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Having had my first complete listen to "Mister Moses", I have to say "BRAVO" and "Thank You" to Nic Raine and James Fitzpatrick as well as, of course, Luc Van De Ven.

It was a brave choice to record this, a score not much more than thirty minutes from a film practically nobody has heard of or seen.

Since the music is so much more about percussion than melodies—and some of the music is low-volume percussion pieces a la some of the most low key music in "King Rat"—it must have been really difficult to take some of this down, especially given the only source to work from was a thirty year old recording of the full film soundtrack from a television.

This makes it all the more brave and amazing. Thank you again.

This is one of the rare few cases where I don't have the original so deeply burned in my brain that I can spot any little differences easily, but even so I feel I can say with confidence that the "John Barry of 1965" sound has been extremely well captured.

As to the score itself—as opposed to speaking of this particular recording of it—it just makes you wish John Barry had done more scores like it. We remember John Barry as the master of melody but the moods and textures built up by these layers of percussion rhythms are just so damn delightful and evocative.

Yes, at times, it's more of an ambience rather than a piece of music with deliberate movement to a conclusion, but where that's true, it's an extremely hypnotic ambience.

I know it's been said John Barry wasn't always particularly specific with his percussion notation. On "Dances With Wolves", for instance, we're informed by James that the choice of percussion instruments was left for the orchestrator and the music score itself in at least some parts simply called for improvisation by the percussionists.

In this case, however, I'd like to think the layers of percussion rhythms in this score were more specifically designed by John Barry, as they're so fundamental to what this score is. JB wasn't using an orchestrator in '65 was he?

Anyway, if you could do with a custom cover for this recording on your iPod (one assumes licensing original film art for the CD was problematic), then by all means borrow mine. I apologize for the limited size, but I didn't want to have to upscale the images I could get my hands on.


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Comments (6):Log in or register to post your own comments
Well said, Stephen! Like you, only one play so far, and I'm surprised at just how different it is to Mr. Barry's other scores - whilst including so many mannerisms that are typically Barry.

As you point out: it's a little known film with no previous score release so this one has to sell, in the main, on the name "Barry" - okay there may be a market for Mr. Raine and/or the City of Prague Philharmonic and I apologise if I'm doing them a disservice - but whilst we know it's going to be good, we're a small market. So a big risk for those investing time and money ...

... and deserving of a big "Thank You" from fans like me.

It's not his best score but I haven't come across a score by John Barry, yet, which isn't worth owning. And this score has the potential to get better with further listens.

And the recording? It sounded great - straight out of the case - but once I've ripped the CD and stream it I know there will be a lot more detail to hear (my streamer is better quality than my CD player).

Heartily recommended to anyone undecided ...


Great job, Stephen! To my knowledge Barry didn't start using an orchestrator regularly until he moved to America, where it's a union rule. He did use Bobby Richards on Lion in Winter because of deadlines, though.

He briefly mentions orchestration in this great interview:

Excellent comments, Stephen! It really is a terrific, revelatory recording, and all the fine folks at Tadlow/Prometheus deserve the highest praise.

Nice review, Stephen. I heartily agree. As I stated over on the announcement thread, I think this is the best and most welcome score release of 2014.
Many thanks to everyone involved and I hope it finds a larger appreciative audience.

I join in the praise for this release. Tadlow and James Fitz have hit the mark again.

I've had it on repeat all evening. Tadlow & Prometheus have done a superb job, once again. JB was truly one of a kind.

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