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New recording of Tiomkin's ALAMO score

The 70mm Newsletter
Written by: Jeffrey Dane, USADate: 05.05.2010
Album cover art from Screen Archives Entertainment

Not long ago I was told by the best authority (*) that the first complete recording of Dimitri Tiomkin's score for John Wayne's 1960-released film "The Alamo" [In Todd-AO, ed] was made in Nov. 2009 in Europe. I had been told about this in confidence and I'm now at liberty to say that the recording is scheduled for official release on May 11 (though it can be ordered now; see below). The recording's release anticipates by about five months the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the film itself on October 24, 1960 at the Woodlawn Theatre in San Antonio, Texas. Suffice it to say that all things come to those who wait (and who sometimes wait, and wait, and wait. . .).

(*) In this case my friend John Waxman, the son of composer Franz Waxman.

The CD was produced by James Fitzpatrick of Tadlow Music, for a Belgian label under the direction of Luc Van de Ven; the music on this new recording is performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic and the Crouch End Festival Chorus, conducted by Nic Raine.

About this recording, John Waxman had told me, ". . . everything Tiomkin wrote, much not in the picture including entrance, intermission and exit music from roadshow runs at the Rivoli Theatre in New York."

The recording can be ordered from Screen Archives Entertainment:
More in 70mm reading:

Remembering Dimitri Tiomkin

Remembering Miklós Rózsa

The Reconstruction and Restoration of John Wayne's "The Alamo"

"The Alamo" lost 70mm version - This letter which started it all

"The Wonderful World of Brothers Grimm" soundtrack released by Film Score Monthly

Internet link:

Screen Archives Entertainment

Just a few of the salient details are as follows:

• The recording is presented as a 3-CD set.
• Represented on the recording -- which is based on the original 1960 orchestrations -- is more than an hour and a half of previously unreleased music.
• There is nearly a half hour of bonus material including alternative cues.
• Dimitri Tiomkin's wife, Olivia Tiomkin Douglas, attended the recording sessions and also wrote the introduction to the full-color booklet that accompanies the set.

Only a definitive Tiomkin-conducted performance of his entire score could surpass a recording like this -- but this is something with which, alas, we can never be graced. . . .

Most seek to have what they want. The more fortunate actually want what they already have, and find satisfaction in it, and sometimes even fulfillment. We should be thankful for this new recording.
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Updated 21-01-24