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King of Kings Original recording remastered, Soundtrack

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack, March 5, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

To call Hungarian-born film composer Miklós Rózsa the musical king of historical epics would hardly be hyperbole; Ben-Hur alone might have earned him the title. Recorded just two years after Hur, Rózsa's score to MGM's typically grand retelling of Christ's life was a worthy, sweeping orchestral bookend to the studio's previous Biblical-themed success. But its original soundtrack release was another matter: a vastly inferior European recording that crudely cut together but 40 minutes of Rózsa's musical cues. This richly annotated Turner Classic Movies/Rhino Records double-disc corrects that shortcoming (and an early '90s abridged version of the original score) and then some, collecting together for the first time Rózsa's complete MGM studio recordings for the film. Mastered from the studio's original multitracks, the sound is nothing short of spectacular, the sweeping scope of Rózsa's cues a tribute to what often seems a dying art form. Indeed, the melodic themes and dramatic, orchestral thunder here could power a half-dozen contemporary CGI-fueled actioners. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Prelude
  3. Roman Legions
  4. The Elders/Sanctuary
  5. The Scrolls/Subjagation
  6. Road To Bethlehem/The Nativity
  7. The Slaughter Of Innocents
  8. Joseph & Mary
  9. Pontius Pilate's Arrival
  10. John The Baptist
  11. Revolt/Barabbas' Escape
  12. Baptism Of Christ/Sadness And Joy
  13. The Last Temptation Of Christ
  14. The Chosen
  15. Herod's Feast
  16. Miracles
  17. The Hovel
  18. Parable Of The Seed
  19. Mary Madalene/Answer From A Stone
  20. The Blessing
  21. Casting Out The Demon
  22. Woman Of Sin
  23. John's Message
  24. Jugglers & Tumblers/Herod's Desire
  25. Salome's Dances
  26. Christ's Answer/The Beheading Of John
  27. Salome's Dance #6 (deleted reprise)
  28. Mount Galilee/Sermon On The Mount/Love Your Neighbor
  29. The Law Of The Prophets

Disc: 2

  1. The Lord's Prayer
  2. The Disciples
  3. Barabbas' Plan
  4. Entr'acte
  5. Premonition
  6. Jesus Enters Jerusalem/A Tempest In Judea/Defeat/Phalanx/False
  7. Judas Sees Caiphas/Gethsemane
  8. Agony In The Garden/Judas' Kiss
  9. Herod's Castle Trumpet
  10. Christ Before Herod
  11. The Scourging Of Christ/Crown Of Thorns
  12. Via Dolorosa/Christ Bearing His Cross
  13. Last Words Of Christ/Golgotha/The Pieta/The Sepulcher/Resurrection
  14. Epilogue


Product Details

  • Conductor: Miklos Rozsa
  • Composer: Miklos Rozsa
  • Audio CD (March 5, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Rhino
  • Run Time: 168 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006311P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,697 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Here, at last, is the legendary Miklos Rozsa's COMPLETE score to the 1961 biblical epic KING OF KINGS, beautifully restored and presented by the people at Turner and Rhino. Those of us who love this score were subjected to an LP in the 1960s that only contained a fraction of the score. When KING OF KINGS finally arrived on CD, there was more of the score available, but it all sounded dreadful. Now, the errors of the past have been rectified, and all the beauty and nuance of Rozsa's music is here, and thensome! There are cues included here that weren't even in the film itself (as released). This is a true treasure for anyone who loves great film music, with incredible sound (hard to believe this was recorded 40+ years ago) and a beautiful package that lovingly re-creates the original souvenir program that accompanied the old roadshow presentations of this epic masterpiece. Grab this one, and you won't be able to stop playing it!
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Format: Audio CD
This is simply one of the most beautiful scores ever written! You can even hear that todays composers, like John Williams, are influenced by Miklos Rozsa's music. A fitting soundtrack to one of the best Bible adaptations for the big screen. This is a MUST for every collector!
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Format: Audio CD
I think was probably one of the last people to purchase the original deluxe edition of this disc in vinyl before MGM stopped making it. I paid about as much for it as I did for this wonderful new release.I even had the souvenier program that came with it. Only problem with the one in the new set is the very small print. Anyway, the newly remastered disc is a true masterpiece. I didnt realize how much music had been eliminated from the original recording,even though I purchased the video several years ago. I particularly liked some of the background information,which pretty much summed up my feelings about the movie being underappreciated for years. The same can certainly be said for this wonderous CD!
Bravo!
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Format: Audio CD
...To paraphrase Lucius the Centurion. I actually wasn't that enthused about the idea of a new KOK. I thought I'd heard all the music through the previous Sony CD. I ordered this set mainly out of a sense of duty as a dedicated Rozsaphile---but boy am I glad I did. Not only is the sound vastly superior to the Sony, and without the latter's distortion, but there is so much more music here, and better sequenced, plus of course all the outtakes. This is just a brilliant set. Rozsa was a total genius, and this is music of stunning quality, all written for a film he freely admitted was not his favourite (though I personally feel it's vastly underrated). Just imagine how good the music might have been if he'd liked the film! But no, the truth is Rozsa simply gave his all to these historical projects because he loved history and wrote, when he felt the films were lacking, a score to the historical events of his imagination. Here I believe he created a worthy companion to Ben-Hur, something admirably different but worthy to stand alongside that magnum opus. Anyone who knows his film music will not rest until he has this set in his collection.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Miklos Rozsa was the last of the Master Composers from Hollywood's "Golden Age". This score was written just 2 years after his masterpiece, Ben-Hur (possibly the best movie score ever composed.) It was an amazing achievement to come up with such original music considering he was revisiting the same genre with similar material so soon.

This double CD set contains ALL the music Miklos wrote for this movie. Although the movie was quite long and a little drawn out in places, this CD set is pure joy. The textures Miklos wrote are lush and exhilarating, the melodies gorgeous and the harmonies have his typical stirring dominant bass line. The restored sound is breathtaking - it beats all other issues of this music.

If you're a fan of the immortal Miklos Rozsa, then throw away all previous recordings of this score and buy this set. You definately wont regret it. It is an amazing music time-trip back to the ancient world via Hollywood.
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Format: Audio CD
There isn't much to be said that hasn't been said in the reviews below. Rozsa is one of those composers who could define the film with his score instead of the other way around, and this music does just that. There are themes abound, plenty of great brass writing, lovely wordless choir, and certainly lots of fast-paces action music to be found, all in great sound (though not quite as good as Ben Hur).

If there's any complaint, it's the price. But really, it's probably better to spend money on great music like this, than music for a movie that noone will remember in two years.
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Format: Audio CD
Miklos Rozsa was one of the grand masters of epic film music. "King of Kings" ranks high as the best of his scores, a film score that is awesome, inspiring, and powerfully moving. I think "Ben-Hur," is his best score, possibly the best film score ever written for an epic film, but "King of Kings" is also superb. Rozsa, born in Hungary, weaves his narrative themes of the birth of Christ and the music powerfully drives this famous tale. The emotional force of the music is overwhelming, with brutal Roman Marches, choral music and themes, and tender loving themes of Mary and Jesus. Again, this score was out in just excerpts but now the entire score can be listened to and enjoyed for all the power its composer infused into it. Miklos Rozsa was for decades, the high standard bearer for epic film scores. Many musical themes in "King of Kings" echo "Ben-Hur" and this is understandable as they deal with similar stories.Fans of great film music will enjoy this double CD for its religious themes, tonal beauties and great power.Rozsa takes us back into ancient history and brings that history alive. Very few composers have equaled what Rozsa accomplished. Highly recommended and also buy "Ben-Hur" and "El Cid" to listen to Miklos Rozsa at the top of his art of composing film music.
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