Screen Archives Entertainment (SAE CRS 013)
Release Date: 2005
Conducted by Alfred Newman
|2.||Why Do They Say I Have No Name?||3:53|
|6.||Teaching Ben A Lesson||1:05|
|7.||Nursing His Wounds||4:42|
|8.||Escape From Breetholm||2:06|
|9.||A Message For The Old Man||5:00|
|10.||Reward For Capture||0:14|
|12.||Brothers Of The Lash||4:03|
|14.||Ben Claims His Woman||4:01|
|15.||A Fortune In Pearls||5:05|
|16.||A Ship At Last||2:56|
|17.||Farewell To The Island||1:44|
|20.||Home To Claim His Heritage||4:55|
|Total Album Time:||79:20|
|by Brian McVickar
December 27, 2005
A swashbuckling adventure from 1942 starring Tyrone Power, Roddy McDowell, Gene Tierney and scored by the legendary Alfred Newman, Son of Fury tells the story of the cold-hearted Sir Arthur Blake, who has inherited title and lands from his departed brother. A servant boy named Benjamin, thought to be an orphan, now works for Blake. It turns out that Benjamin is actually the rightful heir of the estate and after making his fortune on high seas adventures, eventually returns to claim the title back from his uncle.
With the "Main Title", the film and score burst forth in a typically sweeping and vigorous fashion from Newman. There is an arcing, jaunty brass and strings theme, just right for seafarers, followed by the secondary theme, an impassioned, surging strings-only melody. "Why Do They Say I Have No Name?" is a more plaintive cue mainly for strings and woodwinds, with subdued hints of the seafaring main theme for Benjamin throughout, and also the secondary theme towards the end. "Stable Boy" presents the main theme on oboe and clarinet, before tense strings enter, followed by further pleasant string variations on both main and secondary themes. "Estate Dance" begins as a light, formal yet perky tune for strings, harp and flute before the underscore returns in a lovely setting of the secondary theme, covering a scene of burgeoning love Ben feels for his own cousin Isabel. "Teaching Ben A Lesson" is the first outburst of musical violence, with muted horns and straining, high register strings leading to a soft bed of strings and oboe in "Nursing His Wounds".
The energy picks up in "Escape from Breetholm" as Ben leaves the land that should belong to him, followed by calm renditions of both themes in "A Message for the Old Man" in clarinet, oboe and strings. "Stowaway" is a lengthy eight minute track, beginning with an alarming outburst of Ben's theme and continuing into more spirited material and also darker, swirling textures for the sea voyage. The cue then moves into beguiling midsection where lilting flute and silky strings dominate, alternating with Ben's theme while the track closes with harsh stings in the low brass. "Brothers of the Lash" has Ben’s theme becoming more vibrant and prominent, set amid some playful sections.
"Native Dance" is certainly the anomaly in this score, in that it consists only of heavy rolling, rhythmic drums and rapid chants. "Ben Claims His Woman" presents a soft yet lush new theme on strings, essaying Ben's feelings for an island woman he has met in his travels, which then surprisingly develops utilizing instrumentation normally associated with Hawaiian music. Ben's theme returns jubilantly in the brass in "A Fortune In Pearls", followed by the new love theme and a look back at the impassioned secondary theme from earlier in the score, not heard since "A Message For The Old Man". Ben's fanfaric theme again propels the score in "A Ship At Last", while "Farewell To The Island" presents the placid, new love theme in a cappella choir with lyrics. According to information on the score, this became a popular song for Newman, entitled "Blue Tahitian Moon".
Ben returns home in "London", while ominous, low tones anchor the start of "The Dungeon" and the initial love theme, for Isabel appears in the strings in a restrained guise. Newman gets to show his action chops in the closing moments of "Home To Claim His Heritage" and in the second half of "Desperate", where the strings get to race furiously and the brass get to bellow in heroic fashion. The two main themes briefly surge forth in "Finale" before the cue shifts to choral version of the second love theme, "Blue Tahitian Moon" and ending in flourish of Ben's theme. The "End Title" recaps these two themes alone.
I am unsure how highly this score is regarded in the famed Alfred Newman canon, but it does provide three solid, well-developed themes amid the polished and rich orchestration. The "Native Dance" and South Seas love theme give the score some varied flavor, though I would have wished for more bristling excitement and action.
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