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Gone With The Wind: Classic Film Scores by Max Steiner (Review)

posted Feb 16, 2011, 10:37 AM by Kaya Savas

Gone With The Wind
in my book is the greatest score ever composed. This is the epitome of film music and represents everything that Max Steiner is as a composer. The amount of emotion and feeling behind that main theme is stunning. The score has been around for a very long time and has been written about many times. In fact you could write a book about this score alone and not scratch the surface of its significance. What I'm looking at here more specifically is this release from Sony Masterworks. This release is a re-recording of the score by Charles Gerhardt and The National Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Now, I hate re-recordings. Pure and simple I think there is no substitute for the original sound of any score. However I do agree that some scores from the past have aged considerably and their quality has deteriorated. Gone With The Wind is one of those scores. The original recording is muffled, scratchy, poppy, hissy and all sorts of nasty adjectives you'd associate with sound. However there is no substitute for it. The magic that it holds in knowing you are listening to the same instruments used in the film cannot be denied. So that brings us to this release. Is this re-recording faithful to the original? Absolutely 100%. In fact it's one of  the most faithful re-recordings I've heard. The spirit of the score is captured eloquently and brings forth a quality not heard in many years to this wonderful score. Does it sound like a remastered version of the original? No. Lightning can't strike twice. Whatever air was in the room when the original was recorded is forever gone and will only remain in the original recording.

To me Max Steiner's score to Gone With The Wind is what film music is all about. It has one of the most recognizable themes in film history and embodies the film in such a way that only listening to it can explain. I do applaud Sony Masterworks and Charles Gerhardt for taking the initiative to restore this and many other scores through re-recordings. I was presented with the complete collection to review and it was an overwhelming site. I decided to review my favorite which was Gone With The Wind but I will present the complete list of what you can find below. Hopefully one of these compilation scores tickles your fancy enough to go and explore it once again.


Citizen Kane - The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann

Includes selections from On Dangerous Ground / Citizen Kane / Beneath the 12-Mile Reef / Hangover Square / White Witch Doctor


Sunset Boulevard - The Classic Film Scores of Franz Waxman

Includes selections from Prince Valiant / A Place in the Sun / The Bride of Frankenstein / Sunset Boulevard / Old Acquaintance / Rebecca / The Philadelphia Story / Taras Bulba


Elizabeth and Essex - The Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Includes selections from The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex / The Prince and the Pauper / Anthony Adverse / The Sea Wolf / Deception / Another Dawn / Of Human Bondage


Spellbound - The Classic Film Scores of Miklós Rózsa

Includes selections from The Red House / The Thief of Bagdad / The Lost Weekend / The Four Feathers / Double Indemnity / Knights of the Round Table / The Jungle Book / Spellbound / Ivanhoe


Now, Voyager - The Classic Film Scores of Max Steiner

Includes selections from Now, Voyager / King Kong / Saratoga Trunk / The Charge of the Light Brigade / Four Wives / The Big Sleep / Johnny Belinda / Since You Went Away / The Informer / The Fountainhead


Classic Film Scores for Bette Davis

Includes selections from Now, Voyager / Dark Victory / A Stolen Life / The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex Mr. Skeffington / In This Our Life / All About Eve / Jezebel / Beyond the Forest / Juarez / The Letter / All This, and Heaven Too


Laura / Forever Amber / The Bad and the Beautiful - David Raksin Conducts His Great Film Scores

Includes selections from Laura / Forever Amber / The Bad and the Beautiful



THE SEA HAWK – The Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Includes selections from The Sea Hawk / Of Human Bondage / Between Two Worlds / The Sea Wolf / The Constant Nymph / Kings Row / Anthony Adverse / Deception / Devotion / Escape Me Never



Includes all the unforgettable music from Max Steiner’s epic score


CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE – The Classic Film Scores of Alfred Newman

Includes selections from How to Marry a Millionaire / Captain from Castile / Wuthering Heights / Down to the Sea in Ships / The Song of Bernadette / The Bravados / Anastasia / The Best of Everything / Airport / The Robe


CASABLANCA – Classic Film Scores for Humphrey Bogart

Includes selections from Casablanca / Passage to Marseille / The Treasure of Sierra Madre / The Big Sleep / The Caine Mutiny / To Have and Have Not / The Two Mrs. Carrolls / Sabrina / The Left Hand of God / Sahara / Virginia City / Key Largo


LOST HORIZON – The Classic Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin

Includes selections from Lost Horizon / The Guns of Navarone / The Big Sky / The Fourposter / Friendly Persuasion / Search for Paradise


CAPTAIN BLOOD – Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn

Includes selections from The Adventures of Don Juan / The Sea Hawk / They Died with Their Boots On Dodge City / Objective, Burma! / The Sun Also Rises / The Adventures of Robin Hood