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Anthony Adverse

Reviews,comments,suggestions on Korngold's discography

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Anthony Adverse

Postby tjguitar » Sun Jul 01, 2007 8:35 pm

I just picked up this OOP Varese re-recording from trusty amazon marketplace--there's only 2 copies left there too, if you don't have it--snag it!!!

Good stuff, I was kind of hesitant for a long time based on a negative amazon review which is probably why I never bought it.

The Amazon review stated:

Regrettably, this recording turns out to be a light-weight and somniferous (especially in the center) rendering of Korngold's film symphony. It's instrumentation is impoverished with non-string instruments often among the missing. Rarely is the full orchestra utilized. If you are a Korngold enthusiast, buy it. Otherwise, pass.


But I quite like it actually. The percussion seems to be mic'd really upfront which some may not like, but I think it gives it that extra "punch" so to speak, in some parts of the score.
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Adverse

Postby brendan g carroll » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:57 am

I regret I cannot agree with you. This ranks as possibly the WORST ever performance of a Korngold film score in the catalogue. Its chief problem lies in its lamentably slow, sluggish tempi - this, in spite of the fact that the conductor allegedly watched the film many times prior to recording.

Charles Gerhardt was originally supposed to conduct this recording but George Korngold's unexpected death put paid to that. If only....

NOT recommended!
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Postby tjguitar » Mon Jul 02, 2007 4:27 pm

Well, I have never seen the film or heard any other recordings to compare it to (except a few cues by Gerhardt), so that might have something to do with it.

It's a shame to hear that they decided not to use Gerhardt if he was available, I would guess that was a monetary decision?


TJ
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Postby Peter Timoney » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:56 am

Hiya

If you have not seen the film ( and I have bizarrely only seen it in German, thankfully with most of the Korngold music unusually still intact) a good comparison to back up Brendans point is this. Listen to the compilation ' The Warner Bros Years' on Turner and on CD 1 track 8 (titled-- To the Spa ), immediatly after the main title, the piece starts with a brief but furious breakneck ride which for tempo and aggression would not be out of place on a thrash metal CD. The same piece on the Varese recording is like a trot in the park by comparison. I have to be honest and admit I really liked this recording until I saw the film and realised the problem with the tempo. Anthony Adverse is also out on Tsunami, although the recording quality is not among the best in their Korngold series, although it isa still good to have.This is one score I would love to hear a faithful full recording of.

P.
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Anthony Adverse Varèse 5285

Postby Bernd.O.Rachold » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:33 pm

Dear Korngoldians, please note the lines of Erich´s elder son Ernst Werner about this recording, in a letter to me dated April 3, 1991 (transl. from German by Dr. Kurt Arrer): ...Perhaps I can still hear my father´s tempos so well that most of the music on this CD seems too slow to me and therefore, in my opinion, this ruins the effect of this recording. Besides, RIAS hasn´t done a good job in putting this CD together properly because they didn´t know the film. At that time I tried to explain everything to John Scott because I thought he would be involved in the editing. When I found out that he had nothing to do with it, I hoped I could sit down with Varèse Sarabande and explain a few things to them. But that didn´t work because Varèse was not involved in the editing, either. I would have, for instance, omitted the pauses (between the takes). To me the march doesn´t make much sense, either, because it doesn´t have a real ending. In the film it is faded out because the marching players are leaving in the distance. It would have been very easy to achieve a similiar fade-out on the CD! An important, dramatic piece in the Alps is also missing because RIAS copied the parts of section A twice and therefore section B was never recorded. My only consolation is the fact that these mistakes are hardly obvious to someone who doesn´t know the film very well..." So let us enjoy the original music and conducting by the composer from the Warner-video 65221 and/or the Tsunami-CD 0143 (sorry, no cheap Membran-copy issued). By the way, the German premiere happened in TV (ZDF), mentioned above, as EIN RASTLOSES LEBEN (A Restless Life) at Nov. 1, 1991. The dubbing studio hasn´t enough original music at hand and used a lot of stock-music additionally, as usual in Germany, alas! ROBIN HOOD may be the only German dubbed Korngoldian film with complete original music. Bernd.-
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Postby tjguitar » Tue Jul 17, 2007 3:49 am

thanks for the post Bernd. An interesting read.
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