Treat for Alex North fans! Two previously unreleased gems, one, in fact, never-before-heard!
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Treat for Alex North fans! Two previously unreleased gems, one, in fact, never-before-heard! First on CD is rare early documentary soundtrack for Decision For Chemistry, scored by North in 1953. Industrial film from Monsanto Chemical Company was designed to illustrate wonders of chemistry and science to college-age youth contemplating career paths. North gets incredible opportunity to write full symphonic score, rich with animated ideas, colorful nuances, complex material underscoring numerous chemical discoveries. Moments of brisk activity meld with reflective music, then segue into excitement. Terrific film score! Second work on CD is never-used score for critically acclaimed 1972 drama Sounder, helmed by Martin Ritt, starring Paul Winfield, Cicely Tyson, Kevin Hooks. Score was ultimately dropped in favor of authentic blues-style music from Taj Mahal. North anchors his work with specific colors representing weary life of sharecropping family and "Sounder" the dog. Harmonica over strings, lazy trumpet, rich harmonies from brass, jazzy solos of all manner, heartfelt orchestral passages… and always that Southern flavor North excelled at in music for numerous films with similar locales: A Streetcar Named Desire, Sound And The Fury, Long Hot Summer, many others. Striking idea worthy of mention: though much of score plays to burdens of family in tale, including incarceration of father, North often uses major keys, not minor, to underscore drama! Combination of mournful ideas underscoring impoverished family set against optimistic educational aspirations of young David Lee make for emotional listening indeed! Both scores presented in excellent mono sound from composer's personal master tapes, courtesy the Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the North Music Group. Two decidedly different voices from one magnificent composer! Alex North conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remain!