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Battle Of The Bulge
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Audio CD, Soundtrack, Limited Edition, February 19, 2013
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First time ever released on CD in the USA, this is the reissue of the original Warner Bros Records LP. This is a limited edition release that will make it a must-have for Golden Age film score collectors. Frankel was one of the leading musical figures of postwar Britain, as a composer for the concert hall and for films. Before that, he was a leading jazz violinist and arranger, as well as musical director for numerous shows. His eight symphonies - composed between 1958 and 1972 - earned him a reputation as one of the leading symphonists of his generation and built on the respect already generated by numerous chamber works and the Violin Concerto of 1951. His film and TV credits ultimately numbered over 100, of which most were feature films, many of them regarded as classics (including The Seventh Veil and Battle of the Bulge). Frankel was also active as a teacher of composition, spending the years 1946-56 as the leading professor at the Guildhall School of Music. Limited edition of 3,000.
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The current 2012 CD reissue reflects the nine track line up of the Warner Brothers single LP. It was great to listen to the original recording again as my cassette copy of the imported record album fell apart decades ago. Benjamin Frankel's masterpiece soundtrack goes hand in hand with the film.
I earlier mentioned the 2000 Werner Andreas Albert re-recording of BATTLE OF THE BULGE. Albert and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra produced a largely flawless rendition of the original score. Despite its high quality the Queensland recording was still still not Benjamin Frankel's, nor the New Philharmonia Orchestra's version. About the only shortcoming of the new Frankel CD release is that it is limited to nine tracks. The 2000 Queensland release carries all 18 soundtrack cuts.
The new CD also has the unaltered film version of Panzerlied. The Queensland version would have been good except that Werner Andreas Albert opted to add an Oompah Band intro to the marching song, as well as overlap the vocal harmonies. What I ended up creating was a hybrid playlist on my MP3 player using all of the original Benjamin Frankel recordings and then filling in the gaps with the remaining Werner Andreas Albert version.
The re-released BATTLE OF THE BULGE CD also contains a nice little booklet about Benjamin Frankel and the movie music. The booklet also includes some nice film stills.
Long overdue, but finally available. The original recoding is still the best.
Still, since I missed getting the LP back when, and only had an off air cassette recording until the VHS finally came out, I'm glad to finally have this available.