Hollywood Soundstage. Sinfonia of London / John Wilson. © 2022 Chandos Records Ltd

CD Spotlight

A Spectacular Release

GERALD FENECH listens to film music played by John Wilson and the Sinfonia of London

'... an absolutely rewarding hour ...'


Sinfonia of London rose to fame in the 1950s as the leading recording orchestra of the day, appearing in the musical credits of more than three hundred films, including the 1958 soundtrack by Bernard Herrmann for Hitchcock's Vertigo. Reformed by John Wilson in 2018 as a recording orchestra, and made up of some of London's finest orchestral musicians, their first recording of Korngold's Symphony in F sharp won the orchestral award from BBC Music Magazine, and drew critical acclaim worldwide. Erich Wolfgang Korngold's (1897-1957) Overture from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, which opens this exhilarating programme, is an excellent demonstration of his rich, chromatic sound-world that set a blueprint for the Hollywood sound and so many composers that followed.

Listen — Korngold: Overture (The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex)
(CHSA 5294 track 1, 0:02-0:57) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

The score for The Wizard of Oz by Herbert Stothart (1885-1949) won an Oscar, and it is his suite from the movie that features here. The programme also includes some exciting suites from Now Voyager by Max Steiner (1888-1971) and Rebecca (receiving here its first recording) by Franz Waxman (1906-1967).

Listen — Waxman: Suite from Rebecca
(CHSA 5294 track 7, 3:20-4:15) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

Laura by David Raksin (1912-2004) and The Sandpiper by Johnny Mandel (1925-2020) are represented by their respective main titles. My Fair Lady by Frederick Loewe (1901-1988) makes its bow with the delightful 'Embassy Waltz' and 'Transylvanian March'.

Listen — Loewe: Transylvanian March and Embassy Waltz (My Fair Lady)
(CHSA 5294 track 4, 0:00-0:59) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

The finale to this memorable collection is the rousing 'Street Scene' from How to Marry a Millionaire by Alfred Newman (1900-1970).

Listen — Newman: Street Scene (How to Marry a Millionaire)
(CHSA 5294 track 8, 5:02-5:56) ℗ 2022 Chandos Records Ltd :

This is an absolutely rewarding hour of scintillating film music that stirs in one's memory the days when the silver screen used to lure millions into the world of fantasy and entertainment. Indeed, those were the decades when cinema was the real thing. A spectacular release, beautifully annotated, sumptuously recorded, passionately performed, that will keep you engrossed from beginning to end. Do not tarry, book your ticket without delay and just let your hair down.

Copyright © 23 August 2022 Gerald Fenech,
Gzira, Malta








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