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“Masada”! Intrada! Another Soundtrack Holy Grail Comes to CD

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One word describes a television movie event that harkened back to epics like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments. That same word is the title of a soundtrack from one of film’s great musical legends that’s become one of the most-desired archival releases. And now, the wait is over: Intrada Records today announced the release of the complete original score to Masada (1981).

Masada was based on the siege of the titular Jewish citadel in Israel in A.D. 73. The defenders of the citadel held bravely against the looming Roman army, but Rome’s empire was too strong and numerous. However, rather than admit defeat, the freedom fighters took their own lives en masse. The story may have been one for the history books, but the parallels with current events were all too evident; some three years prior to the broadcast, Jim Jones and 909 members of his cult committed mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana – the largest non-natural disaster-induced loss of life at the time.

The four-part series had impressive pedigrees, chief among them a script adapted from the novel The Antagonists by Ernest K. Gann and star turns by Peter O’Toole and Peter Strauss (the latter of which was a star on the miniseries circuit thanks to programs like Kane and Abel and Rich Man, Poor Man). Both men would be nominated for an Emmy for their roles on either side of the conflict – but the trophy went to another stellar actor in the program: David Warner, a Shakespearean actor best known to American audiences as the photographer who uncovers some terrible secrets in The Omen (1976). The win cemented Warner’s breakthrough in America, and he would continue playing notable parts in films like TRON (1982) and Titanic (1996), not to mention considerable voice work.

The music of Masada came from two men with considerable pedigrees. One was Jerry Goldsmith, the iconic composer behind some of film’s greatest scores. (At the time, his most recent hits included Alien, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (both 1979) and Outland (1981).) Goldsmith’s sweeping, adventurous themes and action cues were classic Goldsmith – but even though it netted him an Emmy, he wasn’t the only one behind the music.

While Goldsmith did write the score and conduct the first two parts of the series, conducting duties for the last two parts went to Morton Stevens, one of Goldsmith’s protegees. Stevens had an impressive resume on his own, namely the theme to Hawaii Five-O and music for Gunsmoke, and his work on Masada was essential. That material – along with many of the bigger action cues done by Goldsmith – were curiously left off the original soundtrack album released by MCA Records. (The album, consisting of re-recorded cues, was released on CD by Varese Sarabande.) This two-disc release, however, features every cue from all four parts of the series, sourced from the immaculate four-track stereo session masters. The package is augmented by liner notes by prominent film music historian Jon Burlingame.

Masada, limited to 5,000 copies, is available to order now but will start shipping this Wednesday, June 1. Hit the jump to read the full track list!

Jerry Goldsmith and Morton Stevens, Masada: Original Television Score (Intrada Special Collection Volume 171, 2011 – original miniseries broadcast 1981)

Disc 1: Parts I & II (composed by Jerry Goldsmith)

  1. Main Title
  2. Burning City
  3. Not Finished
  4. Nothing to Worry About
  5. Roman Fanfare/Not for Years/Taxes
  6. The Granary
  7. No Horses
  8. Too Dark
  9. The Mime (Roman Source)
  10. Welcome Home
  11. Roman March
  12. Your Land
  13. Masada – End Part I
  14. Masada Theme (End Credits)
  15. The Return
  16. Move On
  17. The Moabites
  18. Lineup
  19. Roman Horns/Formalities Over
  20. The Camp
  21. Not Necessary
  22. Bumper No. 3/No God
  23. The Sun
  24. Roman Horns/Another Victory
  25. Night Patrol
  26. The Slaves
  27. Bumper No. 2/A Matter of Logic
  28. The Mask
  29. Her Desire
  30. Everybody in the Pool
  31. A Man Before
  32. No Chance
  33. Bumper No. 1/Back to Work/Masada – End Part II
  34. Masada Theme (End Credits)

Disc 2: Parts III & IV (composed by Morton Stevens)

  1. Masada Intro
  2. Belly Dance
  3. Nothing to Give
  4. Running Water
  5. Voice from Above
  6. Falco’s Tour
  7. Mid-Day Ration of Death
  8. Building the Ramp
  9. Pain in the Neck
  10. Falco’s Orders
  11. 901 Tk1
  12. Masada – End Part III
  13. Masada Theme (End Credits)
  14. Precarius Meeting
  15. Meeting Unsuccessful
  16. Zealots Prepare
  17. Sheva Gives Again
  18. The Tower
  19. Discovery/Inner Wall/Ram’s Head
  20. Burn It/Fire
  21. Sheva’s Decision
  22. West Wind
  23. Zealot Meeting
  24. Make-Up for Death
  25. Elezar Speaks
  26. Plenty of Time
  27. Reckless
  28. Silva’s Soliloquy
  29. Masada – End Part IV
  30. Masada Theme (End Credits)

Written by Mike Duquette

May 31, 2011 at 09:40

Posted in News, Reissues, Soundtracks

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