Bird of Paradise:
Insel der zornigen Götter (West Germany)
L'oiseau de paradis (France)
Ave del paraíso (Spain)
L'uccello del paradiso (Italy)
La rivolta di haiti (Italy)
Revuelta en Haití (Spain)
Schwarze Trommeln (West Germany)
Limited edition of 1000 copies.
A pair of lush, tropical scores to keep you warm this winter, Daniele Amfitheatrof's Bird of Paradise and Hugo Friedhofer's Lydia Bailey come to CD for the first time!
Bird Of Paradise is the second iteration of Richard Walton Tully's popular play about a young Westerner whose romance with a Polynesian princess arouses the ire of the island gods; the first was made by RKO in 1932, directed by King Vidor and starring Dolores Del Rio and Joel McCrea. Fox's 1951 production starring Debra Paget and Jeff Chandler was not very successful. Lending power and verisimilitude to the occasionally silly — if supremely diverting — proceedings, is Daniele Amfitheatrof's gorgeously evocative score.
Very different in kind, if not in quality, is Hugo Friedhofer's score for Lydia Bailey, a fascinating if rarely seen historical epic focusing on former slave Toussaint Louverture's 18th century struggle for Haiti's independence. By the time he got to Lydia Bailey, Friedhofer was what colleague David Raksin called "a patriarchal figure," and there is, in fact, something magisterial about his music here. This is a muscular score, somber and grave from the very first moments of its opening cue, Mirabeau, with Friedhofer brilliantly blending straightforward symphonic suspense and daring hints of African-style percussion.
A double dose of cinematic musical splendor for those OK with travelling back a little farther in time to a Golden Age when such film music releases as this couldn't even be dreamed of.
- Varèse Sarabande