Officially, Alfred Newman was the lead composer as well as music director on How to Marry a Millionaire in collaboration with 20th Century-Fox staff composer Cyril Mockridge. As the research on this soundtrack release revealed, however, Mockridge wrote most of the music for this film, with Edward B. Powell, Alexander Courage, and several others (including a young Nelson Riddle) handling the orchestrations -- Newman's major contribution seems to have been the very ornate rendition of his "Street Scene," which opened the movie as a showcase for stereophonic sound. A significant portion of the score is actually built on relevant and appropriate pop melodies, among them Rodgers & Hart's "Blue Moon," the Lionel Newman/Ken Darby-authored "New York," and "I've Got a Feelin' You're Foolin'" by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. Whatever the sources, it all works as background music to this frothy romantic comedy, flowing in smooth and sophisticated fashion off the screen. And in this CD incarnation, it does more of the same, and in most impressive fashion. The source tapes have held up remarkably well across over 50 years, and the quality is good enough, the music and playing sufficiently ornate, and the textures and timbres vivid enough to qualify as "bachelor's den"-type 1950s audiophile music, even if some passages are a little tame for that genre. The quality is superb and the production flawless, and the annotation is a match for the audio production as well. This CD is limited to 3,000 copies pressed, and should interest '50s cultists as well as movie and music buffs.
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