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Soundtrack Review

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Cinema's Exiles
From Hitler to Hollywood
Original Television Soundtrack


Composer: Peter Melnick
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 15 April 2016

Seven years after the album was originally produced, MovieScore Media release Peter Melnick’s Cinema’s Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood, a tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood featuring both Melnick’s original score as well as previously unreleased tracks of the era...

The score for Cinema's Exiles: From Hitler to Hollywood contains 30 tracks (58 min, 53 sec). Of this, 25 tracks (42 min, 34) are Peter Melnick's original score, with the remaining 5 tracks (15 min, 29 sec) being comprised of archive recordings from the time period.

These include a previously unreleased work by Franz Waxman, a six-minute suite from Fritz Lang’s Liliom, the 1934 film that launched the composer’s career in Hollywood. The album also features 'Ach, wie ist das Leben schön' and 'Für’n Groschen Liebe', two Waxman songs performed by Dolly Haas from the soundtrack of the 1932 picture Scampolo. Since these tracks are taken from vintage sources, their quality is archival.

The film discusses the exodus of German and Austrian filmmakers - great directors (Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak) and composers (Franz Waxman, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold) alike. While writer/director Karen Thomas pays tribute to the 800+ German filmmakers who had to leave their homeland due to Hitler’s rise to power, the film has a special bonus for fans of film music, as the pre-Hollywood lives of Golden Age masters Franz Waxman and Erich W. Korngold have never been documented with such detail.

It's an interesting score and Melnick turns his hand to composing snippets for several genres including Westerns ('Fritz Goes Western'), but it's his main theme, which is echoed throughout the score that I warmed to the most.


Darren Rea

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