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Quo Vadis/Ben Hur. RPO/Rozsa [Best of, Soundtrack]

Miklos Rozsa Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Disc: 1
1. Prelude
2. Marcus And Lygia
3. Fertility Hymn
4. The Burning Of Rome
5. Petronius' Banquet/Mediation And Death
6. Ave Caesar
7. Chariot Chase
8. Assyrian Dance
9. Aftermath (Death Of Peter/Death Of Poppae/Nero's Suicide)
10. Hail Galba
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Fanfare To Prelude/Star Of Bethlehem/Adoration Of the Magi
2. Friendship
3. The Burning Desert
4. Arrius' Party
5. Rowing Of the Gallery Slaves
6. Parade Of the Charioteers
7. The Mother's Love
8. Return To Judea
9. Ring For Freedom
10. Leper's Search For the Christ
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Product Description

Quo Vadis & Ben-Hur [Import] [Soundtrack] [Audio CD] Rozsa, Miklos; Miklós Rózsa

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative of the Great Classics! April 17 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This was a most beautifully conceived and rendered. It is the voice of angels and inspirational. M Rozsa was a genius and his music a classic timeless entity.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Film score fans will enjoy this July 7 2007
By Larry VanDeSande - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
You probably know if you'll enjoy this before buying it since you've probably heard these selections before or heard short suites of the films on other Rozsa CDs. If none of that applies, this new 2-CD set constitutes about 40 minutes' music each from a pair of religious epics, "Quo Vadis" (1950) and "Ben Hur" (1957), with the composer conducting all the music that accompanied the films.

There are 12 selections from each film score; the music from each film is alloted one CD. Considering they could have gotten the entire thing onto one SACD or, by marginally increasing the speed of the recordings, onto one standard CD, this becomes something of an expensive proposition for barely more than 80 minutes of music.

Still, it is the original scores for the two movies, making these definitive recordings. Dutton Laboratories took the original London Phase 4 tapes and remastered them for these CDs. I did not notice much difference in terms of fidelity from the selections of "Ben Hur" and "Quo Vadis" I heard on Angel's "Film Scores of Miklos Rozsa" CD. The main advantage is completion, meaning the vocal scores with wordless choruses are also included.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus do the playing and singing. Alan Hamer of the Miklos Rozsa Society gives you five pages of notes on the production, Rozsa, and the scores. They give newcomers information about why this composer wrote such wonderful film scores during the golden age of religious epics on the big screen. The back page also includes a visual advertisement for other film scores available from Vocalion. All in all, fans of Rozsa won't be disappointed.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific! Aug. 21 2007
By Steven Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I second everything Larry wrote, except I give it five stars. For one thing, the original Ben-Hur soundtrack album is significantly bettered by the composer's remake on London/Decca -- better orchestra, better sound -- and add to this you get more of the score. Quo Vadis, probably less known, is an even bigger knockout of a score, and, again, you get more than stingy little excerpts. On the other hand, the two-CD price *is* annoying.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Best March 15 2008
By J. A. Retzer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first became aware of this recording in the mid-1980's when I stumbled across the LP version of the QUO VADIS score. It quickly became one of my favorites. I have searched and searched for it on CD ever since.

Rozsa's seminal score for this grand-daddy of all Biblical epics is one of the lost treasures of film scoring. From the massive chimes and chorus of the Main Title, through the crushing brass of the burning of Rome to the whispered chorus and organ of the finale -you could not ask for a better textbook introduction to the art of film scoring or the works of Miklos Rozsa.

This CD presents both the QUO VADIS and BEN HUR re-recordings on separate discs of this two-CD set. Both discs have a running time of about 44 minutes each -for a total of just over 88 minutes.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the late 1970s composer Miklos Rozsa took it upon himself April 22 2012
By Lou B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
to undertake new recordings of highlights from his scores to "Quo Vadis" and "Ben-Hur" with Decca Records and we are oh so fortunate he did because these are some of the best recordings of film music ever made by Rozsa. Now we have them both available as a 2 CD set from Vocalion with excellent sound quality. And the music here
is certainly deserving of this treatment.
The selection of music on the "Ben-Hur" album is nearly identical to that of the
original MGM Records album released at the time of the film but was conducted by Carlo Savina. There are some omissions but some additions as well. Gone are the "Naval Battle" and "Victory Parade" scenes but here he adds the "Star of Bethlehem", "Arrius' Party" and "Ring for Freedom" cues and they all sound marvelous. Rozsa's new "Friendship" cue is just as it was heard in the film and much better than the lighter version on the Savina album. "The Rowing of the Galley
Slaves" is much more thunderous and slightly faster in tempo but its nevertheless an
even more powerful piece here as never heard before.
"Parade of the Charioteers" is another welcome addition and is played beautifully
with gusto and power. You can't help but want to march along with it. It is small wonder why it is one of Rozsa's most popular pieces of music.
Another highlight is the new "Miracle and Finale" which is also the version as heard in the film and its so beautifully played I can't help but be moved by it. Its
an excellent representation of highlights from that film that I can't recommend enough.
"Quo Vadis" finally received a proper recording here with 12 selections virtually all of them being really heard for the first time. And its a truly great score, Rozsa's first foray into ancient Rome. The score as heard here also has many highlights and one of my great favorites is "Chariot Chase" a really exciting and rhythmic piece that has a motoric drive and intensity that only Rozsa could deliver.
"Petronius' Death" is a beautiful piece as the music wonderfully underscores the character's serene acceptance of his death. "Ave Caesar" is another powerhouse Rozsa
march as is "Hail Galba" which sounds stunning here and became even more famous for his use of it at the conclusion of the great chariot race in "Ben-Hur."
Rozsa recorded this score with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus some 27
years after the original soundtrack sessions with that same group and what a superb
performance it is. This album will make an excellent companion piece to the upcoming
Tadlow recording of the complete score. The only complaint I have about this set is
that it doesn't contain Christopher Palmer's very incisive liner notes which was one of the best points of the original release instead we have a mere 8 pages or so
of functional notes by Alan Hamer.
The "Ben-Hur" recording here is performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus and they equal the RPO in performance in every way. But I must say that this is not all the music from these films as one reviewer of this album states but
just highlights (12 tracks each). As for the price I consider it cheap considering the vast quality of this music. Rozsa was one of the greatest composers of our time and the cinema---and all of us----should consider ourselves grateful that he lent his enormous talents to it.
These are great recordings of great music and any music lover worth his salt should get this set. They would not be disappointed. I certainly wasn't.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best recordings of these scores under Rozsa's baton Feb. 25 2012
By A. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
These recordings have been issued before by Decca, but this 2007 two-disc joint reissue from Vocalion has been remastered and, apparently, as I have no direct comparison, sounds superior. Regardless, these recordings date from 1977 and 1978 -- the pinnacle of the analog era -- and were made in Decca's Phase 4 process. They are astoundingly clear and rich in sound.

The two scores are justifiably famous, having all but invented the "Hollywood epic" sound, massive and majestic. They are pillars of craftsmanship, but, and I would argue this is the case for 99% of all film music, I would also say they lack depth equivalent to their 2+ hour lengths -- they are to overwhelm, to awe, to beautify, but divorced from their filmic context I find that they outstay their welcome. These albums of suites, at just over 40 minutes each, are at an ideal length to appreciate the scope of Rozsa's achievements without being bludgeoned into stupefaction. All of the essential cues, from the rousing marches to the heavenly choruses, are included.

Obviously, if you are a Rozsa completionist die-hard and you absolutely must possess each and every second of music written for these pictures including unused alternates, these discs will not satisfy. But if you are simply an admirer of finely crafted orchestral music, and especially if you are an audiophile, Rozsa's recordings with the Royal and National Philharmonic Orchestras are highly, highly recommended.
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