Original Score

Sodom And Gomorrah

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Sodom and Gomorrah is sort of notorious among fans of Miklos Rozsa as one of the composer's least favorite film scores, done for a movie that he didn't want to work on. His success with Ben-Hur (1959), which had yielded not only a hit soundtrack album but a second volume follow-up LP, had left Rozsa boxed into period -- and especially Biblical -- subject matter of ever-decreasing quality, apart from El Cid, and Sodom and Gomorrah, all of his work was part of that group of movies. The soundtrack has bounced in and out of print over the decades, mostly in Europe, but this is its first American reissue in many, many years. The best moments in the score come in the overture, which comes off as Ben-Hur light -- much of the best part of the rest of the score are variations on musical material that Rozsa had used as far back as The Four Feathers, while the worst sounds as though the composer was marking time (which he was), mostly in the vein of bad Near Eastern exoticism. There are some beautiful passages for the reeds, but too much of the score shows the composer's lack of inspiration -- ironically, the music was the best part of the movie, which was an awkward international production shot in Italy. The CD's mixed musical offering is presented in optimum condition -- the master tapes for this album seem to have resided untouched in the RCA vaults for decades, and have transferred to CD far better than many other albums of their era. The annotation provides a general overview of Rozsa's career, rather than a detailed look at the score or the production of the film, and some of the back cover art is very poor.