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Label:
Name: NAXOS
Number: NAX8557607

IBERT: MACBETH, GOLGOTHA, DON QUIXOTE (CD)
Composed by: Jacques Ibert

Newly recorded collection of music from three movies scored by Jacques Ibert.

Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adriano.

Macbeth - Concert Suite.

Golgotha - Concert Suite.

Don Quichotte - Film Score.

MACBETH - Shakespeare's tragic tale of the rise and fall of ambitious 12th-century Scottish warrior MacBeth has proven irresistible to filmmakers. Orson Welles was so anxious to transfer the play to the screen that he acceded to the demands of his parent studio, Republic pictures, that he shoot his version of MacBeth in 23 days on standing B-western sets. The result may not be the best-ever cinematic MacBeth, but it's certainly one of the most moody and atmospheric. Director Welles naturally casts star Welles in the title role, with his old radio colleague Jeanette Nolan as Lady MacBeth (her highly stylized performance has been unfairly castigated by purists, but we defy you to take your eyes off her). Dan O'Herlihy plays MacDuff, Roddy MacDowell is Malcolm, and Edgar Barrier the unfortunate Banquo. Erskine Sanford, William Alland and Gus Schilling, veterans all of Welles' masterpiece Citizen Kane, are also prominently featured, as is Welles' daughter Christopher (as one of MacDuff's murdered children). The severe cutting of the original text is compensated for by the addition of a new character, the "Holy Father" (played in Boris Karloff-style makeup by Alan Napier), whose potted Shakespearian speeches help to bridge several continuity gaps. Highlights include MacBeth's tremulous sighting of Banquo's ghost, an extended monologue in which only MacBeth's head is illuminated, and the synthesizer-like interpolations of the three ubiquitous witches. Welles had originally instructed his actors to deliver their dialogue in a thick Scots burr, but this proved so incomprehensible to preview audiences that Republic ordered the film to be completely redubbed. The original, fully restored version of MacBeth (as opposed to the 89-minute general release cut) was made available on videocassette in the mid-1980s. 1948

GOLGOTHA - Julien Duvivier's most controversial production to date, 1935's "Golgotha" is an ambitious and expensive retelling of the Last Days of Jesus. Robert le Vigan plays the Son of God, but as often happens in films of this nature he is upstaged by the villains, Herod (Harry Baur), Pontius Pilate (Jean Gabin) and Judas (Lucas Gridoux). All of Jesus' dialogue is taken directly from the Scriptures, with no movie-style adornments: le Vigan delivers these lines with sincerity and quiet grace. Considering the anti-Semitism prevalent in Europe during the 1930s, the question of the Jews' responsibility for Jesus' death is handled with restraint; blame is squarely laid on the shoulders of a handful of conspirators, rather than an entire race. A throwback to the religious films that Duvivier had made during the silent era, "Golgotha" may seem a bit old-fashioned and stilted when seen today: one contemporary reviewer has likened the film to a display of picture post-cards.

DON QUICHOTTE - The French/British "Don Quixote" is a faithful rendition of the Cervantes novel, with a poignant ending added by director G. W. Pabst. Opera star Feodor Chaliapin stars as Cervantes' "Knight of the Woeful Countenance", an aged, addled Spanish gentleman so devoted to stories of long-ago chivalry that he decides to relive those bygone days. With his faithful squire Sancho Panza (George Robey), Don Quixote rides off to tilt at windmills and to worship chubby milkmaid Renee Valliers as his lady fair "Dulcinea". Sancho manages to save Quixote from killing himself, but cannot prevent the old gent from returning home utterly disillusioned. Director Pabst alters Cervantes' original ending by having the dispirited Quixote pass away as he watches his precious books on chivalry going up in flames. There are actually two versions of "Don Quixote," one in English and one in French; the French-language version has a different supporting cast, but Pabst draws the same deep emotions and brilliant bits of business from both. Though the film unfailingly comes to life in front of an audience, "Don Quixote" is generally out of favor with devotees of G.W. Pabst, who consider the film a step down from his brilliant silent work. 1933

  
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IBERT: MACBETH, GOLGOTHA, DON QUIXOTE
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