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Sunset Boulevard Soundtrack

7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, November 19, 2002
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$34.95 $12.95

Editorial Reviews

Billy Wilder's 1950 classic is an unsettling exploration of Hollywood's heart of darkness--and a beguiling, cautionary horror film at heart. Like the best of that genre, it turns on an axis of human foibles--greed, ambition, delusion, narcissism--that aren't exactly metaphorical in Wilder's skilled hands. The director's musical accomplice, Franz Waxman, was hardly a stranger to the genre, either; his Bride of Frankenstein remains an undisputed classic. Hard to believe, but this glorious new digital recording of Waxman's Oscar®-winning music for Sunset Boulevard marks the first release of the film's complete soundtrack. Carefully evoking every detail and nuance in Waxman's masterful score, conductor Joel McNeely and producer Robert Townson have turned in one of their most rewarding classic film score re-creations yet, offering up a compelling Waxman who evokes Hollywood's golden age allure in one bar, then skewers it mercilessly the next. By turns romantic, mysterious, and thoroughly creepy, this Royal Scottish National Orchestra recording of Waxman's masterpiece should be a cornerstone of any serious collection of classic film music. --Jerry McCulley

1. Sunset Boulevard Prelude
2. Paramount Studio
3. Chase And Mansion
4. Norma Desmond
5. An Aging Actress
6. Reading The Script
7. The Strange Garden
8. Norma's Gallery
9. The Waxworks And The Bridge Game
10. Afternoon Outings
11. Sacrifice Of Self-Respect
12. The Old Bathing Beauty
13. Parading To Paramount
14. Old Friends
15. DeMille's Compassion
16. Norma's Suspicions
17. A New Interest And The Studio Stroll
18. Her First Husband
19. The Showdown
20. Farewell
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Performer: Franz Waxman, Joel McNeely, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
  • Audio CD (November 19, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000793VV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,456 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charles L. Cron on August 21, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a glorious recording of one of the most lyrical, haunting scores ever composed for a film. Each succeeding track is a treat for the ears, refreshing and invigorating. Neeley and Varese Sarabande should be congratulated for recording and releasing this hirtherto neglected gem.

In my opinion, though, the only part of the entire CD that doesn't work is the beginning of the "Waxworks" track - the score to this particular moment in the film (when Norma, watching herself onscreen, rises triumphantly to proclaim "I'll be up there again, so help me!") is one of the most powerful and recognizable images in filmdom. In the original, the music is strong, powerful and almost spine-tingling, but this moment on the CD is underwhelming and not fully realized. However, what is one misfire (totalling all of eight bars, at most) compared to the richness and texture of the rest of the recording?!

In short, if you love film music, you most likely love the score to SUNSET BOULEVARD - and if you love SUNSET BOULEVARD, then you will most likely love this recording, too.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reginald D. Garrard VINE VOICE on December 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not only can Norma Desmond's quote be applied to the stars of the past, it can be attached to the musical scores of Hollywood's Golden Age, pre-1960. For it was in the early half of the twentieth century when the pairing of film and music was at its apex.
For my money, no other score can best exemplify the art of film scoring than Waxman's dynamic accompaniment to Billy Wilder's gem. Part tragedy, part comedy, and dead-on-the-mark attack on the price of fame, the movie needed a score befitting its multi-layered story. Waxman provided just that: a work that is whimsical, deliberate, haunting, poetic, and reflective. There are also elements of American jazz, reminiscent of the music of Gershwin, who himself incorporated that musical form in many of his compositions.
It's no surprise that Varese-Sarabande would release such a priceless recording, spearheaded by Joel McNeely, one that obviously respects the work of the film scoring masters.
As far as selections go, each one is feast for the ears, with special note given to "The Comeback", the familiar cue heard as Desmond (Gloria Swanson) descends from the top of the staircase in expectation of the "fans" below.

Film historians must consider this among the top ten scores of all time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am autistic as such I am always the odd man out. I agree with the other lone reviewer that the Orchestra went a LITTLE OVER THE TOP with its interpretation of this Sunset Boulevard soundtrack reproduction. The difference between myself and the lone reviewer who gave this effort one star is I gave this Sunset Boulevard [Original Motion Picture Score] CD four stars out of five. I feel Mr. Waxmann was the MASTER, the Mistro and this is by far one of his best works in his vast galaxy of best works. What made Waxmann a master is exactly what distinguishes this soundtrack is a good but far from perfect copy of the original work. The original was crafted by the great man Waxmann himself and part of his mastery was he spoke with great controlled subtly in each of the individual pieces of music. The rapport Waxmann had with both the listener and the music was so much more than just personal it was intimate. Waxman created the Sunset Boulevard Soundtrack based on an intimacy he had with the work individually and collectively that no Orchestra no matter how good will ever reproduce with the exacting care and insight of Waxmann himself.

In listening to this version of Sunset Boulevard [Original Motion Picture Score] at very best you must always remember you are listening to this orchestra's best effort interpretation of the Sunset Boulevard [Original Motion Picture Score] Soundtrack. Art is not a assembly line of mass produced precision built replica's. Each artist in an orchestra puts a little of themselves in their music. Each artist responds to the limits of their unique gifts. The pure Waxmann version of Sunset Boulevard [Original Motion Picture Score] is a work of art frozen in time.
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By mydogsrock on January 2, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This recording seems to be more true to the film soundtrack than some others I have sampled. Would recommend this highly.
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