David Raksin

Two Weeks in Another Town [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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David Raksin's music for Vincente Minnelli's Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) never got an official soundtrack release, not a surprise considering the movie's troubled history, which included extensive post-production tampering by the studio and a partly successful protest by the producer -- John Houseman -- that resulted in yet another recut of the film; and as a result of the protracted disputes about its content, the movie -- which starred Kirk Douglas -- is one of the leading man's least-well-known major studio releases. Ironically, one of the few elements of the movie that was widely praised at the time of its release was Raksin's music, which is now being heard -- 43 years later, and a year after the composer's death -- in its full, unedited glory. The music not only displays a good deal of wit -- repeating a pair of cues from Raksin's earlier The Bad and the Beautiful, a collaboration with the same director, producer, and star, but also capturing the new movie's mix of decadence and dissolution, along with the stressed interior lives of its main characters. The central theme to the new film is a lush melody that plays out in a long, richly orchestrated line -- one of the most rewarding attributes of Raksin's best music, across his career, is the inner detail of his orchestrations, and this music is no exception; the rich timbres of the string, reed, and wind sections make for a lavish-sounding whole but also tease the ear individually. The CD also contains music -- including a foray into jazz -- that Raksin wrote and recorded but which was later replaced by onscreen "source music" in the finished film, and the scoring for scenes that were shot but subsequently deleted from the movie, in the studio's misguided quest to make it more "family friendly." And it ends with an alternate cue for one key scene. The whole CD is in stereo, mixed down from the original three-track masters -- the entire score, apart from some source music cues for the scenes set in Rome, has survived intact without any serious deterioration, and it sounds great. There's also extensive annotation about the convoluted history of the movie and its soundtrack by Jeff Bond and producer Lukas Kendall.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Two Weeks in Another Town, film score
1 03:50
2 01:53
3 01:54
4 02:24
5 02:23
6 04:24
7 01:48
8 01:52
9 05:20
10 01:33
11 01:36
12 04:49
13 02:38
14 01:11
15 02:41
16 02:00
17 01:40
Don't Blame Me
18 03:30
Two Weeks in Another Town, film score
19 01:56
20 02:53
Don't Blame Me
21 02:51
blue highlight denotes track pick