Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt


Heading out to see the folks once again today... they have a bed to put together. I did, however, have the chance to clean up my LJ sidebar by putting most of the materials on the links list into its own entry to free up space over here. It also allowed me to be a bit more descriptive when necessary.

I had linked to what is the prototype for my current film music mix notes for Film Score Monthly about six years ago or so when they were asking people to do so. I wrote about a two platter Errol Flynn mix that I had made for minidisc. While this project is long since gone (though I might revisit it; MDs had the same capacity as CDs do), I thought I would include it here for the sake of completeness.

I like the idea of sharing with people the mixes that we make. It gives us an idea as to how other people listen to music, what they listen for, and, to some extent, why.

As should be no surprise to those of you who frequent the message board, I am a big fan of the old-school swashbuckling epic. And there was no greater swashbuckler than Errol Flynn. His screen image was one that has has no current analogue in Hollywood. In addition to these sword-and-tights films, however, Flynn also made war films, Westerns and literary dramas. His full range was rarely appreciated (least of all by himself), but his body of work speaks for itself.

Charles Gerhardt recorded an album of themes from his films in his series for RCA, and it is a great album, but when I found myself creating mixes on MiniDisc for myself, I found that, although it is a superb album, I wanted to flesh it out with more recordings. Initially, I was going to compile the swashbucklers themselves, but soon found that there was too much good music I would have to eliminate. There was so much great music, and the Gerhardt album was only a sampling. One 80 minute disc gradually became full, and I found that I had enough great material for a second disc of equal length.

In compiling my mix, I decided that while I would use different recordings by various orchestras, I would choose a particular recording for each film, and thereby give each suite its own sense of unity. While I originally intended to break up the different recording forces, I ended up deciding that the overall flow of the album should take precedence over this idea.

One final note: the tracks listed here are as they appear on the discs I made, not the source material. Because of the track labeling capability of the MiniDisc, I was able to divide single-track suites into their individual components, which allowed me instant access to any of the main highlights of the album.

Transcription Note: Should I, in fact, recreate this program, I would most likely not cut each piece into so many tracks. On the MD it was easy enough to do so and a cinch to navigate, but it would turn the discs into mush in the mp3 format.

The Adventures of
Errol Flynn

VOLUME ONE - 38 Tracks (80:23)


Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Main Title (1:17) - 2. Don Juan (0:27) - 3. The Brocade (0:31)
Serenade (1:17) - 5. Parade Into London (2:44) - 6. Don Juan and the Queen (0:29) - 7. Finale (2:45)

From the album "Captain Blood: Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn" RCA

One of Steiner's best scores, this colorful romp is an exciting mix of large-scale symphonic music and more intimate material for the dalliances of the title character. "Parade Into London" is an amazing cue, full of life, that must be heard. The notoriety of the main theme (which has been used since in "Zorro: the Gay Blade" and "The Goonies") made it an obvious choice to open the album.

II - CAPTAIN BLOOD (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)

Richard Kaufman/Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Main Title (2:48) - 2. Slaves, Arabella and Blood (6:57) - 3. Tortuga (1:45)
Port Royal, Island of Magra, English and Pirate's Ship (5:06) - 5. Pirate's Flag (1:39) - 6. Finale (1:34)

From the album "Captain Blood: Swashbucklers" Marco Polo

This is a cornerstone of both Flynn and Korngold's career; it was their first collaboration with Michael Curtiz, and the film was successful enough to make Flynn a star. The music itself is bright and energetic; with the suite here concentrating on the more romantic side of the score.


Richard Kaufman/Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra

Main Title (3:50) - 2. Calcutta (4:39) - 3. Waltz (2:17) - 4. Love Theme (2:09)
March (2:16) - 6. Moonlight (1:32) - 7. "Charge!" (9:56) - 8. Epilogue (1:17) - 9. End Cast (0:42)

From the album "Historical Romances" Marco Polo

Bold and percussive, this score features a great march theme. A broad cross-section of the score is represented here, with a highlight in the lengthy and exciting "'Charge'" cue.


Paul Bateman/City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

Main Title (0:47) - 2. Essex's Victory March (0:49) - 3. Elizabeth (1:37)
Defeat in Ireland (1:03) - 5. Love Theme (2:15) - 6. Finale (0:42)

From the album "Swordsmen of the Silver Screen" Silva Screen

Essentially a suite of music from the film, this was actually an overture arranged by Korngold of the music. Again, there are exciting themes interwoven with beautiful material for the love story.

V - THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)

Charles Gerhardt/ National Philharmonic Orchestra

Main Title (1:34) - 2. Flirtation* (2:14) - 3. The Boys Go to Play (0:54) - 4. Epilogue (2:19)

From the album "Elizabeth and Essex: Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold," RCA
Except * from the album "The Prince and the Pauper" Varese Sarabande

This is a playful score, more whimsical than any of the previous selections, and a delightful addition to the album. The cue "Flirtation" was recorded by Gerhardt for one of his "Reader's Digest" albums and was released by Varese on a compilation of those recordings. Gerhardt was reportedly disappointed that this cue was never a part of the original "Elizabeth and Essex" album.

VI - DODGE CITY (Max Steiner)

Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Warner Bros. Fanfare and Main Title (1:34) - 2. Iron Horse (0:58) - 3. The Open Prairie (1:17)
Sunday School Picnic (1:31) - 5. Wade and Abbie (0:58) - 6. Abbie's Theme (1:38)

From the album "Captain Blood: Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn" RCA

To close out the first disc in this album, I decided that a complete departure from all the previous costume dramas would be in order; to that end, I used Steiner's score for this Western (one of the few Flynn ever did), which is played in a much more modern vein. The score is pure Americana, and the suite presents the very pretty music heard for Flynn's love interest.

VOLUME TWO - 36 Tracks (80:32)

VII - ANOTHER DAWN (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)

Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Night Scene (5:48)

From the album "The Sea Hawk: Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold" RCA

Opening the second disc is some more pleasant romance music from Maestro Korngold. The idea behind this is to relax the listener a bit before riling them up with...

VIII - THE SEA HAWK (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)

Varujan Kojian/Utah Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

Main Title (1:54) - 2. The Spanish Galleass and Galley Slaves (2:01) - 3. The Albatross (1:58)
Dona Maria and Captain Thorpe (4:59) - 5. Elizabeth's Throne Room (1:25) - 6. Coach Ride to Dover (2:20)
Jungle March (2:07) - 8. Panama Battle (1:24) - 9. Escape from the Galley (2:21)
Fight on Deck (1:14) - 11. "Strike for the Shores of Dover" (0:49) - 12. Reunion (3:41)
Thorpe Confronts Wolfingham and the Duel (2:38) - 14. Fanfare (0:24) - 15. Finale (1:02)

From the album "The Sea Hawk: Original Motion Picture Score" Varese Sarabande

A blueprint used by John Williams for Star Wars, this is the score for one of the most successful Flynn/Curtiz/Korngold collaborations. The stark black-and-white photography (with a sequence in sepia) of Sol Polito reflected a much more serious film than the more whimsical The Adventures of Robin Hood (see below), but that's not to say that the film was not a great deal of fun. Korngold's classic score has the same building blocks as Captain Blood, but has a flavor all its own. The final duel, although the elements are the same as in Robin Hood, plays out against a much darker canvas, and the finale is a rousing call to arms (the film was produced while England was deep into World War II).

IX - OBJECTIVE: BURMA! (Franz Waxman)

Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Parachute Drop (2:17)

From the album "Captain Blood: Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn" RCA

Percussive and dissonant, this action cue from Waxman's dramatic World War II score brings the listener up-to-date, so to speak.


Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Morning (0:32) - 2. The Farewell Before the Battle (2:33) - 3. Preparation and March (1:04)
The 7th Cavalry: Garry Owen (1:05) - 5. The Sioux and the Battle of Little Big Horn (2:40)
Custer's Last Stand (0:43)

From the album "Captain Blood" Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn" RCA

Another of Steiner's great achievements, They Died With Their Boots On was written for the bizarro Hollywood version of the story of General Custer. Regardless of how infantile the politics of the film might be, the score is extremely exciting. Steiner wrote some georgeous music for the (improbable) love interest, and supplements his own action music with "Garry Owen," an actual march that was reportedly a favorite of Custer's. The result is captivating.

XI - THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (Erich Wolfgang Korngold)

Varujan Kojian/Utah Symphony Orchestra

Prologue (1:36) - 2. Robin Enters the Great Hall (0:55) - 3. Escape from the Castle (4:15)
Robin Meets Little John (1:38) - 5. Robin and Friar Tuck (1:25) - 6. Ambush in Sherwood (3:03)
Feast in the Forest (2:53) - 8. Robin and Marian (3:13) - 9. The Archery Tournament (3:04)
Coronation Procession (3:07) - 11. Duel and Victory (3:28)

From the album "The Adventures of Robin Hood: Original Motion Picture Score" Varese Sarabande

Where The Sea Hawk was serious, this score is joyful. The zestful spirit is communicated by a main theme so infectious, the listener will find themselves humming it to themselves for days. There are also some more pastoral moments in the score, each element giving the whole a perfect balance. Listening to this score on headphone while walking will add a spring to one's step.

XII - THE SUN ALSO RISES (Hugo Friedhofer)

Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra

Prologue: Solenelle (2:30) - 2. The Lights of Paris (2:12)

From the album "Captain Blood" Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn" RCA

To conclude this two hour, forty minute musical journey, we once again leave the world of costume drama. Friedhofer's music for this film is sophisticated and modern ("Solenelle" would presage some of John Barry's awe-inspiring music for the Bond films), starting with a mounting musical sequence that gives way to an attractive tonal painting of Paris as seen through Hemingway's eyes. This resolves the album on a pensive note, allowing us to review the different universes invoked along the way.

Tags: erich wolfgang korngold, film music, max steiner, my mixes
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