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 Posted:   Jul 22, 2021 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   Frank DeWald   (Member)

The Rhino album is terrific, but forever spoiled (for me, at least) by that moment during the "Prelude" where the vocal track is one beat out of sync with the accompaniment (it happens during "Shenandoah"). It's a passing moment, quickly corrected, but it's a major flaw nonetheless. It's time for a corrected reissue, perhaps in time for the film's 60th anniversary! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 22, 2021 - 10:36 AM   
 By:   Steven Lloyd   (Member)

Yes, of course. I'm just wondering if the tune was as ubiquitous in the USA before 1963 as it has since become.

It was quite familiar. When I saw HOW THE WEST WAS WON at age nine (the only true Cinerama I got to watch as a child) I had never heard "Greensleeves," and so wondered why "they" had bothered to write different words to that Christmas carol.

At that point I consciously enjoyed music in movies, even though I wouldn't begin noticing and looking for composer credits for another year. So even though I didn't officially discover Alfred Newman by name until 1972 (when my film-music mentor steered me toward three specific albums), one nine-year-old in 1963 was dazzled and thrilled by the power and beauty -- in Cinerama stereo sound -- which that score contributed to my WEST WAS WON experience. And not only are some of those featured folk songs lovely in themselves, but Ken Darby's choral direction is especially fine.

I'm a hardcore Goldsmith fan whose second-favorite is Alfred Newman -- the only two composers on whose work I've wanted to remain a completist.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON is high among Newman's peaks, and for me the Rhino edition is a peak experience. (Sorry, Mr. DeWald, but that "passing moment quickly corrected" isn't enough to pull me out of that glorious Overture.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 22, 2021 - 11:03 AM   
 By:   Rameau   (Member)

I still have the Rhino double album, although I haven't listened to it for a couple of years. The thing that's always bugged me, is it all sounds great except the famous opening main titles, which sounds tinny to me, if only it sounded as good as the rest of the album.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 22, 2021 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

In Hollywood Holyland, Ken Darby tells of the improvements Alfred Newman supposedly made when he came to record at M-G-M. Something about microphone placement on what he called the "Newman pole." I find that puzzling, because I think Metro had achieved more brilliant sonics on a number of earlier films, such as LUST FOR LIFE. HTWWW (at least judging from the CD realizations) could have benefitted from a brighter top end.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 22, 2021 - 2:24 PM   
 By:   Steven Lloyd   (Member)

One aspect to consider: Film sound had been monaural until THIS IS CINERAMA in 1952, and CinemaScope releases (such as LUST FOR LIFE) were four-channel stereo -- while being a Cinerama production, HOW THE WEST WAS WON was recorded for six-channel exhibition. So I support Newman's decision about not recording that score with MGM's accustomed mic layouts and dynamics.

Anyone critical of the sound on the Rhino CD set should watch (and hear) the film on Blu-ray... and a great sound system.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2021 - 2:28 AM   
 By:   Joe Caps   (Member)

stereo sound flourished in 1952 with interlock stereo. usually three tracks behind the screen.
many of these have been lost. private collector prints did not last as they could not be projected at home
Warnerphonic sound went one step further. the interlock had three channels behind the screen but also had a surround track on the optical track on the film print.
I was at a theater in the late eighties that ran possibly the last stereo print of Calamity Jane with Doris Day. When the indians attacked you could hear those arrows whipping over your head on the surrounds.

 
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