In 1952, it became one of the most instantly recognizable musical cues in the U.S. Seeping scales on violins rose and fell in time to an image of magnificent ocean swells and then a heroic brass motto supported the title "Victory at Sea."
This musical and visual image opened every one of the twenty-six episodes of Henry Salomon's brilliant documentary series based on over 60,000,000 feet of U.S. Navy operational and combat film from World War II. Victory at Sea became a top-rated program on NBC Television has had been repeatedly re-shown around the world--even in Japan. A leading reason for its success was the outstanding musical score--virtually continuous throughout each episode--by Richard Rodgers as arranged by Robert Russell Bennett.
RCA's release of an LP of nine movements arranged from the score, with the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra conducted by Bennett, became one of the label's greatest classical hits. As soon as consumer stereo sound became feasible, Bennett returned to the studio for a remake in the new technology, again producing a best-seller with a strong repeat performance of the score, well played by a pick-up orchestra of New York musicians. Bennett returned to make another two more Victory at Sea Albums, still drawing on the many treasures of Rodgers' and his score.
RCA Victor has combined these three stereo LPs into two CDs. This one contains all the material of the first album, in order, followed by the first four cuts of the second album. The whole project was remixed in Dolby Surround by Richard S. Johnson. The surround information is discrete in adding acoustic "air" around the solid and convincing orchestral sound. Of the two newly released CDs, this one is the more desirable as Bennett picked the best music first.