This handy mid-priced European import, running 72 minutes, incorporates many of the best parts of the Rhino Records double-CD Erich Wolfgang Korngold compilation The Warner Bros. Years. Indeed, it may have used the very same masters for all one can tell, and is competitively priced, but comes with no annotation to speak of and nothing to place this delightful music in historical context. Korngold was, arguably, the best conductor of his own work, to judge from what is here -- the performances are all well-paced, whether intended to establish moods of excitement or romance, and the playing is a match for any of the top orchestras in the country (in those days, the major movie studios paid extremely well for what was relatively little work, and attracted their share of top musicians). The selection is also fairly obvious and straightforward, top-heavy with the scores of several of Errol Flynn's top costume films -- Captain Blood, The Prince and the Pauper, and The Sea Hawk -- and filled out with various dramas and adventure movies out of the Warner Bros. library, including Kings Row, Juarez, The Sea Wolf, Between Two Worlds, and Of Human Bondage. As with the Rhino set, there's not quite enough of each score to satisfy the listener that loves this music, and most of the best of the music has received more generous treatment in various re-recordings, though having the originals around for reference is always useful.
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