“Masters and Commanders” – Music from Seafaring Film Classics: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Buccaneer, The Sea Hawk, Master and Commander, Mutiny on the Bounty, Captains Courageous, Plymouth Adventure, Anne of the Indies, Windjammer & others – Telarc

by | Aug 12, 2007 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

“Masters and Commanders” – Music from Seafaring Film Classics: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Buccaneer, The Sea Hawk, Master and Commander, Mutiny on the Bounty, Captains Courageous, Plymouth Adventure, Anne of the Indies, Windjammer, The White Dawn, Captain from Castile, Captain Blood, Cutthroat Island – Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/ Erich Kunzel – Telarc Multichannel SACD-60682, 61:42 ****:

Would you believe this is the 84th album Kunzel and his Cincinnati forces have recorded for Telarc?  They certainly have taken the banner of the nation’s most popular pops orchestra away from The Boston Pops. Although swashbuckling high-seas-type movies are not at the top of my must-see list, I found the variety of hearty musical fare in this program more appealing than some of Kunzel’s past collections. Among the past Cincinnati Pops albums have been two with the titles “Victory at Sea,” and “Sailing,” so this type of program is nothing new to them.

Some of the greatest composers for the silver screen are represented in these stirring themes, including Korngold, Elmer Bernstein, Franz Waxman and Miklos Rozsa. A nice variety is added to the selection by including some themes from films as far back as the 1940s.  I’m afraid the scores by Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer for two of the current Pirates of the Caribbean series don’t measure up to the high standards of the other composers, but all of the 18 tracks are performed with gusto and displayed in the best 5.0 surround you could want – probably  sounding better on your home system than they do in the theater. My favorite tracks were Rozsa’s Mayflower theme from Plymouth Adventure and Korngold’s suite for Errol Flynn’s sail-ripping character in The Sea Hawk.  If you like your movie experiences to leave a salty taste in your mouth, this latest Kunzel collection is just the ticket, mateys!

 – John Sunier

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