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The Adventures of Robin Hood
Film Score By Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Conductor William Stromberg

Review By Karl Lozier
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The Adventures of Robin Hood Film Score By Erich Wolfgang Korngold

CD Stock: Marco Polo Recordings 8.225268


  You have heard of or heard this great film score previously, right? I'm afraid not. It may be hard to believe but this classic movie and its famous film score by the legendary Erich Wolfgang Korngold dates from 1938! It is not typical hyperbole to state that this is one of the truly great film scores of all time! It was a tremendous undertaking to find missing or lost passages and sections. The score restoration was prepared by John Morgan.

In 1935 James Cagney was scheduled for the title role. Eventually The Adventures of Robin Hood was tailored for the young Errol Flynn. The film was budgeted for $1,600,000 - largest ever for a Warner film up to that time! The final total cost reached an unprecedented two million dollars! Remember these were what your grandfather called real dollars. Other famous cast members included Olivia de Havilland (Robin's love interest of course) Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains. Previously, there was a silent 1922 version starring Douglas Fairbanks as Robin Hood.

Hard to believe in reasonably modern times that any of the music from this great Robin Hood was not produced for commercial records until 1961. That first commercial production done by Lionel Newman was less than ten minutes long. Remember that was twenty-three years after the movie was released. Interest had waned by then and recordings of movie scores were, unlike today, rather rare.

The score is superb. In other words the music is great, or indescribably delicious to a film score gourmet. If some passages or scoring techniques sound a bit familiar, realize that Korngold was there first! It sounds fresh, exhilarating and beautifully melodic when appropriate. There was a great deal of adventurous action going on in this film and film score. You would never guess that any of this is more than a few months old. Orchestral playing and conducting is top notch. What version would there be to compare it with? This is the first complete Digital recording. The recording is also excellent and in no way reminiscent of those many poor quality recordings from Russia not too many years ago. It is full range, rich and detailed with particularly good and clear reproduction of both the brass and wind sections.

One of the very finest releases of the past few years - Bravo! Just go out and buy it if you love great film scores. There is an abundance of fascinating information in the many pages of the liner notes thanks to Brendan G. Carroll.

After you get hooked on this recording try Korngold's Sinfonietta (a symphony in disguise), his true Symphony, Op. 40, his piano concerto for the left hand and the Serenade are all very worthwhile and not curiosities. Violin lovers are already familiar with his relatively well-known concerto. Do not miss out on this great film score by Korngold or you will be sorry and you have now been warned.





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