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Original Soundtrack

Korngold: The Private Lives Of Elizabeth And Essex

Format: CD   Release Date: 03/10/1998
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The movie The Private Lives of Elizabeth Essex was an interesting failure on the part of Warner Bros. studios, an attempt to put its top male (Errol Flynn) and female (Bette Davis) stars into a film that would intersect neatly with the studio historical biographies (The Story of Louis Pasteur, etc.). It didn't quite work as either a historical drama or a Flynn action vehicle, ending up like a grimmer companion movie to the same studio's The Prince and the Pauper, but one thing that did work was the music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The most operatic of all his scores for Warner Bros., it features his most elaborate musical constructions, from the lengthy but richly developed fanfare to the quieter passages depicting the love, jealousy, and treachery the Queen and her would-be consort find themselves surrounded by at court. As a more psychologically oriented subject than most of Korngold's other scores for Errol Flynn's movies, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex is deeper and darker than most of his surrounding work and lends itself to very serious listening, more akin to his concert pieces. The entire score is virtually an opera without words, divided up into six neatly constructed suites in this recording by the Munich Symphony Orchestra under conductor Carl Davis. The playing is excellent and the whole project is like a gift to Korngold fans, representing virtually every note of music in the score. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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