All posts under Golden Age

CD Review: The Prince and the Pauper

With its latest release, Tribute Film Classics serves up a musical treasure fit for a king–Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s complete score for THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER (1937). When Tribute Film Classics emerged as a new label in 2007, their mission was to “to record deserved scores in complete renditions–including music that may have been omitted or edited in the final film–that have been either ignored or survive in less than pristine condition.” That their releases have been greeted with praise should come as no surprise. After all, score reconstructionist John…

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Golden Opportunity

According to the online dictionary,, the GOLDEN AGE is “the first and best age of the world, a time of ideal happiness, prosperity, and innocence; by extension, any flourishing and outstanding period.” When discussing Golden Age film music, we’re talking about a specific period of time in Hollywood, a time when the studio system flourished, cranking out a number of films each year. But with the advent of television in the 1950s, the studio system began to break down allowing the rise of independent filmmakers in the 1960s. Though excellent film music was…

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Golden Age Film Music: Colorful, Ornate and Gaudy?

Mark Swed’s Los Angeles Times review of the opening concert of the Pacific Symphony’s American Composers Festival made for some angry comments left by film score fans. However, I found his opening remarks particularly vivid: Hollywood’s “Golden Age” was, of course, black and white.  What gave the pre-World War II talkies their “color” was their ornate, even gaudy, music. My first exposure of Golden Age film music came from the RCA compilations recorded by Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra in the 1970s. Here was music with sweep and…

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