The Film Scores and Original Orchestral Music of George Martin –  Berlin Music Ensemble conducted by Craig Leon  – Atlas Realisations CD ARCD008 (11/10/17) *** 1/2

Familiar and never heard music by the iconic George Martin

This is a most welcome and overdue disc of the music of George Martin. This recording collects —for the first time—the major orchestral works of iconic composer, arranger and producer Martin. Performed by the Berlin Music Ensemble conducted by Craig Leon, the album features music from the films Yellow Submarine, Live and Let Die and the previously unrecorded choral and orchestral score for The Mission. Also included are the Overture to Under Milk Wood, the suite Three American Sketches and other previously unreleased original compositions.

Martin was, of course, a lot of the composing power behind the Beatles, and he lushly scored several of their breakthrough albums and augmented and outright composed the music for their films, including A Hard Days Night and Yellow Submarine. As mentioned, he also composed the music for the Bond film, Live and Let Die.

His talent was prodigious. Martin produced 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States.

This album makes a nice tribute to Martin, who died in 2016.

Some of the tracks have never been recorded before, including Martin’s Three American Sketches for Violin and Orchestra, and his original sketches for the film The Mission. His music was never used, and Ennio Morricone went on to record the s  film qsoundtrack.

This is a very nice collection of Martin’s work, and it shows he had a lot more versatility than was generally known.  We get the familiar Beatles and Bond music, but his classically  based American Sketches are very listenable.

The recording was done in Berlin, and it’s a solid production, with a good stereo image, and very nice sounding strings.

I don’t know how much more of Martin’s music we haven’t heard, but I’d be pleased to hear it.


—Mel Martin