Alfred Newman's scores for All About Eve and Leave Her to Heaven, written five years apart for major films with dark psychological themes from 20th Century Fox, have been gathered together on this beautifully produced CD. Sometimes, one has to wonder why and how the studios failed to appreciate the value of the music that they were generating on a regular basis for film projects such as this -- Newman's music is so melodic and so inventive in its accessible way that it's amazing that more wasn't done to sell it to the public in the form of soundtrack albums at the outset of the 1950s, when the LP was perfected and the recording industry was starting to boom. Newman's work here is some of his best and most subtle -- beyond the opening fanfare (which is repeated in other contexts in the score), the score pretty much moves to the interior lives of its characters and the resulting music is among most subtle and quietly seductive of his career. His music for Leave Her to Heaven is a lot more heavy-handed, and is one of his darker scores -- he focused on the passions that drive the main character to the horrendous acts that she commits, and the result is a kind of enveloping body of orchestral music, filled with sweeping themes and arrangements. At their most serious, they're closer in spirit to the work of Gustav Mahler than to Max Steiner. The sound is first-rate and the bonus features include the stereo mixes to certain cuts from All About Eve. As with other releases in this series, the annotation is exceptionally detailed.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
|All About Eve, film score|
|Leave Her To Heaven, film score|