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 Posted:   Apr 1, 2024 - 4:42 PM   
 By:   Johnnyangel   (Member)

I joined earlier today on a whim and my first post was eaten somehow. I'll save it offline this time just in case!

I'm happy to say that the original soundtrack recording of Adventures of Marco Polo survives (with multiple takes). I am an in-law of Hugo Friedhofer's. After his death my mother (at the behest of Hugo's daughter Karyl) and I drove her Volkswagen Squareback down to Hollywood and did our best to haul off scores, recordings, and other materials that were in imminent danger of being discarded.

Most of this material was then donated to Brigham Young University, but I have the acetates of the Marco Polo recording sessions that had been saved by Hugo as a prized possession for all those years.

The acetates preserve a blazing performance by an orchestra that to my mind outdoes any performing today, in any context, plus incomparable violin solos by Felix Slatkin and passionate encouragement (and occasional swearing) by Alfred Newman. Once heard, never forgotten.

It has been on my "to-do" list for years to get this soundtrack out there as a tribute to Hugo, but it's complicated. I would need to find a label that is prepared to put out a CD with appropriate and professional notes and photographs, will handle all the necessary licensing, and most of all knows (or can learn) the film and the score well enough to put together a suite. To my mind the CD release would include the suite along with some bonus rehearsal tracks.

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