Review: From The Terrace
4 / 5 Stars
In 1960, Elmer Bernstein wrote his excellent classic score to The Magnificent Seven, his jazzy score to The Rat Race, and his somewhat more subdued score to From The Terrace. Alfred Eaton (Paul Newman) is a man who puts his career ahead of his personal life - and while he makes it to the top, he destroys his marriage getting there. Now, Film Score Monthly has once again cracked open the 20th Century Fox vault to release this classic Bernstein score.
Because the film was basically a big-screen soap opera, the score needed to be more subdued and push the emotional arc of the characters. As a result, there are only two major themes in the film. The first is the love theme heard in "Love Theme": a strong sweeping cue with all of the right dramatic elements; the second is a romantic waltz heard in "Mary, Mary". Both of these themes show up throughout the score, along with some other incidental cues. Oddly enough, though, the main love theme doesn't show up in the film until more than halfway through, in "First Meeting".
Many of the incidental cues ("Homecoming", "In The Bushes", "Thin Ice") showcase Bernstein's flourishes and motifs that would become more and more recognizable as his style over the following decades. Parts of this score can be looked at as a definite ancestor to such film scores as The Great Escape, The Age of Innocence, and (dare I suggest) Airplane! among others. Moments are thrilling and energetic, and other moments are slower and dramatic - it really does feel like a soap opera.
The sound quality is excellent, given the age of the recording, and the comprehensive liner notes are (as usual) filled with all sorts of valuable and insightful information. To top it all off, this is the complete score, and even has two source cues ("Romance", "Valse Nocturne"). With a total running time of over 70-minutes, and a score that's just smooth and enjoyable to listen to, you can't go wrong with this album.
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