All-new licensing arrangement with Walt Disney Productions allows brand new complete presentation of powerhouse Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack from Delbert Mann deadly escape from East to West Germany tale, starring John Hurt, Beau Bridges, Jane Alexander, Glynnis O'Connor. Brand new mastering from original multi-track stereo session masters provides best audio ever, includes two major alternate sequences where Goldsmith made interesting changes during scoring sessions. When Intrada visited score years ago with composer involvement, Goldsmith edited several bars of his opening percussion to "tighten pace". Result was indeed a brisker reading of opening prologue music but somewhat lost were critically timed pauses between bars of percussion, pauses that later become part of interior rhythm of score throughout. Cues now play in their original unedited manner. For massive "First Flight" set-piece, Goldsmith recorded cue in two versions two accommodate editorial changes in picture, one familiar from earlier album, the other being heard for first time ever.
While Mike Nichols' 1966 film of Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? gets more frightening every time you watch it, Alexander North's score to the same film gets more consoling every time you hear it. Nichols' film, particularly the performances by Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, has scenes of terrific intensity, but North's score, though faithful to what's on screen, has a tenderness, even a sweetness, that transforms the ultimate meaning of the film. Part of it is North's characteristically evocative orchestration with some cues delicately scored for guitar, celesta, bass clarinet, harpsichord, and a pair of harps, while others are scored for spare almost spooky winds arrayed against soothing strings. But most of it is North's soaring melodies and brooding harmonies – and especially his big-hearted main theme. By prefiguring the film's reconciliatory ending, the solace offered by North's score transfigures all the horrors enacted between Taylor and Burton.
Whenever he was asked to name his own personal favorite within his long and distinguished oeuvre, Jerry Goldsmith inevitably cited his work on 1977's obscure Ernest Hemingway adaptation Islands in the Stream. A lush, often melancholy score evoking both the serenity and the treachery of the sea, it is undoubtedly Goldsmith's most intimate effort, eschewing the larger-than-life drama and suspense of his best-known soundtracks. Islands in the Stream is above all a showcase for the composer's consummate ability to vividly communicate both the physical and emotional landscape in such simple yet precise strokes – employing little but a lone French horn, Goldsmith's main theme captures the immense loneliness and solitude of George C. Scott's protagonist, while gentle woodwinds suggest the ocean waves lapping the shore of his island home.