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The Egyptian (1954)
Music by Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman
The Egyptian The Egyptian
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $4.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: May 2001
Catalog #: Vol. 4, No. 5
# of Discs: 1

The Egyptian (1954) is the one of the all-time legendary film scores -- an historical epic jointly scored by Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman. The two composers did not just paste in their own music but actually shared themes, planned their narrative approach and merged their styles to the point of truly collaborating. Together they produced a lengthy score in the best biblical-epic tradition, depicting religious awakening, tragic love and ancient civilization with the formidable techniques of each composer —from Newman's grasp of heartbreaking devotion to Herrmann's colorful setpieces of violence and obsession. (For the sake of comparison, this would be as if John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith today scored a new science fiction movie, or Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer scored a summer action film.)

The legend of The Egyptian has continued in that it is a score collectors have long believed destroyed; at the onset of Twentieth Century-Fox's film music restoration efforts in 1993, The Egyptian was one of the first films looked at, and the master tapes (35mm film stems) tragically determined to have deteriorated beyond use. Nevertheless the surviving cues were transferred to 2" analogue multitrack tape and stored away for another day, with so many other projects needing attention.

To make a long story short, "another day" has come and Film Score Monthly has gone back to the 2" safety transfers to cull and remix every usable cue. To our delight, we have saved over 70 minutes of the 100+ minute score—including most of the major setpieces by both composers, such as the main and end titles, Newman's "Valley of the Kings" and Herrmann's "Chariot Ride/Pursuit" and many more. Furthermore, most of the cues that have survived are in stellar six-track stereo sound, and many others are in more than acceptable three-track stereo sound.

With the mandate of using everything that exists, we have assembled The Egyptian into a fantastic CD in chronological order that is all told longer and more comprehensive than many CDs of Golden Age scores. Although there are two existing CDs of The Egyptian, both are re-recordings: the Marco Polo CD in the late 1990s, done with a Russian orchestra and choir, and the Varese Sarabande CD (now out of print) in 1954, representing the original, mono Decca LP. This new FSM CD is the original, expanded stereo soundtrack, performed for the film under the batons of the composers in ideal studio conditions—and collectors know the immense challenge of any re-recording to surpass the OST. Here, then, lives The Egyptian in its original stereo glory, in the most complete form possible—a cornerstone of any soundtrack collection.

Bernard Herrmann Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) started his film career with Citizen Kane, finished with Taxi Driver, and in-between scored famous projects for Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, Vertigo), Ray Harryhausen and a host of others—to say nothing of the transcendent beauty of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir or the pioneering timbres of The Day the Earth Stood Still. He practically invented “psychological” film scoring and the use of orchestral color to achieve dramatic ends; his music for radio and television is brilliant despite (or perhaps because of) his limited resources. He was a genius and cast a long shadow on music for film. P.S. Check out On Dangerous Ground. IMDB

Alfred Newman Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Alfred Newman (1901-1970) is one of the most important figures in the history of movie music, a nine-time Oscar winner (with 45 nominations overall) who was head of music at Twentieth Century-Fox in the 1940s and '50s. His influence as a composer and executive cannot be understated; he invented the "Newman System" of synchronizing music to picture and is the patriarch of the Newman family of composers and musicians (Lionel, Randy, David, Thomas and others). Just a sampling of his work as a composer includes How Green Was My Valley, Captain From Castile, All About Eve, The Robe and The Diary of Anne FrankIMDB

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Track List
Instruments/Musicians
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman

Violin:
Leonard Atkins, Sol Babitz, Israel Baker, Robert Barene, Victor Bay, George Berres, Henry Camusi, Joachim Chassman, Dave Crocov, Adolph DiTullio, Peter Ellis, Elliot Fisher, David Frisina, Jacques Gasselin, Anatol Kaminsky, Marvin Limonick, Paul Lowenkron, Marshall Moss, Alexander Murray, Irma W. Neumann, David Selmont, Eudice Shapiro-Kast, Paul C. Shure, Felix Slatkin, Robert "Bob" Sushel, Heimann Weinstine

Viola:
Myer Bello, Norman Botnick, Joseph DiFiore, Alvin Dinkin, Phillip Goldberg, Maxine Johnson, Alex Neiman, Robert Ostrowsky, Sven Reher, Samuel Singer, Milton Thomas

Cello:
James A. Arkatov, Joseph Coppin, Joseph DiTullio, Virgil Gates, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Leonard Krupnick, Kurt Reher, Harold Schneier

Bass:
Joseph Kaufman, Peter A. Mercurio, C. Magdelano Rivera, Meyer (Mike) Rubin, Kenneth Winstead

Flute:
Luella Howard, Barbara Moore (Putnam), Sylvia Ruderman, Sterling D. Smith

Oboe:
Bert Gassman, William Kosinski, Gordon Pope, H. Vincent Schipilitti

Clarinet:
Russell Cheever, Morris Crawford, Bert Gassman, Charles Gentry, Abe Most, Sylvia Ruderman, William A. Ulyate

Bassoon:
Don Christlieb, Arthur Fleming, Glen Johnston, Frederick Moritz

French Horn:
Alfred Brain, Huntington Burdick, Vincent N. DeRosa, Fred Fox, Wendell Hoss, Sinclair Lott, George F. Price, Alan I. Robinson, Harry Schmidt

Trumpet:
Frank Beach, John M. Best, Morris Boltuch, John Clyman, Jack R. Coleman, Alex R. Golden, Robert A. Gotthoffer, Sidney Lazar, Sam Levin, Cecil Read, Lester Remsen, James Salko

Trombone:
Marlo Imes, Ray Klein, John Tranchitella

Tuba:
Clarence Karella

Piano:
Urban Thielmann, Raymond Turner

Harp:
Irma Louise Clow, Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk), Anne Stockton (Mason), Kathryn M. Thompson Penney

Drums:
Richard Cornell, Paul DeDroit, Edgar Forrest, Walter Goodwin, Preston Lodwick, Cameron Maus, Lee Joe Perrin, Harold L. "Hal" Rees, Chester Ricord

Orchestra Manager:
Simon Waronker

© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.