appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic playing Liszt's Concerto No. 2. Tiomkin moved to New York in 1925 where he met and married ballerina Albertina Rasch. He met Frank Capra who asked him to write the complete score for the 1937 film Lost Horizon, the first of many films they worked on together.This magnificent score is featured here, adapted by Charles Gerhardt. It includes some music almost missed in the film—Funeral Cortége of the High Lama had to be soft to permit dialogue to be heard; on this recording we hear this music in all of its glory. And the sprightly Chinese Children's Scherzo appeared only in the prelude to the movie and was cut before release. Gerhardt told me he felt it would be an appropriate interlude in the suite, sio he included it. All of the exotic sounds, including many unusual percussion instruments and the large chorus, are captured in impressive four-channel sound. On the original RCA CD (1669) the six sections were banded separately; for whatever reason, the EPOCH disk has but one track. Of particular interest is inclusion of a major item not on the original CD, a 10:33 suite from The Thing from another World, which previously only was issued as part of the CD The Spectacular World of Classic Film Scores. With its its unusual scoring for large orchestra, organ and electronic effects, it is a demo disk for sure. This site has a comprehensive look at RCA's Classic Film Score Series (FEATURE). Let us hope more of these will be issued in quad! Thank you EPOCH!

Januaryu 20, 1973 a Concert for Peace was presented in Washington's National Cathedral, and now we have this quad release of the event. A strong quartet of soloists joined the Norman Scribner Choir and an unidentiufied orchestra, all led by Leonard Bernstein in Haydn's nasterpiece. There's ano question that the multi-track sound is impressive taking us inside the huge venue. The disk is filled out with one of the Haydn symphonies Bernstein recorded with ther New York Philharmonic in New York's Co,lumbia studios in 1973. A sprightly performance indeed, and engineers have done their work in a very realistic way. No texts are provided.

Artur Rubinstein's final recordings of the Beethoven piano concertos were made in April 1975 in London's Kingsway Hall, with Daniel Barenboim leading the London Philharmonic. His earlier recordings with Josef Krips and the Symphony of the Air are available in RCA's budget-priced Living Stereo series, and the Barenboim recordings also are available, in a Sony budget set. Rubinstein's first recording of Concerto No. 4 with Sir Thomas Beecham and the Royal Philharmonic some years ago was issued on Testament, mentioned on this site (REVIEW). The primary interest in this Epoch release is the quality of sound, which is surely enhanced by multiple channels. It always is a pleasure to hear the great Rubinstein, and you can also view him performing Beethoven's Concerto No. 3 and Brahms Concerto No. 1 filmed in the Concertgebouw August 1973 with Bernard Haitink conducting (REVIEW).

R.E.B. (December 2017)