British Film Classics

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
It may sound overblown, or even downright silly, to say this about what is really a sampler album, but the two-CD British Film Classics is a wonder, in scope and quality, one of the finest soundtrack anthologies devoted to its subject. That's not too surprising, however, as it comes from Chandos Records, a label that has gone out of its way in recent years to record an extraordinary amount of classic material in the vintage soundtrack field. Opening up with Ron Goodwin's glorious, sweeping main title theme from Sidney Hayers' The Trap 1966, the disc takes us backward 30 years to the dawn of classically structured British soundtracks with Sir Arthur Bliss' march from William ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
It may sound overblown, or even downright silly, to say this about what is really a sampler album, but the two-CD British Film Classics is a wonder, in scope and quality, one of the finest soundtrack anthologies devoted to its subject. That's not too surprising, however, as it comes from Chandos Records, a label that has gone out of its way in recent years to record an extraordinary amount of classic material in the vintage soundtrack field. Opening up with Ron Goodwin's glorious, sweeping main title theme from Sidney Hayers' The Trap 1966, the disc takes us backward 30 years to the dawn of classically structured British soundtracks with Sir Arthur Bliss' march from William Cameron Menzies' Things to Come 1936, then ahead to the 1940s and Alan Rawsthorne's charming, elegant "Valse Caprice" from Uncle Silas 1947. Sir William Walton's "Prelude" from Hamlet is represented with far bolder, more emphatic playing than one is accustomed to hearing -- one of the virtues of the Chandos recordings of these scores is that the conductors and orchestras aren't afraid to play the music with a lot of fire and passion where it's called for, representing virtually all of the music in its most compelling form. This is also an unusually generous sampler in that it contains the entire suite from Richard Rodney Bennett's score from Murder on the Orient Express 1974 -- the real secret of its appeal, however, beyond that generosity, is the way that the programming leaps around through the obvious, such as Eric Coates' "Dambusters March" to unexpected territory, such as the waltz and rhumba from William Alwyn's score for In Search of the Castaways; Alwyn was a major 20th century British composer, and did a lot of film work in between his concert music, but few remember that he composed for Disney. Malcolm Arnold's jaunty, comedic main title theme from The Belles of St. Trinian's 1954 is a great mood-breaker, one of the funniest pieces of movie music that this writer has ever heard and, with its ridiculously amplified percussion, a bridge between Leroy Anderson's "The Syncopated Clock" aka the theme from The Late Late Show and Vic Mizzy's music for The Addams Family. Taking us from that, back to Vaughan Williams' serious, stately, and gorgeous "Dawn Patrol" theme from Coastal Command makes an even better contrast -- and we get the complete "Warsaw Concerto" by Richard Addinsell, plus Georges Auric's waltz from Moulin Rouge 1952 sung beautifully by Mary Carewe. Disc two follows a similar pattern, ranging between international epics of British origin at least, for the music, though one might quibble over the inclusion of the excerpt from the Rachmaninoff "Piano Concerto No. 2" from Brief Encounter -- it's a British film, but the music is much better known today from subsequent movies such as The Seven-Year Itch. More explicable is the presence of Richard Rodney Bennett's music for the love scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral, a reminder that serious, world-class English composers are still very much with us in the present day. As an added bonus, all of these recordings from the Chandos library have been upgraded to state-of-the-art 24-bit digital audio, from their original 16-bit digital masters.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2003
  • Label: Chandos
  • UPC: 095115241226
  • Catalog Number: 24112
  • Sales rank: 341,215

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Main Titles - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (3:35)
  2. 2 March - Rumon Gamba (3:38)
  3. 3 Valse caprice - Rumon Gamba (3:20)
  4. 4 Prelude - Neville Marriner (3:13)
  5. 5 Suite - Rumon Gamba (11:20)
  6. 6 The Dam Busters, march for the film score - Rumon Gamba (4:07)
  7. 7 Ship's Waltz - Rumon Gamba (2:54)
  8. 8 Rumba - Rumon Gamba (2:49)
  9. 9 Main Titles - Rumon Gamba (1:36)
  10. 10 Dawn Patrol - Rumon Gamba (4:07)
  11. 11 Warsaw Concerto for piano & orchestra (for the film "Dangerous Moonligh - Rumon Gamba (8:28)
  12. 12 Scorched Earth - Richard Hickox (5:30)
  13. 13 Waltz - Rumon Gamba (3:17)
  14. 14 Main Titles - Rumon Gamba (4:32)
  15. 15 Suite: Spitfire Music and Battle in the Air - Neville Marriner (5:59)
  16. 16 Suite: March and Siegfried Music - Neville Marriner (5:30)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Colonel Bogey - Richard Hickox (4:11)
  2. 2 Main Titles - Rumon Gamba (2:06)
  3. 3 Aces High, march from film score for orchestra (or band; also known as (3:59)
  4. 4 Prologue - Neville Marriner (7:03)
  5. 5 Suite. Prelude - Richard Hickox (3:59)
  6. 6 2nd Movement (as used in the film Lady Caroline Lamb) [From Lady Caroli - Rumon Gamba (3:06)
  7. 7 1st movement (as used in the Film Brief Encounter) [From Brief Encounte (9:22)
  8. 8 Suite. Prelude - Richard Hickox (3:46)
  9. 9 Touch her soft lips and part - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (1:36)
  10. 10 Love Scene - Rumon Gamba (3:29)
  11. 11 633 Squadron: Main Theme, from film score for orchestra (or band) [From (2:50)
  12. 12 Main Titles / Nocturne - Rumon Gamba (4:53)
  13. 13 Prelude - Neville Marriner (3:15)
  14. 14 Main Titles (1:54)
  15. 15 Finale - Rumon Gamba (3:14)
  16. 16 Spitfire Prelude - Neville Marriner (4:24)
  17. 17 Fugue - Neville Marriner (4:15)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
London Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Earl Wild Piano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Ron Goodwin Conductor
Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Performing Ensemble
Richard Hickox Conductor
Neville Marriner Conductor
Martin Roscoe Piano
Mary Carewe Soprano, Soprano (Vocal)
Philip Dukes Viola
Jascha Horenstein Conductor
BBC Philharmonic Performing Ensemble
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Rumon Gamba Conductor
D.S. Stephens Conductor
Cranwell Royal Air Force College Band Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
Richard Addinsell Composer
William Alwyn Composer
Arnold Bax Composer
Eric Coates Composer
John Ireland Composer
Sergey Rachmaninov Composer
Ralph Vaughan Williams Composer
William Walton Composer
Ron Goodwin Composer
Kenneth J. Alford Composer
Georges Auric Composer
Christopher Palmer Arranger
Philip Lane Arranger, Orchestration
Charles Mackerras Arranger
Roy Douglas Arranger
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