The first attempt to expand the scope of this legendary soundtrack is one of the better parts of this now-defunct MGM reissue series through Sony Music Special Products. Rather than go back to the LP master, which had not quite 35 minutes of music (with many of the songs shortened), the makers went to the finished film audio tracks, as had previously been done with the soundtrack A Star Is Born. Thus, there are snatches of dialogue and some sound effects, but the resulting CD also has a larger chunk of the Frederick Loewe music -- which is almost more operetta than Hollywood musical -- than any other presentation. This includes the ice waltz at the skating rink and "The Gossips," alternately graceful and witty pieces of music worthy of Franz Lehar or any of the other great composers of light opera. The stereo mix matches that of the film and benefits from the remastering, which has cleaned up the sound considerably and given it considerable sweep. Andre Previn's conducting and orchestration also come to life here as never before. Reissued in 1996 by Rhino Records in a more expensive (but also even more expanded) edition that effectively supplants this one for the serious listener.
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
|Gigi, film score|