The Adventures of Robin Hood remains today a classic, for both film and soundtrack history. Re-recorded by the fabulous Moscow Symphony Orchestra under the baton of William Stromberg, this album could be dubbed a "complete score" because it contains virtually every bit of music heard in the film. And the re-recording sounds very good, it really stands up to the original. And the soundtrack has a really interesting story. Back in 1938, Erich Wolfgang Korngold was in Europe when he was contacted to come to the United States to write the score for this film, starring Errol Flynn. Erich agreed and came to the US. A short time after, Austria (which was the home country of Erich) was attacked and occupied by the Nazis and the condition for the Jews in Austria became very dangerous. So, in a way, The Adventures of Robin Hood saved Erich's life.
Structured in 25 tracks with a total running time of 78 minutes, The Adventures of Robin Hood is a very enjoyable score to listen, from the beginning to the end. It is constructed on quite a few themes and motifs, with themes for Robin Hood, the Merry Men, King Richard and a beautiful Love Theme.
The album begins with "Main Title - Muted Fanfare", which consists of two parts. The first part introduces the theme for the Merry Men, Robin Hood's faithful companions, in a lively tone that sounds like a fanfare. The second part turns into a more romantic tone, that represents King Richard's theme. The next track, "Sir Guy and Robin Hood" introduces the theme for Robin Hood, which will be used all over the soundtrack but not excessive.
The track "Love Scene" is the best track on the album and, perhaps, the best love theme ever written. It has that rare quality that goes into the heart and remains there. Erich was a romantic composer and this track demonstrates how well he was fitted in this style. He was a wonderful crafter of love themes that really left the audiences spellbound. And if you see the scene from the movie with this cue, you will see how perfectly they fit together.
Another magnificent track is "The Tournament...", a 6 minute cue that was used for the archery tournament sequence. The beginning fanfare is, in my opinion, one of the best fanfares ever written. And the rest of the track is just as beautiful as the beginning.
These are the highlights of the album. I'm not saying that the other tracks are bad, but these tracks (1, 2, 13 and 17) are golden. They feature Erich Korngold at his best.
Overall, The Adventures of Robin Hood remains a classic for the history of film scores, that continues today to inspire people, even though it's been over 70 years since it was composed. It has some wonderful themes and a really beautiful love theme that will be like an ambrosia for your ears. Erich Wolfgang Korngold received a well-deserved Academy Award for this masterpiece.
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