Magazine article Gramophone

Rozsa: 'The Film Music of Miklos Rozsa'

Magazine article Gramophone

Rozsa: 'The Film Music of Miklos Rozsa'

Article excerpt

Rozsa 'The Film Music of Miklos Rozsa' Suites from The Thief of Bagdad, Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, Sahara (arr Palmer) and Ben-Hur BBC Philharmonic Orchestra / Rumon Gamba Chandos [F] CHAN10806 (80' * DDD)

Miklos Rozsa's name is so indelibly linked to historical widescreen epics such as Ben-Hur (1959) that it's a pleasure to be reminded of his earlier work, with its links to the Korda family, his fellow Hungarians, and the producers of his earlier work, including The Thief of Bagdad (1940) and Jungle Book (1942). In these magical pieces set in distant lands that we once called the Orient, Rozsa exhibits a lightness of touch and tuneful simplicity that he never quite managed to recapture in his later work. Far removed from the brazen empirical fanfares of Ben-Hur and ancient Rome, his music for The Thief of Bagdad dances along in a kaleidoscopic whirl of instrumental colours, from the winding-up of the Sultan's toys to a jaunty 'Flying Horse Gallop'; then moving on to the seductive 'Silvermaid's Dance'. In Jungle Book, the characters and animals, each with their own theme and identification with a particular instrument, spring to life in the manner of Peter and the Wolf A nocturnal jungle scene and a fierce stampede add further contrasts to this appealing work. …

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