The Online Magazine
of Motion Picture
and Television
Music Appreciation
Film Score Monthly Subscribe Now!
film score daily 

The RCA Gerhardt "Classic Film Score" Series

by R. Mike Murray

Many new film score fans (and some old ones as well) inquire from time to time about RCA's "Classic Film Score" recordings from the 1970s done by Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra on LP originally. Many of these were released as regular recordings and on RCA's "discrete" CD-4 Quadraphonic LPs and Quad 7" open-reel tape recordings as well. In 1989, RCA remixed and transferred these recordings (ADD) to CD, containing the original, excellent liner notes.

For those of you seeking these excellent re-recordings of "Golden Age" scores, which are essential to any serious film music enthusiast, I have listed the 15 albums below with their LP, tape and CD numbers and dates and described the contents by referring to the movies represented on each disc. With only one exception (see "Spectacular" below), no actual tracks repeat from disc to disc, although you may see the same movie name used on different discs. The total playing time for all of the discs is approximately 13+ hours. The pressing numbers are for U.S. editions only. Gerhardt's Classic Film Score series was directly inspired and influenced by Peter Munves, who had heard Gerhardt's earlier film score recordings with the RCA Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, pressed by RCA for Reader's Digest multi-disc LP box sets. He suggested that Gerhardt record an album consisting entirely of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's film scores, which eventually became the first in the CFS series, "The Sea Hawk." For historical purposes, at the conclusion of the Classic Film Score listings below, I have noted Gerhardt's excellent film score recordings on the Reader's Digest albums, and also a 1992 audiophile CD release of this music.

The LPs listed here are long out of print, and I can only humbly suggest you obtain the CD versions before they are eventually cut-out as well. Print the list out for future reference. NOTE: I have listed the Quadraphonic LPs and tapes of which I am currently aware. If you have a confirmed LP Quad or tape recording of any of the titles NOT so marked, please E-Mail me direct with title and record number at

The Classic Film Score Series

NOTE: all LPs are RCA; all CDs are RCA (BMG)

The Sea Hawk: The Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold (LP) LSC-3330 (1972); (CD) 7890-2-RG (1985)***; (CD) 60863-2-RG (1989).

The Sea Hawk; Of Human Bondage; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Juarez; Kings Row; The Constant Nymph; Captain Blood; Anthony Adverse; Between Two Worlds; Deception; Devotion; Escape Me Never

***This was the first CD version of The Sea Hawk, a rare release because it included additional music left off the original LP, and added in some music from other Korngold releases to make for longer suites. This is not in Dolby Surround Sound. The second CD release was shortened back to its LP format.

The Sea Hawk (Suite), Of Human Bondage (Suite); Between Two Worlds (Suite), The Sea Wolf, Kings Row, Anthony Adverse, Deception, Devotion, Escape Me Never; The Constant Nymph

Now Voyager: The Classic Film Scores of Max Steiner (LP) ARL1-0136 (1973); (CD) 0136-2-RG (1989)

Now Voyager; King Kong; Saratoga Trunk; The Charge of the Light Brigade; Four Wives; The Big Sleep; Johnny Belinda; Since You Went Away; The Informer; The Fountainhead

Classic Film Scores for Bette Davis (LP) ARL1-0183 (1973); (CD) 0183-2-RG (1989)

Now Voyager (Steiner); Dark Victory (Steiner); A Stolen Life (Steiner); The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (Korngold); Mr. Skeffington (Waxman); In This Our Life (Steiner); All About Eve (Newman); Jezebel (Steiner); Beyond the Forest (Steiner); Juarez (Korngold); The Letter (Steiner); All This, And Heaven Too (Steiner).

Captain from Castile: The Classic Film Scores of Alfred Newman (LP) ARL1-0184 (1973); (CD) 0184-2-RG (1989)

20th Century Fox Fanfare and Street Scene; Captain from Castile; Wuthering Heights; Down to the Sea in Ships; The Song of Bernadette; The Bravados; Anastasia; The Best of Everything; Airport; The Robe

Elizabeth & Essex: The Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold (LP) ARL1-0185 (1973); (CD) 0185-2-RG (1989)

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex; The Prince and the Pauper; Anthony Adverse; The Sea Wolf; Deception; Another Dawn; Of Human Bondage.

Citizen Kane: The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann (LP) ARL1-0707 (1974); (LP-Quad) ARD1-0707; (Quad Tape) ERQ1-0707-QF; (CD) 0707-2-RG (1989)

On Dangerous Ground; Citizen Kane; Beneath the 12 Mile Reef; Hangover Square; White Witch Doctor

Sunset Boulevard: The Classic Film Scores of Franz Waxman (LP) ARL1-0708 (1974); (LP-Quad) ARD1-0708; (Quad Tape) ERQ1-0708-QF; (CD) 0708-2-RG (1989); (CD) RCD1-7017 (1985)*

Prince Valiant; A Place in the Sun; The Bride of Frankenstein; Sunset Boulevard; Old Acquaintance; Rebecca; The Philadelphia Story; Taras Bulba

*CD RCD1-7017 was an early expanded Waxman disc, not in Dolby Surround, with a playing time of 68:51. It added tracks not on the original LP from others in the series, and was later restored to its original format in the 1989 release. This 1985 release contained the following film scores, with notations made only on those different from the 1989 release: Prince Valiant; Peyton Place (Original Main Title); A Place in the Sun; The Bride of Frankenstein; To Have and Have Not(Main Title: Martinique); Sunset Boulevard; Mr. Skeffington (Forsaken); Objective, Burma! (Parachute Drop); Rebecca; The Philadelphia Story; Old Acquaintance (Elegy for Strings); The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Main Title, The Embrace, The Storm; The Poisoned Milk; The Window, Geoffrey's Madness, Finale); Taras Bulba.

Casablanca: Classic Film Scores for Humphrey Bogart (LP) ARL1-0422 (1974); (LP-Quad) ARD1-0422; (Quad Tape) ERQ1-0422-QF; (CD) 0422-2-RG (1989)

Casablanca (Steiner); Passage to Marseille (Steiner); The Treasure of Sierra Madre (Steiner); The Big Sleep (Steiner); The Caine Mutiny (Steiner); To Have and Have Not (Waxman); The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Waxman); Sabrina (Hollander); The Left Hand of God (Young); Sahara (Rozsa); Virginia City (Steiner)

Gone with the Wind: Max Steiner's Classic Film Score (LP) ARL1-0452 (1974); (CD) 0452-2-RG (1989)

Spellbound: The Classic Film Scores of Miklos Rozsa (LP) ARL1-0911 (1975); (LP-Quad) ARD1-0911; (Quad Tape) ERQ1-0911-QF; (CD) 0911-2-RG (1989)

The Red House; The Thief of Bagdad; The Lost Weekend; The Four Feathers; Double Indemnity; Knights of the Round Table; The Jungle Book; Spellbound; Ivanhoe

Captain Blood: Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn (LP) ARL1-0912 (1975); (LP-Quad) ARD1-0912; (Quad Tape) ERQ1-0912-QF; (CD) 0912-2-RG (1989)

The Adventures of Don Juan (Steiner); The Sea Hawk (Korngold); Captain Blood (Korngold); They Died with Their Boots On (Steiner); Dodge City (Steiner); Objective, Burma! (Waxman); The Sun Also Rises (Friedhofer); The Adventures of Robin Hood (Korngold)

Lost Horizon: The Classic Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin (LP) ARL1-1669 (1976); (LP-Quad) ARD1-1669; (CD) 1669-2-RG (1989)

Lost Horizon; The Guns of Navarone; The Big Sky; The Fourposter; Friendly Persuasion; Search for Paradise

John Williams' Classic Film Scores: Close Encounters of the Third Kind/ Star Wars (LP) ARL1-2698 (1978); (CD) 2698-2-RG (1989)

The Spectacular World of Classic Film Scores (LP) ARL1-2792 (1977); (CD) 2792-2-RG (1991)

This album is essentially a sampler of the other albums, however, it has five (5) tracks which appear ONLY on this disc. These are: Julius Caesar [Overture] (Rozsa); Peyton Place [Main Title] (Waxman); The Thing[From Another World] (Tiomkin); King of the Khyber Rifles (Herrmann); Salome (Amfitheatrof). It also has the Universal Fanfare (McHugh); the MGM Fanfare (Waxman); the Selznick Int. Pictures Fanfare; and the Warner Bros. Fanfare (Steiner). [This disc repeats the following tracks: 20th Century Fox Fanfare [with Cinemascope Extension]; Captain Blood; Now Voyager; Gone with the Wind; Elizabeth & Essex; The Caine Mutiny; Citizen Kane; Knights of the Round Table; Objective, Burma!; and The Guns of Navarone ]

John Williams' Classic Film Scores: Star Wars/Return of the Jedi (LP) CRC1-4748 (1983); (CD) RCD1-4748 (1983-Not Dolby Surround encoded); (CD) 60767-2-RG (1989)

Charles Gerhardt's film score recordings for Reader's Digest Great Music from the Movies (LP) Reader's Digest RD3-39 (RCA Custom) (1966)-Four LP Box Set

This includes a 12 page picture booklet authored by Gerhardt entitled: "The Fascinating Story of Film Music." This set contains 50 tracks. Of these, 33 of the tracks feature Gerhardt conducting the RCA Symphony Orchestra in scores from the following films.] Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (Webster); Laura (Raksin); Three Coins in the Fountain (Styne); Zorba the Greek (Theodorakis); The Third Man (Karas); Now Voyager (Steiner); Saratoga Trunk (Steiner); King's Row (Korngold); The Glenn Miller Story (Mancini); The Sandpiper (Mandel); A Woman Commands (Brown); Cleopatra (North); Jezebel (Steiner); East of Eden (Rosenman); Shane (Young); The Way to the Gold (Newman); Lili (Kaper); Moulin Rouge (Auric); Around the World in 80 Days (Young); Charade (Mancini); Lawrence of Arabia (Jarre); El Cid (Rozsa); Exodus (Gold); Gone with the Wind [9 cues] (Steiner)

Mood Music from the Movies (LP) Reader's Digest RD4-141 (RCA Custom) (c.1971)-6 LP Box Set

Gerhardt conducts the London Symphony Orchestra on 9 tracks of the 68 cue set from the following films] Adventures of Robin Hood (Korngold); Spellbound (Rozsa); Jane Eyre (Williams); The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (Korngold); 2001: A Space Odyssey (R. Strauss); Rashomon (Hayasaka); Of Human Bondage (Korngold); The Spector of the Rose (Antheil); Julie (Pennario)

Hollywood Screen Classics (CD) Chesky Records CD71 (1992)

[National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt; all recorded in 1968 except tracks 1, 2, 9 and 11 in 1971 and track 13 in 1974. Liner notes by Bob Benson. "Audiophile CD Produced with 128 times over sampling"]

1 Richard Strauss: 2001 Opening 2 Korngold: Adventures of Robin Hood March of the Merry Men 3 Rosenman: East of Eden 4 Styne-Cahn :Three Coins in the Fountain 5 Raksin:Laura 6 Korngold: Kings Row 7 Young-David: Shane Call of the Faraway Hills 8 North: Cleopatra Love theme 9 Barry: Born Free 10 Mancini-Mercer: Charade 11 Hayasaka: Rashomon 12 Rozsa: El Cid 13 Hadjidakis: Topkapi. 14 Steiner: Gone with the Wind suite (23.26)

Music From the Prince and the Pauper [and other film music]*; (CD) (1989) Varese Sarabande VSD 5207 [66:39] The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Charles Gerhardt

1.The Reivers [Suite] (Williams); 2.The Lost Weekend-[Love Theme] (Rozsa); 3.Jane Eyre-[The Carriage Ride to Thornfield] (Williams); 4.Between Two Worlds-[Mother and Son; Piano Rhapsody] (Korngold); 5. The Constant Nymph [Overture] (Korngold); 6.The Specter of the Rose [Ballet Waltz] (George Antheil); 7.The Madwoman of Chaillot [End Title] (Michael J. Lewis); 8.Cleopatra-[Love Theme] (Alex North); 9.Julie [Midnight on the Cliffs] (Leonard Pennario); 10.Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?[Main Title] (North); 11.The Prince and the Pauper [Flirtation] (Korngold); 12. Escape Me Never [Love for Love] (Korngold); 13. Anne of the 1000 Days [Overture] (Delerue); 14.Henry V [Suite: Prelude; London 1600; The Globe Theatre; Touch Her Soft Lips and Part; The Battle of Agincourt-The Duke of Burgundy's Speech; The Agincourt Victory Song]

This consists of additional music previously recorded by Gerhardt for the Reader's Digest LP project LPs, some of which was not included in those LP box sets.

Send your comments:

Past Film Score Daily Articles

Film Score Monthly Home Page
© 1997-2019 Lukas Kendall. All rights reserved.