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.