Kritzerland is pleased to present for the first time complete and in stereo, a new limited edition soundtrack release:
DAVID AND BATHSHEBA
Music Composed and Conducted by Alfred Newman
David and Bathsheba was 20th Century-Fox’s initial entry in the Biblical-spectacular trend of the late 1940s and early ’50s. Released in August 1951, David and Bathsheba received five Academy Award nominations and became – at $7 million in domestic box-office rentals – not only the biggest moneymaker in Fox history to that time, but also the top box-office film for any studio that year. Starring Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, and a large cast of supporting players, David and Bathsheba, with a script by Phillip Dunne and direction by Henry King, was, as producer Darryl F. Zanuck put it, “an honest, sincere Biblical story dealing with one of the greatest characters of all time,” but also added the all-important “Plus, it is a violent, sexy love story that involves illegitimacy and even murder.” Of course, one of the key components of the film was Alfred Newman’s stunning score.
Alfred Newman, then eleven years into his twenty-year tenure at Fox, had already won four Academy Awards and another twenty-four nominations for his dramatic scores, songs and music direction. Newman took more than forty-five studio hours, spread over thirteen days (mostly between late April and late May 1951), to record the entire score. The orchestra at its height contained sixty-eight players. And what he delivered was one of his all-time masterpieces, filled with melody, memorable themes, drama, pageantry, and emotion. The Hollywood Reporter noted that “Alfred Newman’s score develops in intensity in the same fashion as the story, rising to powerful crescendos that sweep the action to its conclusion.” Among Alfred Newman’s many scores for religious pictures – including The Song of Bernadette, The Robe and The Greatest Story Ever Told – the music of David and Bathsheba ranks as one of his finest.
David and Bathsheba was previously released on CD by Intrada, running a bit over fifty-five minutes and from the then available best sources, which were optical mono tracks mixed in with transcription discs. They did include one tantalizing stereo track at the end of their presentation and their CD sold out in just a few months. But sometimes miracles happen and the complete tracks, in stereo, were found in a vault they should not have been in – they were mis-labeled. Those tracks, in superb condition, were lovingly transferred and aligned resulting in a breathtaking stereo presentation, perhaps one of the best-sounding recordings of any score of this vintage. It is, in a word, spectacular. For fans of biblical film music, music of the Golden Age of film scoring, and one of the greatest film composers of all time, the CD is a must.
David and Bathsheba is limited to 1500 copies only. The price is $19.98, plus shipping.
CD will ship the third week of October – however, never fear, preorders placed directly through Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks earlier (we’ve been averaging four weeks early).