Spectacular find! Frank Cordell's magnificent Oscar-nominated score for lavish Ken Hughes movie about Oliver Cromwell, King Charles I, bloody English Civil War of 1600's and starring Richard Harris, Alec Guinness, was buried beneath an all-dialog LP on Capitol label in 1970. For years our interest in bringing album out on CD was muted by this sad anomaly. Then, in wonderful stroke of fortune, complete stereo session tapes were found in EMI vaults, labeled with other film audio elements (foley work, sound effects, etc.) and seemingly lost forever. Release of powerful score was possible at last! Intrada world premiere 2-CD set features entire score in stereo, including rare "Intermission" music dropped from prints of film! Highlights are many but of particular note are dynamic sequences for orchestra plus massive chorus throughout. Action cues are exciting. Climax that brings close to part one of film (Battle Of Naseby) is also magnificent. Towering above all is powerhouse coda to entire score, with fortissimo orchestra & chorus ringing triumphant major chords to bring masterful score to spectacular close. Disc 2 presents complete 1970 Capitol LP in stereo from original album masters, offering admittedly compelling dialog (with music excerpts underneath) spoken by two masters of their craft. Spectacular package features original album cover plus exciting alternate "flipper" cover, handsomely designed by Joe Sikoryak. Informative notes by Frank De Wald complete nice set. Frank Cordell conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remains! SOLD OUT!
CD 1 01. Main Titles (3:01) 02. "Such Talk Is Treason" (1:26) 03. Confrontation On Common Land (1:29) 04. The Victim (0:51) 05. "Aye - A Beggar" (1:50) 06. Arrest Them All (1:07) 07. The King's Dilemma (2:13) 08. Parliament Is Dissolved (1:48) 09. "Think Well On It" (1:41) 10. The River Crossing (0:28) 11. "Be On Your Guard" (1:05) 12. The Battle Ends (1:43) 13. The New Army (2:31) 14. "By God - We Have Him" (1:13) 15. Battle Of Naseby (7:16) 16. Intermission Overture (4:21) 17. Act II: Parliament In Session (1:53) 18. Retreat To Oxford (2:45) 19. "Do You Not Rise Sir" (0:32) 20. Deportation (4:10) 21. New Army To Parliament (0:50) 22. Blind Man's Bluff (1:43) 23. A Crown So Easily Recovered (1:45) 24. The Hanging (3:34) 25. The Great Hall (1:12) 26. Prelude To Execution (7:07) 27. The Axe Falls (4:23) 28. "I Will Destroy You" (2:57) 29. Wear A Crown (1:36) 30. "Away With This Bauble" (Finale) (3:18)
Total CD 1 Time: 72:38
CD 2 The Original LP Album 01. Main Title; Why Are You Leaving England? (5:41) 02. This Is The Common Land (1:37) 03. ...Declare War On My Own People? (2:05) 04. Parliament... Is Not A Gathering Of Lackeys To The King (1:22) 05. My Lord Strafford, You Will Rid Us Of These Troublemakers (1:37) 06. A Warrant Upon A Charge Of High Treason (1:52) 07. An Institution Is Known As Democracy (2:30) 08. This Nation Is Now In A State Of Civil War (2:29) 09. The Battle At Edgehill (3:14) 10. The New Army (4:02) 11. By God, We Have Him! (0:55) 12. The Battle At Naseby (4:16) 13. King Charles Is Arrested (1:14) 14. The Army Will Not Stand Down (1:46) 15. An England Without A King Is Unthinkable (2:29) 16. I Will Have This King's Head, Aye, And The Crown Upon It (1:04) 17. I Am No Ordinary Prisoner, Sir (2:33) 18. Warrant For The Death Of A King (2:20) 19. From A Corruptible To An Incorruptible Crown (1:37) 20. I Will See This Nation Properly Governed, Epilogue (6:15)
Total CD 2 Time: 51:47
Tech Talk From The Producer…
For this long-awaited world premiere release of Frank Cordell’s historical score for
Cromwell, a bit of album history is warranted.
With superb dialogue by Ken Hughes, performed by Richard Harris and Alec Guinness
(whose voices made music) it made sense for Capitol Records to release dialogue
excerpts on an album, in that time long before home video. So following the lead of their
popular 1968 soundtrack for Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, Capitol issued a 51-minute
soundtrack LP of dialogue highlights from Cromwell in 1970. But where the success of
the former album led to a second record featuring the score by Nino Rota, the reception to
Cromwell was less enthusiastic. Cordell’s dynamic and powerful score was never singled
out for its own release. Other than mere snippets of music contained within the dialogue
tracks on Capitol’s album, the complete original score is being presented here for the very
first time—and in magnificent stereo.
To bring this music to CD, Intrada embarked on some history of its own. Long one
of my own favorite scores (even buried under dialogue), we made attempts to bring this
music to the public many years ago but were thwarted by the lack of scoring session
masters. Over the years, we brought the project up again from time to time only to come
away empty handed. Then, about a year ago, we decided to work with EMI on releasing
the dialogue album on CD, at least making something available to new audiences. If we couldn’t make the entire 70-plus minutes of music available, at least we could bring
a great dialogue experience out on CD and audiences could enjoy a few minutes of
Cordell’s score mingled within.
So we licensed from EMI the album rights and awaited delivery of the master recordings
for sides A and B of Capitol SW-640. Those LP masters did indeed arrive, but
they weren’t alone. We also received transfers from numerous rolls of tape that appeared
to include virtually all
of the sound effects for
the entire two-and-ahalf-
hour film, each roll
of tape corresponding
to a reel of the picture.
We proceeded to examine
further and after
16 reels of the film’s effects,
we started hearing
16 reels of the picture’s
dialogue, isolated in
the same way the effects
had been on the
previous 16 reels. Then,
in one of my own personal
highlights of our entire 27-year history, the final 16 reels of transfers offered Frank
Cordell’s music, all by itself. Here it all was, Cordell’s Academy Award-nominated score,
lavishly orchestrated, excitingly played—and totally unencumbered with effects or dialogue,
all pouring forth in stereo.
In preparing the original Capitol album, all of the film’s various audio elements were
sent to (and stayed with) the label. So Intrada, working with EMI, the rights owner of the soundtrack, can finally premiere the soundtrack music from Cromwell in all of its glory.
Source masters for the scoring sessions were numerous ¼˝ 7½ ips two-track rolls of
tape, stored for 40-plus years in the EMI Capitol vaults. Some analog tape hiss is, of course,
evident. While we addressed audio anomalies that commonly occur with fragile rolls of
old tape recorded at slower speeds, we exercised judicial restraint in dealing with the hiss
to avoid further diminishing the already pinched sound yielded by the rolls.
In assembling the album, we reviewed Columbia’s scoring cue sheets, making it
possible to identify where everything went by matching verbal slates with printed ones.
While we were successful in this approach, we made an interesting and fortuitous discovery:
Cordell’s score was actually much longer than what appeared in the 140-minute
picture. Not only had he composed “Overture” and “Intermission” sequences, but also
several sequences subsequently dropped from the final production. These are all included
on the CD, albeit explanations are due about where and when.
With the “Overture” and “Intermission” cues, Cordell actually recorded one fourminute
cue that was then cut literally in half, with the first portion playing as the “Overture”
and the second half playing during “Intermission.” As it turned out, both halves
were dropped when the roadshow prints were cut down to their present length. Our CD
presents the entire piece exactly as it was recorded—but only once, as the “Intermission”
(which ironically was actually slated as the “Intermission Overture”).
The original film structure places the action in the first half of the movie, with exciting
sequences of soldiers and battle, all leading to the end of Act I. The second half stresses
verbal confrontations between the two protagonists, the lengthy trial and the execution
of King Charles. As such, Cordell necessarily puts his fanfares and battle music in the first
half, and then writes more deliberate, involved dramatic underscoring for the second half.
In order to bring some brighter color to the second half, we have judiciously sequenced
a couple of the fanfares within that portion. Interestingly, the cue sheets differ from the
slated positions of some of these pieces anyway. With much editing of the score during
post-production already a factor, some liberty with our cue sequence was a necessity
Now enjoy a trip back in time to the 1600s—when elegant pageantry and massive
battles were the norm—and let Frank Cordell lead you into his choral and symphonic
world for Cromwell.