Saturday, September 10, 2011

ROLLERBALL - The London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andre Previn

YEAR: 1975

LABEL: United Artists Records

TRACK LISTING: Toccata & Fugue for Organ in D Minor BWV 565, Symphony No. 8 in C Minor Op. 65 (Stalingrad): First mov't (excerpt), Glass Sculpture, Executive Party, Symphony No. 5 in D minor Op. 47: Third mov't (excerpt), Adagio for Violin, Strings & Organ in G minor, Sleeping Beauty Waltz, Executive Party Dance, Symphony No. 5 in D minor Op. 47: Fourth mov't (excerpt)

IMPRESSIONS: One of those movies which I watched all the time on television as a kid in the mid-1970s was ROLLERBALL; what could be cooler than a futuristic sport involving a steel ball, motorcycles and gloves with spikes on 'em?!? However, we also had the soundtrack album ever since it came out in 1975 and it was probably my first exposure to classical music on long-playing record. It wasn't until high school that I truly got into classical music and started amassing a classical record collection. Combine this with the wacky, loungy "wacka-wacka" sound of Andre Previn's mid-70's musical score and the superb album cover artwork by Bob Peak and what's not to love about this soundtrack which was played very often in our wood-panelled living room in Maple Surple. The music went really well with the lime green bean bag chair, too!

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Toccata & Fugue for Organ in D Minor BMW 565, Executive Party, Adagio for Violin, Strings & Organ in G minor, Sleeping Beauty Waltz

FACT SHEET: ROLLERBALL is the soundtrack album to the 1975 United Artists film starring James Caan and John Houseman. The album is pretty evenly divided between classical pieces by Bach, Shostakovich, Albinoni (hold it a minute. . .see below) and Tchaikovsky and original scoring by Andre Previn. 18th century composer Tommaso Albinoni's most famous piece is undoubtedly the "Adagio" but the piece we know was actually derived only from a music fragment (a mere bass line and six bars of melody); it was "reconstructed" in 1945 by musicologist Remo Giazotto into the piece we know today.

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