The Cardinal: The Classic Film Music of Jerome Moross

Jerome Moross

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

The Cardinal: The Classic Film Music of Jerome Moross Review

by William Ruhlmann

Jerome Moross wrote music for a variety of different media, but seemed most at home composing ballets. He dabbled in Broadway show music (notably 1954's The Golden Apple) and in classical forms, and, between 1948 and 1969, he wrote a series of motion picture scores. But he seems to have taken on such assignments primarily for the money; producer/annotator James Fitzpatrick notes that he never moved to Hollywood, even when he was working steadily in film. This album of Moross' film music shows him to be well-served by his sense of movement, which corresponds to the rapid scene changes of a movie. His music for the Seven Wonders of the World segment "The Holy Land," for example, jumps quickly from one thing to another. And "jumps" is a key word. Whether he is establishing suspense or providing the stirring theme to a Western, Moross writes consistently lively music with attractive melodies and strong rhythms. The composer was given his biggest cinematic challenge in the three-hour film The Cardinal (1963), and responded with a buoyant score. The five-part suite from it heard here easily could be used as the setting for a dance, and you can say that about most of Moross' film music. the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Paul Bateman, uses music from only six of Moross' films, and his Academy Award-nominated The Big Country is not one of them. But one gets a good sense of the composer's work nevertheless. (The album was planned to be a single long CD, but the producers came to the end of recording with 84 minutes of music, and instead of cutting a few minutes, they opted to spread the material across two discs, making this a somewhat skimpy two-CD set.)

blue highlight denotes track pick