The Children's Hour
Limited Edition of 1,000 Copies
Kritzerland (KR 20014-4)
Release Date: January 5, 2010
Conducted by Alex North
|1.||Main Title (original version)||1:38|
|16.||End Title (original version)||1:10|
|17.||BONUS TRACKS: Main Title (film version)||1:06|
|18.||Radio Source Music||1:03|
|19.||Martha's Decision (with alternate ending)||0:43|
|20.||End Title (film version)||0:38|
|Total Album Time:||34:58|
For the first time ever, Alex North's brilliant score to William Wyler's 1961 film of Lillian Hellman's The Children's Hour comes to CD. One of three scores written directly after Spartacus, The Children's Hour is classic North.
Interestingly, both [Wyler and North] had just come off huge epic filmsWyler with Ben-Hur and North with Spartacus. So for both, The Children's Hour could not have been more different; a drama filmed in black-and-white, with nary a toga, a chariot, a slave, or a cross in sight.
And what a score North delivered, with music that was astonishing and complex, with a memorable main theme that runs throughout the score, along with the clever use of children's nursery rhyme tunes (especially "Skip To My Lou"). North's music sounds like no other Hollywood composer of that erathere was just nobody like him, and this is North at the peak of his powers.
Over the years, other labels had inquired about The Children's Hourbut no tapes existed in the MGM vaults. Thankfully, North had kept a copy of this score in his archives, which are housed at the Margaret Herrick Library, and through their good auspices the tape was made available to us and it is that tape which was used for this CD.
We had both a copy of the chosen takes from the recording session, and also a tape North had put together for a soundtrack release that obviously never happened. We used his sequencing and track titles and both tapes were used to create the CD master. The album contains North's original main and end title music, both of which, at some point, were rescored, and we've included the rescored versions, as well.
It's fascinating to hear the two approaches to the main titleNorth's original works beautifully and times out perfectly with Wyler's images, while the rescored version works well, albeit in a completely different way, setting a completely different mood. We've also included two other bonus tracks, a brief source music cue, and one cue with an alternate ending. The sound is mono and very crisp.
This release is limited to 1,000 copies only.
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