Miklos Rosza had effectively retired from music at the time of the recording of this album, conducted by his younger contemporary Elmer Bernstein. But he was present for this recording, and Bernstein, who later went on to adapt the music of Bernard Herrmann into a score for the remake of Cape Fear, proved a near-match for the composer himself, in terms of giving an authoritative recording of Rosza's work. He's perhaps a little stiffer in the transitions and modulations, but overall this is an extremely satisfying recording, encompassing some of Rosza's most well-known work alongside some of his more obscure pieces. The "Spellbound Concerto" took up one side of the original LP, and is well-represented here, although it has received so many recordings in recent years that it is among the lesser virtues on this album. Much more alluring are the presence of the "Overture" from the 1959 post-doomsday drama The World, The Flesh, and the Devil, and the "New England Concerto," a work for piano and orchestra that grew out of Rosza's music for Lydia. This is a piece that should be better known in the concert repertory, and is worth the price of the album by itself. As an added attraction, one also gets the "Overture" to Because of Him, a relatively obscure product of the composer's mid-'40s work at Universal. The state of the art recording has held up well, and this LP translated beautifully to a CD edition that, sad to say, is out of print as of 2008.
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