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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiomkin's Music is Marvelously Evocative of the Old West
As far as I know, unlike other issues in the current spate of Naxos film score releases, this one of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for 'Red River' had not previously been issued on the Marco Polo label, or if it was I missed it. This recording was made in 2002 by what has become the staple team for these releases: score restoration by John Morgan, with William Stromberg...
Published on March 9, 2005 by J Scott Morrison

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a good thing become tedious
I concur with the previous reviewer who said that less of this would have been more -- there simply is not enough thematic material to sustain 64 minutes of music. If you already own "The Western World of Dimitri Tiomkin" (a great CD now out of print), you don't need this disk, as that one contains all the key themes and is sonically superior. If not, you may find this...
Published on April 18, 2005 by R. Gale


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiomkin's Music is Marvelously Evocative of the Old West, March 9, 2005
This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
As far as I know, unlike other issues in the current spate of Naxos film score releases, this one of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for 'Red River' had not previously been issued on the Marco Polo label, or if it was I missed it. This recording was made in 2002 by what has become the staple team for these releases: score restoration by John Morgan, with William Stromberg conducting those honorary Hollywood musicians, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, this time joined by a full choir (not to speak of a banjo and accordion, and an enlarged string section).

Dimitri Tiomkin, for American moviegoers of my generation, was a Big Name. Just look at a few of the movies for which he composed the score: Dial M for Murder, Rio Bravo (some of whose music was recycled for 'Red River'), Lost Horizon, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It's a Wonderful Life, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Giant, Duel in the Sun, The Big Sky, Friendly Persuasion, Hatari, The Alamo--and the list goes on. Notice how many Westerns there are in the list? Tiomkin may be considered to have more or less invented what we think of as the prototypical Hollywood Western filmscore 'sound.' And nowhere better than in this release. But did you know that Tiomkin, born in Ukraine, soloed as a pianist with the Berlin Philharmonic or that he played the European première of Gershwin's 'Concerto in F'? The concert world lost a pianist, but filmdom gained a great composer of apt and memorable scores.

This CD contains 37 cues from the movie, from the 'Main Title' to 'The New Brand.' Most of the cues are less than three minutes long, but there is a sound throughout that carries forward the movie's atmosphere with use of leitmotiv and similar orchestration. Recurrences of western tunes, some sung by the choir, tie the whole together as well. There is no question that music helps to romanticize the Old West, just as the movie did, and much of it may strike modern listeners as a bit old-fashioned. But one cannot argue but that the score completely underlines Howard Hawks's vision for this John Wayne movie about the first cattle drive north along the Chisholm Trail (and right past my boyhood home; another reason I loved the film).

The music has not been widely available before. It took a good deal of restoration by film score expert John Morgan. I, for one, am grateful to relive the music and recall the film; I saw it when I was eleven years old and happily can go back to that wondrous time via this recording.

Recommended for anyone remotely interested in American film scores.

Scott Morrison
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Classic Score for a Classic Film--Dynamite!, December 4, 2005
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
Another musical masterpiece from the premiere team for classic film score restoration and presentation, Messrs. John Morgan and William Stromberg! Like all their meticulous and most-welcomed endeavors, the CD is the first complete modern recording of the score for a film classic. This time out it's the 1948 film RED RIVER (RR). The CD is a re-release at "popular prices" of the original which is on the Marco Polo label (Naxos and Marco Polo are sister labels). To be up front about things, RR is not a film favorite nor is the film music of the composer, Dimitri Tiomkin, my cup of tea. However, if you are a film music enthusiast, anything and everything created by Morgan and Stromberg commands (if not demands) your serious attention. This CD is no exception. Every cue that Tiomkin composed for RR is reproduced in the recording. There are 37 tracks! None is over five minute long, but inter-track transitions are seamless creating a de facto RR concert. And quite a concert it is. The balance between individual instruments and orchestra sections is very good--no instrument is trampled in the musical dust. However, the choir becomes overbearing now and then. Other than that, the conducting is first rate. Dynamic and exciting. Orchestra performance strongly suggests that a fair amount of pre-recording rehearsal effort transpired. The CD booklet is interesting, but not particularly. Jack Smith wrote the film-focused text which he periodically punctuated with quotations from a few of the film's principals and some of the film's critics. Clever, but no cigar. No track-by-track analysis and no photographs either. More fitting for, say, a DVD than a CD. Fortunately, the booklet also contains John Morgan's "Red River Music Notes," a much more worthwhile read. The composer's score was tightly coupled to (and often buried by) what was happening on screen. Mr. Morgan's description of how the score was rendered capable of becoming a stand-alone musical entry is fascinating.

William Flanigan, Ph.D.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a good thing become tedious, April 18, 2005
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R. Gale (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
I concur with the previous reviewer who said that less of this would have been more -- there simply is not enough thematic material to sustain 64 minutes of music. If you already own "The Western World of Dimitri Tiomkin" (a great CD now out of print), you don't need this disk, as that one contains all the key themes and is sonically superior. If not, you may find this worth having. I suggest you burn some of the key tracks to your own CD and listen to that instead, as this CD is not really designed for listening pleasure. The program notes have some good information about Tiomkin's approach to scoring, but they're sparse on specific track information, particularly in that a few tracks seem to have been deleted from the final film. NAXOS deserves some kudos for keeping the Film Music Classics series alive. However, I hope in the future, they'll make CDs for listening first and for reference purposes second.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A note about RED RIVER's notes, January 6, 2006
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J. Smith "BlkJK" (Chula Vista, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
Writing the notes to this epic rerecording of the score to RED RIVER by Dimitri Tiomkin was one of the great experiences of my life. Bill Stromberg and John Morgan made this great music live again.

Sadly, this American release features only the biographical and background notes for the score. The detailed cue by cue breakdowns and commentary was available only in a limited European release, now out of print.

Jack Smith

former filmusic critic, Films in Review
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Only lovers of full scores will love this overlong selection, January 14, 2013
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Gerald Siegel (Mililani Town, HI United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
Other than the main themes I found this score a little too long and with all the small cues. It may or may not deserve the attention it got. Orchestral playing is excellent. And Dimitri Tiomkin deserves this accolade to his talent. His scores for Guns of Navarone and for Friendly Persuasion and for The Thing, for High Noon, for Lost Horizon by RCA as a collection and lots of others are more lyrically interesting. But that is one person's opinion. I love the movie itself. I did not go wild over the whole score with all its small cues, just some of the main themes like Off the Missouri song and theme. I give it a 3 star and a good item for Tiomkin musicographers, but not a play and play again item.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red River, August 3, 2008
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V. Barnes (Birmingham, AL) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
I was very happy to see this CD, as I had been looking for this music for a long time, and learned that it was not available until recently.

Red River has, for many years been my all time favorite film, with great performances by John Wayne et al. Part of its appeal has been the outstanding score by Dimitri Tiomkin. This is a very good recording, and is an impressive rendition of Tiomkin's score, which does justice to the original in the film. I rate this as highly satisfactory.

Robert S. Barnes
Birmingham, Alabama
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT RECONSTRUCTION OF A CLASSIC SCORE at a VERY LOW PRICE!, August 16, 2008
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
Don't let the 37 tracks deter you - It plays like an uninterrupted "Western Symphony".
The direction of William Stromberg & the Moscow Symphony Choir & Orchestra is "as American as apple pie"(although it would have been nice to have had the song's lyrics in the notes - which are very informative in any case).
The recorded sound is exemplary - At the low price that this landmark film score is going for, GRAB IT - IT'S A TREASURE!
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit more than we need..., March 27, 2005
This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
John Morgan does an admirable job of reconstructing the 1948 film score to this John Wayne epic. However so much is unnecessary in the first place. This release features 37 tracks, over an hour long.
Much is over dressed snipets of improvised folk songs neatly diguised by Tiomkin's orchestrations. The most successful original theme of the "Main title" reoccurs a couple times throughout, but it is not enough to carry the score. For lovers of action music this disc is for you! Was it really necessary to use three sets of timpani to illustrate a "Stampede", what we get in sound is a muddled mess. The recording suffers a little like other releases from this series in dynamic range. Some of the more tranquil tracks come off better. Most of the cues are so short, that other than knowing "Red River" is a western score there is little continuity. I think this score would of worked better as a suite with some fat cut out, coupled with other suites from the prolific Dimitri Tiomkin.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Tiomkin Light, July 11, 2014
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
The conductor failed to grasp the nuances of Tiomkin's score. Dmitri Tiomkin had his own unigue style that if not followed exactly, simply does not have the same impact.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic movie with a classic score., June 20, 2014
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Diamond Dave "Dave" (Rockton, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Red River: Film Music Classics (Audio CD)
Another great score by Dmitri Tiomkin to set the musical tones for scenes in this classic John Wayne western.This is one of the Duke's best performances along with The Searchers . The movie demanded a great score to match the action and acting skills performed. Tiomkin delivered as usual a powerful and eloquent masterpiece.
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Red River: Film Music Classics
Red River: Film Music Classics by Dmitri Tiomkin (Audio CD - 2005)
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