Mussolini The Untold Story - 2 x CD Limited Edition - Laurence Rosenthal


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Re-mastered reissue of exciting 2-CD set to epic mini-series! 1985. NBC. George C. Scott leads three-part mini-series as Benito Mussolini, notorious leader of National Fascist Party in Italy. Top players surround Scott, including Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Raul Julia, Gabriel Byrne, Virginia Madsen, Lee Grant and young Robert Downey, Jr. Top drawer talent behind the small screen include director William Graham, writer Sterling Silliphant, veteran composer Laurence Rosenthal. Lengthy 2-hour score was recipient of an Emmy nomination for “Best Dramatic Underscore In a Mini-Series or Special” but with a degree of irony, lost that honor to yet another epic mini-series score, Peter The Great, composed by the very same Laurence Rosenthal that year. Rosenthal anchors entire score with dynamic march, both imperial in tone and crisply aggressive. Primarily heard in major keys, this march offers a field day for brass and percussion up close. Though played in the major, undertone is intense and remains dark and combative in style. In contrast, and heard in cues soon after, is richly moving minor-key theme, associated with Benito’s wife, Rachele. Both in gentle strings and sweeping in full orchestra, this melody is infused with great suffering, as was Rachele herself. Particular note must be made of this theme in “Bruno’s Funeral”, a genuine highlight. Bruno, son of Benito and Rachele, was a pilot, killed in a plane crash at the too-young age of 23. Rosenthal scores this tragic funeral music, emphasizing Rachele’s theme with an incredibly moving surge from the entire orchestra over a rolling bed of percussion. It’s an epic moment of tragedy captured with a sad vernacular only music can provide. Rosenthal has other major themes as well, playing to Benito’s mistress, to the romantic yearnings of oldest daughter Edda and Count Galeazzo Ciano and to the violence during Benito’s leadership years. Rosenthal himself describes the score as “a kind of insulata mista – a world of contrasts, joy and tragedy, loyalty and treachery, human warmth and incredible brutality.” Recorded and mixed at ARCO Studios in Munich by Malcolm Luker in July 1984. Orchestrations by Steve Bramson, Laurence Rosenthal. Laurence Rosenthal conducts the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra

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