Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Elmer Gantry: Original MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack [Enhanced CD]
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
The sweet notes of redemption, the rhythms of lust, and the cacophony of damnation--this is the paradoxical fanfare André Previn captures to complement the fire and brimstone of Richard Brooks's film about that demented pr... more »
The sweet notes of redemption, the rhythms of lust, and the cacophony of damnation--this is the paradoxical fanfare André Previn captures to complement the fire and brimstone of Richard Brooks's film about that demented preacher of literary lore. Previn's musical showmanship is as feisty as that of the movie's title character--a spectacular passion play about the war between blasphemous brass and deceptively tender strings. Here, the staid hymns of revivalists, the orchestral maneuvers connoting the American heartland, the uneasy interludes into melancholy, and the sleazy textures of what could best be termed "whore jazz" interweave in a vibrant and villainous tour from churches to bordellos. The Dixieland version of "Onward Christian Soldiers" alone tells us that God is pissed, if he exists at all! --Joseph Lanza
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Andre Previn taps in on America
gobirds2 | New England | 11/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was never a proponent of Andre Previn's film scores. I grew up with composers like Elmer Berstein, Maurice Jarre, John Barry and Jerry Goldsmith. Who was this Andre Previn? Here is a guy with 13 Academy Award Nominations resulting in 4 Oscars by 1973. I knew he scored "The Fortune Cookie" because I had seen it in 1966 and later he married Mia Farrow. He was born in Berlin, Germany and worked in Hollywood mostly scoring musicals and lightweight fluff. That was it. I used to get the impression that he was Hollywood's nerd of the composers. That may be correct. I don't know. However when I first saw "Bad Day at Black Rock" I was surprised to see his name on the composer credit. That was an effective score. I had seen "Elmer Gantry" several times before I eventually noticed his name on those credits. It was interesting to see his name associated with "Elmer Gantry," that story being set in the "Bible belt." The main title composition conjures up all the energy and sensationalism of the title character very concisely. There are many tracks that are pure Americana. I think this is Previn's best work. I suppose this soundtrack tentatively proves that Previn could compose some important dramatic scoring if he wanted to. However, 4 Oscars does not seem fair to the likes of Bernard Herrmann, Jerry Goldsmith and others."
Jeffrey Wheeler | Memphis, TN USA | 10/31/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Full of innovative ideas, of the distinctly Previn sort. This music is technically proficient, with a pronounced evangelical slant that includes interpolated hymns and powerful fire & brimstone passages to keep members of the filmusic congregation attentive. Some dramatic sweeteners (such as scurrying strings and moments of ponderous quietude) outstay their welcome. There are challenges, but the rewards prove the listening effort worthwhile."