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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: Khartoum/Mosquito Squadron
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2012 - 7:06 AM   
 By:   Scott H.   (Member)

For anyone who cares, here are my scans of the covers of this terrific (and under appreciated IMHO) FSM release.

These are some of my favorite FSM covers.

KHARTOUM

1400 x 1400:
http://www.albumartexchange.com/covers.php?id=244133&q=khartoum

All sizes:
http://www.albumartexchange.com/covers.php?sort=4&q=khartoum&fltr=1&bgc=&page=


MOSQUITO SQUADRON

1400 x 1400:
http://www.albumartexchange.com/covers.php?id=226903&q=Mosquito+Squadron

All sizes:
http://www.albumartexchange.com/covers.php?sort=4&q=Mosquito+Squadron&fltr=1&bgc=&page=

 
 Posted:   Jun 24, 2012 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   Uhtred   (Member)

Thanks Scott. This is next on my to buy list thanks to the lovely samples. Beautiful cover art too. I love the white background with poster art overlay covers like Khartoum, Grand Prix, Dirty Dozen and Force 10. Whoever creates the FSM covers is very talented.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 3:11 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Having just seen Khartoum again on DvD I couldn't help feeling the attachment to it I felt years ago on first seeing it. Yeah, the dialogue and images are seared in memory so why watch it again? Well, I saw a statue of Gordon in London recently and feel a little sad that such a monumental historical figure is seldom remembered when he had such fortitude and courage. The themes Cordell wrote well reflect the character of the man. The notes above highlight the similarity with Williams' desert themed material in some places of the Raiders music. That says something, doesn't it? There are two distinct motifs in Khartoum's chief identifying music and that reminded me of how Williams says he fused together the two strands to the Raiders theme as one. Are these scores twins?

Also, the opening narrative leads to the Billy Hicks debacle in the desert. That's really good music being matched to the visuals of a pursuing army being rounded on after dashing itself to bits on the rocks and sand. Then I remembered Kingdom Of Heaven, which used exactly the same plot device of an army going out into the desert . . . never to return!

So I have, therefore, taken the liberty of ordering this great score.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 3:51 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

A favourite FSM album, but I thought the Khartoum cover was a rare FSM misfire, I thought it looked crude compared to the classy LP cover. I turned the cover around to show the beautiful Mosquito Squadron artwork (& what a great find that score is). I thought the same thing about 633 Squadron, the original LP art looked much better.

 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I was under the impression the FSM cover was based on the original. It looks pretty good to me. The only thing is, the Mahdi (Olivier), is seen riding a horse at the top left of the artwork painting and as far as I can remember he is only ever seen in his wall to wall carpeted tent! Maybe it isn't even Olivier's character. I assumed it is because Heston's Gordon is on the other side so they'd be equal and opposites.

As for Mosquito Squadron, I saw that movie in 16mm at the first count while living in Malta, as a child. My family knew an 'RAF' family and it was on a weekend morning at a forces venue that we 'kids' were treated to a showing of MS, no bias of course big grin. That distinctive opening ostinato accompanying the Mosquito formation was so easy to remember. Glad I've finally got that, too!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 4:47 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Reportedly, MGM and Twilight Time have unearthed the original score tracks for KHARTOUM, which will be used to provide a score-only track on their forthcoming Blu-ray. I hope someone sees fit to also produce a CD from these tracks.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 5:04 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Reportedly, MGM and Twilight Time have unearthed the original score tracks for KHARTOUM, which will be used to provide a score-only track on their forthcoming Blu-ray. I hope someone sees fit to also produce a CD from these tracks.

If "someone" does produce a CD they can count me in for a copy!

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 17, 2013 - 5:27 PM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Reportedly, MGM and Twilight Time have unearthed the original score tracks for KHARTOUM, which will be used to provide a score-only track on their forthcoming Blu-ray. I hope someone sees fit to also produce a CD from these tracks.

Yeah, I read that. It's the composers own tape from his family, I hope the tape is in good order (& stereo?). I was just listening to the Overture on the FSM disc, just one great tune after another.

 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 9:50 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)


The themes Cordell wrote well reflect the character of the man. The notes above highlight the similarity with Williams' desert themed material in some places of the Raiders music. That says something, doesn't it? There are two distinct motifs in Khartoum's chief identifying music and that reminded me of how Williams says he fused together the two strands to the Raiders theme as one. Are these scores twins?



Gordon himself really only has one theme in the film, a very good one. If you listen carefully, there are straight shameless lifts from other pics in this film, most notably 'The Fire Burns, the Fire Burns' from North's 'Cleopatra' in the 'Gordon enters the Mahdi's Camp' cue. And some Holst (no, NOT the Planets!) in the Overture. Cordell is one of my favourite, fully mature composers but he lifted a lot. Temp-track? But then, he was also a pioneer in the pop-art movement along with his wife Magda, who 'sampled' with collage. There's also some Previn in 'Mosquito Squadron'.


I saw a statue of Gordon in London recently and feel a little sad that such a monumental historical figure is seldom remembered when he had such fortitude and courage.


I wouldn't say he's not remembered. He's still an icon of sorts. But GB Shaw and many intellectuals of the Edwardian era tried hard to smash his myth. Shaw thought he was a scoundrel. He was very well regarded in the Sudan, re slavery etc., but recently there's been a disturbing revisionism of Mohammed Ahmed there, and a sort of 'Neo-Mahdism' bizarrely arrived, though that gent was certainly not kosher in conventional Muslim circles. Gordon is too much bound up with colonialism, and his amazing career in China did have some misfires, he was one of those involved in the burning of the Summer Palace. He was also a quite fundamentalist sort of evangelical Christian, which doesn't click with fashion. A true eccentric, which the film alludes to, but doesn't really dwell on, there are many funny anecdotes about him. Remember too that he did really blackmail the British government into a relief operation. Late Victorians made him into a sort of Christ figure, and it was inevitable this should be questioned. A good egg overall.

But the film screenplay is really about one thing: the nature of good and evil, and how they often are a hair's breadth apart. It's very well written. The key line is 'We are so alike, you and I...' in those wonderful 'Saladin/Richard' scenes in the tent (shot in London: Larry never got anywhere near location ...!). Both men are 'narcissists' but one uses that narcissism to sacrifice himself for others, whilst the other does the opposite. The sorceror versus the prophet. The old story. There's more than a hint of the Old Testament versus the New in the screenplay's relationship between Gladstone and Gordon the sacrificial hero.



 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)


I was just listening to the Overture on the FSM disc, just one great tune after another.


Yes, it's the 'fate/death wish' theme - 'The Sudan/Mahdi' theme - the 'Heeland Laddie' trad. Scottish march - a big 'Imperial' fanfare - Gordon's theme - then the reprise of the Imperial theme again and Gordon's theme to coda on woodwinds.

I once heard the Royal Marines' band on TV play a composition for brass of both the Overture and Main Title together back-to-back, so that must be published somewhere. There's a bit of Holst, one of his 'Oriental' works, in the 'Sudan/Mahdi' passage of that Overture.

But it's such a great score. Very modern too, well informed by dissonance, yet Elgarian in places, great orchestration. The big Arabic parts have a Miklos Rozsa feel to them.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 5:49 PM   
 By:   pp312   (Member)

Also, the opening narrative leads to the Billy Hicks debacle in the desert. That's really good music being matched to the visuals of a pursuing army being rounded on after dashing itself to bits on the rocks and sand. Then I remembered Kingdom Of Heaven, which used exactly the same plot device of an army going out into the desert . . . never to return!


Actually not a plot device but a fact of history: the Battle of the Horns of Hatton.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 18, 2013 - 7:19 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

KHARTOUM-66- The main theme was a classic, always was one of my favorites. ENOCH LIGHT did a solid version of the theme.

 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 9:57 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Interesting feedback there, guys. Actually William, my comment was based on my last visit to London in mid September. There are a series of statues up somewhere near the Banqueting House (where Charles I was 'scaffolded'). General Slim's was garnished with a bouquet and a card with words whilst poor old Gordon's was not. He's not as 'recent' as some, perhaps? It seems his 'eccentricity' helped make up for a disturbing lack of soldiers, on whose ruse he appears to have got away with on occasion, except of course, at Khartoum. As the film makes out, his refusal to abandon 'his' post was due to an inability to abandon the city's helpless inhabitants. He preferred to die with them than live with the bloodstained memory.

PP, the Battle Of The Horns Of Hattin did happen, as you point out. What struck me was how both films use the idea of one side being led on while the other shadows it with due diligence and then unleashes hell at precisely the right moment in time to effect it's irremediable defeat.

 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2013 - 10:08 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

It seems his 'eccentricity' helped make up for a disturbing lack of soldiers, on whose ruse he appears to have got away with on occasion, except of course, at Khartoum.

Yes, he did manage to bluff out some very tight situations, especially in China, with very few resources. He seems to have been genuinely fearless, though he denied this in his letters. He also ran a home for the destitute in Gravesend. There is a story that he averted another Chinese war by travelling there and acting as an unofficial peace-broker with the Emperor.

The Slim tributes may have been from veterans.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 3:29 AM   
 By:   nilnav45   (Member)

Reportedly, MGM and Twilight Time have unearthed the original score tracks for KHARTOUM, which will be used to provide a score-only track on their forthcoming Blu-ray. I hope someone sees fit to also produce a CD from these tracks.

Yeah, I read that. It's the composers own tape from his family, I hope the tape is in good order (& stereo?). I was just listening to the Overture on the FSM disc, just one great tune after another.


With any luck Cordell’s family also have tapes of Ring Of Bright Water to enable a CD release.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2013 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

But it's such a great score. Very modern too, well informed by dissonance, yet Elgarian in places, great orchestration. The big Arabic parts have a Miklos Rozsa feel to them.

I always felt there's an Elgar meets Leonard Rosenman feel to the score.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 2:16 AM   
 By:   Amer Zahid   (Member)

Is Frank Cordell's KHARTOUM score getting re-issued with the original score and OST? Since the isolated score has been restored on the upcoming blu ray- is this in the works from of the labels?

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 7:47 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

The re-recording from FSM is, in any case, very good. I have a sense that Cordell put an equal weight of metal into it as he did the film's soundtrack. I have no complaints.

If the full original score has surfaced I don't see why one of the front runners should turn a blind eye to it. Since the FSM is only about half a CD worth of space, would the film's score pad out the other half of a CD? The usual thing is to put rerecords and original scores on separate CDs.

So even if both sessions were to get the full treatment, how would it pan out?

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

FRANK CORDELL was another one of those composers in film music history that we wish he had done more scores. He nearly always delivered a top notch score.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2014 - 9:00 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

The re-recording from FSM is, in any case, very good. I have a sense that Cordell put an equal weight of metal into it as he did the film's soundtrack. I have no complaints.

If the full original score has surfaced I don't see why one of the front runners should turn a blind eye to it. Since the FSM is only about half a CD worth of space, would the film's score pad out the other half of a CD? The usual thing is to put rerecords and original scores on separate CDs.

So even if both sessions were to get the full treatment, how would it pan out?



Well, the album from 'Khartoum', though totally indistinguishable from the OST, is apparently not the OST. So it might prompt one of those big releases where the album is presented alongside the original. But the 'Exit Music' is simply a repeat of 'Gordon Enters Khartoum', a track that is listed on side 1 of the LP, but never made it to the album! It's on FSM as the exit music though.

I recall only a few tracks that are left off the album, the bit where the Mahdi's men mop up after the massacre, which is largely repeated more or less elsewhere, the source waltzes for the reception, the wonderful little post-DeBussy-esque thing where Gordon visits Zobair Pasha and pledges to go up the Nile, the belly-dance, maybe the dockside band, the Dam, etc.. It wouldn't fill a CD unless the LP material was separately presented. You could have the Ardrey narration by Leo Genn over the Prologue as an extra. There's a drum intro for the Prelude recorded separately. Oh, and there's the evacuation of the hostages from Khartoum, and a great little fanfare when Khalil returns with the news of the relief column.

'Mosquito Squadron' is a great score, but I doubt there's much more. I'd doubt they kept alternatives.

 
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