Miklos Rozsa is one of Hollywood's best known composers. His training was in the classical repertoire, which is evident in his scores for films. While his heart was in the symphonic and choral worlds, most of his better known music was for film. Perhaps this is why his music fits so well to some of Hollywood's greatest epic films, and why arrangements of his music seem to be at home in large symphonic halls performed by the world's greatest orchestras.
Erich Kunzel, conducting the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform three musical suites of Rozsa's music in arrangements started by the composer. The three film scores that have been arranged in suite form are the three of MGM's greatest large scale works: BEN-HUR, QUO VADIS, and KING OF KINGS. Overall, Kunzel and the Pops do a magnificent job in this recording and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does the job listeners have come to expect from this ensemble over the years. Kunzel, who was one of the collaborators that completed the arrangements begun by Rozsa, conveys his love and appreciation in his conducting. The arrangements also keep the spirit of the three films, and listening to these arrangements brings back scenes from these films which are examples of Hollywood at what may be its best, if not its grandest.
This recording of film music by Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops is different from his earlier recordings of Hollywood classics. The suites are arranged by composer and not the orchestra's arrangers. In this recording the music is very similar to what is heard in the films, and are not themes of the music in pop arrangements as is the case of the HOLLYWOOD'S GREATEST HITS collections or the Disney collections which gives this collection more of a classical orientation rather than a pop style.