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Battle of Neretva / Naked & Dead

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 9, 2012
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$30.89 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 9, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD Baby
  • ASIN: B006TFDREG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,132 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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As always William Stromberg delivers another impeccable recording of Bernard Herrmann's film music. I am a bit biased on this one however since BATTLE OF NERETVA has never been one of my favorite scores. It seems to encompass a rather broad overview of the film and seems rather non-specific to the film's elemental break down of scenes requiring music. We get many tracks from this film's score and its variations. The score just seems to be a bit repetitious.

On the other hand, I have always been fascinated by Herrmann's minimalist and provocative score for THE NAKED AND THE DEAD and here we do not get the entire score but bits and pieces of it. What we get I thoroughly welcome and it has been a long awaited affair, but unfortunately it seems like an abridged edition. Missing is pivotal scoring of Aldo Ray's flashback scene of his return home on furlough. It is a rather haunting composition that reverberates in the mind of Ray's character. In all, I suppose I cannot truly complain but should savor these long awaited recordings.
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Format: Audio CD
These scores are both in the "Drums and Trumpets" military vein, and while Bernard Herrmann fans will enjoy the excellent performances and recording quality of this disc, they must also lament the paucity of original outstanding material here. For Battle of Neretva Herrmann often acted more as Arranger/Music Director than composer, sometimes taking cues whole from other works or stitching bits together: Torn Curtain's "The Killing" cue mixes with Mysterious Island battle music for Nazi Attack, Tanks, Battle and Fanfares; Dawn, Suspense, The Lookout, Death Hunt, The Bridge and Waiting derive from his score for On Dangerous Ground; Pastorale is a cue from Fahrenheit 451 sans harps and percussion; Hunt Scherzo is the 2nd movement of his 1941 Symphony. The "Italian" music (From Italy, Italian, Riva's Death) has several antecedents, most notably the Madeleine theme from Vertigo. What's left sounds a bit thin (albeit LOUD!) by comparison: The Prelude and its related cues (The Retreat, The Poem, The Flag, Slow March, Finale), the Grief cue and its arrangements (The Message, Danica's Death, Separation), and the martial cues (The Rout, March, The Front, etc.)--all certainly effective but none particularly memorable.

The Naked and The Dead music doesn't add much to the disc either. The Prelude sounds like a drums & trumpets reworking of The Day the Earth Stood Still theme and the rest of score resembles the stock cues Herrmann was writing for the CBS Music Library at the time--long on instrumental color, short on melodic/harmonic interest. The best of these (Wilson's Death, Croft's Death, Prayer and Rescue) don't match the quality of the Vertigo or Sinbad scores he wrote the same year. At best, they offer a hint of the low sonorities he would soon use for Journey to the Center of the Earth.
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Battle of Neretva / Naked & Dead
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