Joshua Gizelt (swashbuckler332) wrote,
Joshua Gizelt

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"Is this an audience... a good night hug with kisses... or an ambush?"

While John Barry got into scoring films through the composition arrangment of "The James Bond Theme" and his subsequent scoring of the bulk of that Eon film series, over the course of the 60s he broke away from being typecast as a composer of jazzy adventure scores with such works as Zulu (1964) and King Rat (1965), but it was The Lion In Winter, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Original Score of 1968 (his second after Born Free, 1966) that truly opened the door for the latter portion of his film composing career. Barry soon became a name associated more with character-oriented dramas, winning subsequent Oscars for such films as Out of Africa (1985) and Dances With Wolves (1990) and being nominated for Mary, Queen of Scots (1971) and Chaplin (1992).

The Lion In Winter was the first among a string of costume dramas Barry scored, featuring his trademark long-form themes and unique (and instantly recognizable) orchestration. Barry's touch became a mark of class; the films included here were all prestige pictures, with outstanding casts often providing some of their best work; Katherine Hepburn won an Oscar for her performance in The Lion In Winter and Peter O'Toole got a nomination (the film also introduced Anthony Hopkins) and Vanessa Redgrave received a nomination for Mary, Queen of Scots. Michael Caine still counts The Last Valley as one of the best films he'd been involved with. Even the mixed reviews that Robin and Marian initially received have gradually given way over time to an affection for the film as it only becomes more and more poignant over the years as its two principle leads, Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn, recede further and further into the past, in many ways becoming as much legends as the characters they play.

Albums of the original soundtrack recordings of all of these scores are now available. I personally have owned The Lion In Winter and The Last Valley on LP for many years, but the former was released in the mid-90s on CD (Sony Legacy CK 66133) and the latter recently (Intrada Special Collection 46), and the album version of Mary, Queen of Scots has also been at long last released (Intrada Special Collection 59). The original score tracks of Robin and Marian were put out only a few months ago (Prometheus PCR 522), but, while I was certainly grateful to have it at long last, I was disappointed by the sonics of that disc. Indeed, even the otherwise fine sounding Lion In Winter had a few moments in the loud passages where the sound would break up ("Media Vita In Morte Sumus" being the most obvious example).

However, Silva re-recorded several of these scores in a row several years ago, the complete score for The Lion in Winter with a suite from Mary, Queen of Scots (Silva Screen SSD1131), the complete score for The Last Valley (SSD 1133), and the world premiere release of the complete score of Robin and Marian (SSD 1134).¹ I had very much enjoyed their recording of Barry's Raise the Titanic (Silva Screen SSD 1102), and so I purchased Robin and Marian specifically because the issues I had with the original score tracks, and figured as long as I was doing that, I may as well check out their recordings of The Lion In Winter and The Last Valley as well, particularly the latter, as I often considered it to be one of Barry's most intricate scores. I found the recordings to have been quite well-done, with Nicholas Raine, who was a former orchestrator for Barry, providing the correct sound and evincing excellent performances. I was, I must admit, floored by the recording of The Last Valley, which not only opened out some of the choral portions (not being recorded to fit the film), but also by the hypnotic quality of many of the tracks not included on the soundtrack album. I also incorporated two performances from the suite of The Lion In Winter material from Cinema Choral Classics (Silva Screen SLKD 6015).

The concept for this album, a collection of scores from films with a medieval setting by a particular composer, did not, in fact, originate as a project of John Barry music. This idea came to me as I was listening to the various recordings and came together quite quickly, but I was initially canvassing scores for another composer, and the resulting disc will be a companion piece to this one. Barry has a distinctive style to begin with, but there is something about these scores that is unique, even among his own oeuvre. The result is a disc of sweet melodies and eerie passages, fiery choral passages and calm interludes that I challenge anybody to listen to and not come away with humming at least one of Barry's themes.

Special thanks to ehowton, who helped me with the disc artwork.

Music From

27 Tracks • 81:29

Side One

THE LION IN WINTER (The Lion In Winter) 2:18
DAWN IN SHERWOOD (Robin and Marian) 2:22
MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (Mary, Queen of Scots) 2:11
THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR (The Last Valley) 3:01
THE HERB GARDEN (The Lion In Winter) 4:08
BUT NOT THROUGH MY REALM (Mary, Queen of Scots) 4:44
BY THE STREAM (Robin and Marian) 4:11
ERICA AND THE CAPTAIN (The Last Valley) 2:09
PLANTAGENENT SONS (The Lion In Winter) 2:41
OVER THE WALL · ESCAPE (Robin and Marian) 3:47
VOGEL PERSUADES (The Last Valley) 4:22
ELIZABETH’S RIDE (Mary, Queen of Scots) 1:22

Side Two

RETURN TO ENGLAND (Robin and Marian) 3:45
CHINON · ELEANOR’S ARRIVAL (The Lion in Winter) 3:33
VIVRE ET MOURIR (Mary, Queen of Scots) 2:09
DO YOU LOVE ME? (Robin and Marian) 2:33
THE HOLY SHRINE (The Last Valley) 3:06
GOD DAMN YOU (The Lion In Winter) 4:24
MARY AND DARNLEY (Mary, Queen of Scots) 1:42
THE FIGHT MUST GO ON (Robin and Marian) 1:35
HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU MADE ME (The Lion In Winter) 2:51
THIS WAY, MARY (Mary, Queen of Scots) 3:22
JOHN BURSTS IN · THE END (Robin and Marian) 4:31
THE CAPTAIN AND VOGEL (The Last Valley) 3:13
WE’RE ALL JUNGLE CREATURES (The Lion In Winter) 3:07

Music Composed by JOHN BARRY

Original Text from The Lion In Winter Written by JAMES GOLDMAN
Latin Translations by DENNIS STEVENS

Text from The Last Valley Adapted from "Tränen des Vaterlandes" Written by ANDREAS GRYPHUS

Scores Reconstructed and Orchestrated by NICHOLAS RAINE

Orchestral Recordings
Engineered by JOHN LUARD TIMPERLEY Assisted by JAN HOLZNER at Smecky Studios, Prague

Choral Recordings
Engineered by MIKE ROSS-TREVOR at Sony Music Studios, London

    Side One
  1. THE LION IN WINTER (The Lion In Winter) 2:18
    The opening of this album was never a question for me. In addition to the fact that The Lion In Winter is the Oscar winner of the bunch, it is also an extremely powerful foot to start off on. The horns call out the main theme of the movie, followed by a thunderous choir singing of the apocalypse. Because I preferred the brisker pace of it, the primary performance here is from "The Lion In Winter Suite" as heard on Cinema Choral Classics, but in a few key places I tracked in the bassier timpani from the recording of the complete score. The choral text was written by the author of the play and screenplay James Goldman and translated into Latin by Denis Stevens.
    Regis regum rectissimi
    Prope est dies domini
    Dies irae et vindicate
    Tenebrarum et nebulae
    Dies que mirabilium
    Tonitrourum fortium
    Dies quoque angustiea
    Maeroris ac tristitae
    Day of the king most righteous
    The day is nigh at hand,
    Days of wrath and vengeance,
    And darkness on the land.
    Day of thick clouds and voices,
    Of mighty thundering,
    A day of narrow anguish
    and bitter sorrowing.
  2. ENTRY INTO THE LAST VALLEY (The Last Valley) 2:57
    The primary theme for The Last Valley is heard in this cue as Vogel (Omar Sharif) finds the valley, pristine and unravaged by war and Plague. The lyrical theme is counterpointed by eerie wordless choral passages. This track was one of two titled "The Last Valley" on the original LP; this is the original cue title as it appears on the recording of the complete score.

  3. DAWN IN SHERWOOD (Robin and Marian) 2:22
    The materia primoris for Robin and Marian is the beautiful love theme for the titular characters, and I wanted to introduce it slowly. Elements of it are heard throughout this pastoral cue depicting the Robin (Sean Connery), Marian (Audrey Hepburn) and his Merry Men awakening in the forest, but it is never on its own heard all the way through.

  4. MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (Mary, Queen of Scots) 2:11
    This is a concert arrangement for harp and harpsichord with passages for flute and strings of a theme that first appears as Mary falls in love with Bothwell (Nigel Davenport). This piece was titled as "Mary's Theme" on the original LP.

  5. THE THIRTY YEARS’ WAR (The Last Valley) 3:01
    This is the "Main Title Theme (Part I)" that was the opening from the film.² I retitled the track to be more reflective of the arresting animated title sequence. The choral text was adapted from Tränen des Vaterlandes by the poet Andreas Gryphius (1616 — 1664).
    Die Türme steh'n in Glut,
    die Kirch' ist umgekehret.
    Das Rathaüs legt im Graüs,
    die Starken sind zerhaun.
    Die Jungfern sind geschändt,
    und wo wir hin nur schaun
    is Feuer, Pest und tod.
    defr Herz und Geist durchfähret.
    The towers are on fire,
    the Church is cast down.
    The town hall lies in ruins,
    the strong are mamed.
    The Virgins raped,
    And wherever we look there is
    fire, plague and death
    that pierces heart and mind.
  6. THE HERB GARDEN (The Lion In Winter) 4:08
    Chiming bells lead to a serene a cappella passage heard during a conversation between Eleanor (Katherine Hepburn) and Richard (Anthony Hopkins). The bulk of this cue has a sense of stillness to it, but at the end of it the strings edge in to bring a slightly more dramatic tone to the closing.

  7. BUT NOT THROUGH MY REALM (Mary, Queen of Scots) 4:44
    This bouncy cue for Mary's (Vanessa Redgrave) arrival in Scotland focuses on the thematic material for her court and entourage. Initial roadshow presentations of the film used this piece as an overture for the film; the track here includes both material from the with this title on the LP but also "Journey to England."

  8. BY THE STREAM (Robin and Marian) 4:11
    In my interest in slowly introducing the love theme from this film, this combination of the tracks "First Love Theme" and "Second Love Theme" presents the theme in its most intimate and subdued state, led by flute. The title is derived from the cue name as seen on the Prometheus release.

  9. ERICA AND THE CAPTAIN (The Last Valley) 2:09
    This contemplative piece for strings and flute for the Captain (Michael Caine) and his shared attraction to Erica (Florinda Bolkan), who is the mistress of the patriarch Gruber (Nigel Davenport). The track, built out of variations on the Last Valley theme, is "The Captain Meets Erica/The Captain Wins Erica," which I retitled simply because I found the original name unweildy. The space between the two cues has been eliminated.

  10. PLANTAGENENT SONS (The Lion In Winter) 2:41
    This opens with the French horn call from "Geoffrey Arrives," but proceeds with "Media Vita In Morte Sumus." I mimicked the edit on the original album from a scene at the end of the film to Richard's joust at the beginning as the warrior prince contains his fury. However, instead of cutting out right there, I allowed the track to play out, which has an orchestral rendition of the "Media Vita," heard as Geoffrey conducts tactical maneuvers. This was only one of two tracks that I combined music from two areas of the same film, the other being "The Captain and Vogel" (track 26).
    Media vita in morte sumus In the midst of life, we are in death.
  11. OVER THE WALL · ESCAPE (Robin and Marian) 3:47
    Opening with rolling bass drums, this soon proves out to be an adventurous, playful track. It is again built out of elements of the love theme that only come together at the end of the cue.

  12. VOGEL PERSUADES (The Last Valley) 4:22
    A low male choir accompanies Vogel as he talks the Captain into preserving the village in the valley and to spend the winter there. This is actually a prospect that the weary Captain does not find unattractive, but to do this, he must kill three of his men, including the bloodthirsty Eskensen (Jack Shepard) to a sly variation on the main title theme, culminating in a harsh brass passage. This is the track "Why Not Winter In the Valley/The Death of Eskensen," again retitled for convenience. The space between the two cues has been eliminated.

  13. ELIZABETH’S RIDE (Mary, Queen of Scots) 1:22
    Side one closes with this equestrian track for Mary's escape from Holyrood to Hermitage and the clutches of Elizabeth (Glenda Jackson). This cue was the second part of the track "Escape from Bothwell" on the original LP.

  14. Side Two
  15. RETURN TO ENGLAND (Robin and Marian) 3:45
    Side two opens with the theme from Robin and Marian in its full form. This track is "The Ride To Sherwood/The Ride To Nottingham," the original version as I prefer it's more lyrical orchestration to the tinkling film version.

  16. CHINON · ELEANOR’S ARRIVAL (The Lion in Winter) 3:33
    This ethereal track is a major set-piece of The Lion In Winter marking the beginning of the challenge between Henry (Peter O'Toole) and Eleanor. The music reflects her euphoria at being allowed to emerge from her exile to come to the Christmas court. Once again, the choral text is by Goldman with Latin translations by Stevens:
    Regina Anglorum,
    Salus et vitae
    To Eleanor,
    Queen of the English,
    Health and life.
  17. VIVRE ET MOURIR (Mary, Queen of Scots) 2:09
    This delicate piece for lute, harpsichord, lute and strings was heard in the film's main title. Its simplicity mirrors Mary's innocence in hier marriage to Francis (Richard Denning).

  18. DO YOU LOVE ME? (Robin and Marian) 2:33
    Robin and Marian's love theme returns in a quieter setting. Once again I took the more descriptive title from the Prometheus release; orignally this track was called "Third Love Theme."

  19. THE HOLY SHRINE (The Last Valley) 3:06
    Eerie strings and male choir open this track, followed by a transcendental passage for female choir, bells and strings as the shrine is moved, saving the village from being found. This is "The Priest Prays for Guidance/The Shrine" on the Silva disc; I retitled it again to simplify.

  20. GOD DAMN YOU (The Lion In Winter) 4:24
    A furious Henry lashes out as Philip (Timothy Dalton) reveals to him the true depth of his son's treachery. A plaintive, broken variation on the opening fanfare is framed by powerful passages for brass and strings.

  21. MARY AND DARNLEY (Mary, Queen of Scots) 1:42
    Despite the brevity of the component tracks, this and the next two cuts on this disc play out as a single musical piece. This forbidding minor-mode cue represents Mary's stifling marriage to the sickly Darnley (Timothy Dalton), and does not appear on the original LP. The crescendo leads into...

  22. THE FIGHT MUST GO ON (Robin and Marian) 1:35
    ...the mounting tension of this cue heard as Robin prepares to face the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert Shaw) in single combat. This excerpt consists of the second half of the original track, taking us directly into...

  23. NIGHT BATTLE AT RHINEFELDEN (The Last Valley) 1:10
    ...the angry choir from The Last Valley's main title theme, returning as the Captain's forces are overwhelmed in battle.

  24. HOW BEAUTIFUL YOU MADE ME (The Lion In Winter) 2:51
    The continued power maneuverings and an emotionally charged confrontation with Alais (Jane Merrow) takes its toll on the beleagured Eleanor. This contemplative cue features writing for choir and strings, and is among the most haunting in the film.

  25. THIS WAY, MARY (Mary, Queen of Scots) 3:22
    This is a song version of "Mary's Theme," featuring a solos for violin and viola, with pleasing use of bells.

  26. JOHN BURSTS IN · THE END (Robin and Marian) 4:31
    This is the tragic final variation on the Robin and Marian love theme as Marian, realizing what the outcome of Robin's battle with the Sheriff will be, takes matters into her own hands in order to avoid losing him again, to the horror of Little John (Nicol Williamson). The love theme, now unfettered by fate, at long last plays out in full passionate mode. The pauses between the cues have been eliminated.

  27. THE CAPTAIN AND VOGEL (The Last Valley) 3:13
    The final appearance of music from The Last Valley is one of only two tracks on this compiliation that consists of two cues from different parts of a single film, the other being "Plantagenent Sons" (track 10). The componenent cues are "Departure for Rhinefelden" and "Vogel's Dream," the former of which was not on the original LP, the former was the second track titled "The Last Valley." A mournful version of the main theme is heard as the Captain and his soldiers leave the valley to return to war; where the original cue then has a sorrowful version of the Last Valley theme, this segues into a soaring rendition of that theme for Vogel convincing the villagers that God told him to move the shrine. By bringing in the earlier cue, I was able to bring a more optimistic tone to the conclusion of this track.

  28. WE’RE ALL JUNGLE CREATURES (The Lion In Winter) 3:07
    Henry finds himself unable to take the lives of his own sons, and finally bows to Eleanor's will, the music quietly allowing the dust to settle with wordless choir, strings and woodwinds. An ascending motif is introduced as with the question of his heir now settled, Henry feels a great weight lifted from him, and he joyfully bids his Queen farewell to a triumphant reprise of the main title fanfare. This final moment was the inspiration for the cover art (actually a still from the film that I applied effects to in order to make it look like a painting). The end of this track actually switches over to the Cinema Choral Classics recording once more to close the album with an additional crescendo not heard on the original score or the complete recording.

¹ — Silva Screen SSD 1132 was Gone With the Wind: The Essential Max Steiner Collection.
² — The track called "Main Title (Part II)" was recorded specifically for the album, and was essentially a re-working of the cue "The Villagers Defend the Shrine" from the film.

Tags: film music, john barry, my mixes
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