It's About Time!
BOK602 | Phoenix, AZ USA | 10/11/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was recently referred to this CD by a posting on the Internet Movie DataBase and figured it was worth the low price.
I have LONG sought an original soundtrack for this film, not just for the Academy Award nominated score, but also for Susanna Foster's wonderful voice.
As with most of The SoundTrack Factory's CD releases, the recordings are culled from the dialog+music+effects audio tracks from prints of the film themselves; but in the tragic absence of any other soundtrack CD for this film, the folks at SoundTrack Factory have done a creditable job.
They have taken the sound tracks, cleaned them up a bit, done some judicious trimming, editing, cutting and pasting and produced a series of 6 suites, each encompassing the major highlights of the score, including 90% of the opera sequences and a nice selection of the underscore, with barely a word or two of intrusive dialogue.
The CD presents approximately 45 minutes of the soundtrack, bolstered by an unusual 11 minute mini-suite of the underscore from the 1932 Karloff version of THE MUMMY.
It's a nice enough CD to have, but hopefully somebody out there will track down the original acetates or isolated music elements for this Oscar-nominated score..."
WELL worth the money!
BOK602 | Phoenix, AZ USA | 12/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For years the only recording I had of this Academy Award nominated score (outside of the videotape) was the old 2-LP pressing of the entire film's audio track -the one Sue Foster herself used to plug when she made a rare public appearence because it was the only commercially released recording she ever made.
Well, until some collector or custodian digs through their collection and unearths either the original master tapes, scoring session masters, acetates, playback discs or transcriptions, this CD is the closest thing PHANTOM '43 will ever have to a soundtrack album.
That said, this CD is much, much better than I was expecting.
First of all, yes, it is drawn from the mixed audio tracks of the film itself...HOWEVER the engineers have done an amazing job of sound editing, so while negligible bits and pieces of the score have been edited out in order to remove the more intrusive dialogue and sound effects, the overall integrity of the musical selections is preserved.
The sound quality is substantially better than the old vinyl LP and most of the VHS prints. PHANTOM '43 used an early noise-reduction technique during the original recording sessions and the clarity of the original is preserved here, even several generations removed.
The CD presents about 45 minutes of the soundtrack, which contains 98% of the opera sequences and a generous portion of the incidental underscore (including the heartbreaking 'Claudin's Theme' which accompanies the sad walk back to his garrett after getting sacked).
This is about as much of the score as can be presented without being interrupted by dialogue and sound effects.
The CD is filled out with an 11 minute suite of incidental cues from the 1931 Boris Karloff version of THE MUMMY, and while it makes a nice curio, it strikes me as somewhat out of place here. The decision to include the random insane laughter of Bramwell Fletcher (when it could have easily been edited out) mars the listening enjoyment.
Finally, the booklet includes some excellent black and white stills from PHANTOM, including an extremely rare still of the Phantom unmasked (worth the purchase price alone just for that!). The English-as-a-second-language liner notes are riddled with typos and not terribly useful.
But the music is Glorious!"