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QUARTET RECORDS: THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES (2-CD SET) Music by Miklós Rózsa


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Quartet Records and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer present the remastered reissue of the wonderful, memorable music composed by Miklós Rózsa for Billy Wilder´s classic THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, this time in a 2-CD set with extra material.

 

Wilder’s unique take on the world’s greatest consulting detective was meant to explore previously dark corners of Homes’ life—including his addiction to cocaine and his troubled relationships with women. Last-minute studio jitters forced Wilder to make massive cuts, shortening the running time from 210 to 125 minutes. The resulting film, in spite of great performances by Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely, Geneviève Page and Christopher Lee, failed to catch fire at the box office, although it has acquired an admiring cult audience over the ensuing years.

 

For the music, Wilder turned to his friend and past collaborator (FIVE GRAVES TO CAIRO, THE LOST WEEKEND, DOUBLE INDEMNITY) Miklós Rózsa, asking him to adapt his Violin Concerto, Op. 24, for the film. Rózsa obliged, augmenting the concert work with a number of evocative new themes for the picture. The music for Holmes anticipates the elegant but autumnal mood of such later scores as PROVIDENCE, TIME AFTER TIME, FEDORA and LAST EMBRACE, while simultaneously combining the compassion and wisdom of experience with the wit, charm and joie de vivre of youth.

 

In 2013, Quartet Records released the first official edition of Rózsa’s original recording, sourced from music stems located at MGM (the original studio masters, alas, are lost); it quickly sold out. That CD, in spite of its less-than-ideal sound, preserved the composer’s own irreplaceable interpretation, bringing this marvelous music back to life more than 40 years after it was written.

 

Although no new elements have magically appeared since then, audio engineer Chris Malone has applied new technology to the existing material, and the result is this new edition with greatly improved sound quality. (We are now able to include the original version of “Gabrielle”—which was so damaged some of it had to be left off the earlier release—complete for the first time.) We are happy to present this as a belated celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary in 2020 (due to the current world situation, final approvals did not arrive in time to release this last year as originally planned).

 

On the second disc we have included the premiere CD edition of the famous “Fantasy” that Rózsa recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for his album “Rózsa Conducts Rózsa,” released on Polydor in 1977. Also included is a new remastering of the premiere recording of the violin concerto on which so much of the score is based, performed by the inimitable Jascha Heifetz. Finally, all the source music recorded and supervised by Rózsa himself is also included on the second CD.

 

This revised edition of the original tracks of THE PRIVATE LIFE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, extraordinarily performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the composer’s baton, was a labor of love for everyone involved. The immortal music of Rózsa deserves nothing less. The lavishly designed package includes a 24-page booklet with revised liner notes by Frank K. DeWald.

 

DISC 1

 

1. Main Titles / 221B Baker Street (4:29)
2. The Smoke Machine / Violin Concerto / Cocaine (1:48)
3. Watson’s Rage / Being Presumptuous (2:04)
4. Von Tirpitz Appears (1:11)
5. Gabrielle (3:39)
6. Nº 32 Ashdown St. / Canaries (4:02)
7. The Diogenes Club (1:34)
8. To Glenhurich (Loch Lomond) / The Parasol (2:09)
9. Inverness / Valladon (5:32)
10. The Sighting (1:08)
11. Castles in Scotland / Urquhart Castle (5:01)
12. After the Monster / The Monster Strikes (4:42)
13. The Last Act (2:04)
14. Ilse Von Hoffmanstal / A Certain Royal / Gabrielle’s Awakening (3:39)
15. Holmes’ Morse Code / Eternal Silence (3:12)
16. Farewell / Auf Wiedersehen (3:09)
17. The End / End Titles (1:45)

 

DISC 2

 

1. Fantasy (From “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes”) (8:39)
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Miklós Rózsa, Conductor – Erich Gruenberg, Violin soloist

 

VIOLIN CONCERTO Op.24

2. Allegro non troppo ma passionato (11:28)
3. Lento cantabile (7:35)
4. Allegro vivace (7:51)
Dallas Symphony Orchestra – Walter Hendl, Conductor – Jascha Heifetz, Violin soloist

 

SOURCE MUSIC

Adapted and Conducted by Miklós Rózsa

5. Excerpts from Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) (3:41)
6. Balalaika (Tchaikovsky) (2:20)
7. Balalaika – Waltz (Tchaikovsky) (1:49)
8. Balalaika – Hungarian Dance (Tchaikovsky) (2:07)
9. Balalaika – Mazurka (Tchaikovsky) (2:06)
10. Balalaika – Russian Party Music Nº 3 (Tchaikovsky) (4:33)
11. Variations from La Follia (Corelli) (1:51)

 

BONUS TRACKS

12. Gabrielle (Concert Version) (4:45)
13. Eternal Silence (tracked) (Alternate) (0:41)
14. Main Titles / 221B Baker Street (Extended Version) (5:29)

 

LIMITED EDITION OF 1000 UNITS


https://quartetrecords.com/product/the-private-life-of-sherlock-holmes-2-cd/

 

 

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Hmm. The rerecording is fantastic and includes great cues that, sadly, still seem to be lost in their original recording... but Disc 2 almost makes me feel tempted to get this. Also, the pure fact that there's a drive to do reissues of sold out material and to try and make them better is admirable already!

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I don't own this score, but I've always been curious about it. See if you can help me out here:

 

There's the Tadlow rerecording from a few years back, which would be up my alley in terms of sound and performance, but I presume it's C&C. Then there's this, which is presumably Rozsa's original album presentation(?), which is up my alley, but may have inferior sound quality compared to the Tadlow. So both have their plusses and minuses.

 

Am I right to assume that no other rerecording exists from recent years, which is BOTH well-performed/has great sound AND is organized for listening? The choice is only between the two aforementioned releases?

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Yes, I'm familiar with that album. Still like to get a good version of HOLMES.

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37 minutes ago, Thor said:

Then there's this, which is presumably Rozsa's original album presentation(?)

Nope, this is the complete score as is in the final cut down film on Disc 1. I can't find any information about any contemporary release or program. The Tadlow is the same main program but with additional great cues intended for scenes which got deleted.

 

37 minutes ago, Thor said:

Am I right to assume that no other rerecording exists from recent years

Yes.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Holko said:

Nope, this is the complete score as is in the final cut down film on Disc 1. I can't find any information about any contemporary release or program. The Tadlow is the same main program but with additional great cues intended for scenes which got deleted.

 

OK, thanks. I was reading just now on FSM that Quartet apparently combined certain cues from their 2013 release into a more coherent experience for this new release. That's a good sign, because 'complete score' is an immediate turn-off. In any case, I'll sample the samples.

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3 minutes ago, Thor said:

I was reading just now on FSM that Quartet apparently combined certain cues from their 2013 release into a more coherent experience for this new release. That's a good sign, because 'complete score' is an immediate turn-off.

It's still complete as far as the final film's concerned. And the Tadlow makes the exact same combinations, like Smoke Machine/Concerto/Cocaine, just short cues that come after one another anyway put into one track.

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I had passed on this the first go around but I may grab it. The samples sounded much better than I anticipated.

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42 minutes ago, Holko said:

It's still complete as far as the final film's concerned. And the Tadlow makes the exact same combinations, like Smoke Machine/Concerto/Cocaine, just short cues that come after one another anyway put into one track.

 

Yeah, appears so. So no proper arrangement, then. I'll sample it regardless. Doesn't seem to be too long even in complete form.

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Yes Thor. This is a must have. Better to have this which is an improvement over the previous release. And if you prefer re-recordings then the Tadlow album would be sufficient. 

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I'd be more interested in a restored version of the 200 minutes cut of the film. 

Because that sounds like a delicious disaster. 

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6 hours ago, Holko said:

I can't find any information about any contemporary release or program.

 

So the violin concert is Rózsa's official version for people who want to listen to an abridged version, i.e. the only version Thor is allowed to like.

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Yes, the Prague recording is a great listen as an album in every way. I am afraid, that is sufficient for me. 

But if I wouldn't already own that, this publication here would be an option. 

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Ordered. I have too little Rozsa... and the violin concerto is great, can't complain about more use of those themes ;)

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8 hours ago, Marian Schedenig said:

 

So the violin concert is Rózsa's official version for people who want to listen to an abridged version, i.e. the only version Thor is allowed to like.

 

Whatever it is, just cut it down to 36 minutes and claim it's someone's vision and he will gobble it up.

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Something like that, yes.

 

In all seriousness, I think the solution for me here is to sample both of them, find out which performance/sound I like the most, and then try to make a decent playlist out of the material.

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I wouldn't mind that. I'll skip this release because I'm happy with the Tadlow (and with all due respect for Rózsa, the only scores of his I listen to somewhat regularly are Ben-Hur and Quo Vadis), but there were one or two other things I've been meaning to pick up from them.

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Sodom & Gomorrah is the dark horse here, that many people shun because it's for a lousy movie but the score is better than i. e. Quo Vadis, methinks.

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3 hours ago, publicist said:

Sodom & Gomorrah is the dark horse here, that many people shun because it's for a lousy movie but the score is better than i. e. Quo Vadis, methinks.

 Quo Vadis gets a bit dragged down in complete form by all the fanfaresand whatnot. But when edited to best suit the listening experience it can be truly great. THis album is a prime example (still my first choice for Quao Vadis, even though I love the Tadlow recording):

 

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Sodom and Gomorrah does not drag so much in complete form. But I was really fond the OST assembly. I must try to replicate it using the Tadlow recording. And adding the Victory March, perhaps.

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