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Objective Burma.

Waxman: Objective Burma. William T. Stromberg, Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Marco Polo 8.225148.

In my alternate life as Review Editor for DVDTown.com, I get to watch a multitude of movies, old and new. It always amazes how well some of the old film scores hold up compared to many of today's over-hyped, nondescript screen music. Little in the revved-up tunes of "Mission: Impossible 2" or "X-Men" seems nearly so colorful or graphic as the music for a film like director Raul Walsh's 1945 war saga "Objective, Burma!"

It isn't necessary to have seen the movie to enjoy Franz Waxman's music because just a glance at the segment headings gives one a pretty good idea of what's going, and the music fills in the rest. Titles like "Briefing in an Hour," "Take Off," "Jumping," "Killing the Sentry," "Two Came Back," "Burmese Village," "Missing the Plane," "At Night," "Invasion," and "The Camp--Finale" pretty much tell the story in themselves. Then, lo and behold, the music actually sounds like the pictorial images we envision. The music was not composed to sell an album at Tower Records but to convey the nuances of the film it was written for. It's hardly a clever or revolutionary concept, as a list of just a few of Waxman's multitude of film scores testifies: "Bride of Frankenstein," "Magnificent Obsession," "Captains Courageous," "Rebecca," "Suspicion," "Sunset Blvd.," "The Spirit of St. Louis."

Marco Polo's sound is what we have come to expect from this source, Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony having produced many other film recordings for the company. The sonics are realistic, a little distanced, perhaps, with relatively good depth and imaging, and a bit less than completely open or transparent. The sound has a nice, overall bloom, reminiscent of live music even if it's not perfectly detailed. Fans of film music will enjoy the disc.
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Author:Puccio, John
Publication:Sensible Sound
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Aug 1, 2001
Words:308
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