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The Adventures of Robin Hood

The Adventures of Robin Hood Soundtrack (Erich Wolfgang Korngold) - CD cover
Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Released: 2003 (Film release: 1938)
Label: Marco Polo (0636943526828)
Type: Movie
Listen: Amazon.com MP3
Format: CD, Download
Reviewers (10.00/10)
Members (8.67/10) (9 votes)
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1. Main Title - Muted Fanfare (1:49)
2. Sir Guy And Robin Hood (1:48)
3. The Meeting (1:10)
4. The Banquet (2:13)
5. Robin Hood Outside - Robin Hood's Entrance - The Fight - The Chase Of Robin Hood - The Victims (6:12)
6. Robin Hood Meets Little John - Robin Hood Fights With Little John - Jolly Friendship (3:55)
7. The Oath And The Black Arrow (1:58)
8. The Fish - Robin Hood's Fight With Friar Tuck (3:28)
9. A New Companion (Friar Tuck) (0:55)
10. Robin Hood Attacks Sir Guy's Party - The Attack (5:11)
11. Flirt - Feast - Poor People's Feast - Gold (5:58)
12. The Poor People (4:19)
13. The Tournament - Robin Hood's Appearance At The Archery Field - Preparation For The Archery Contest - Robin Hood Starts To Shoot - Finale Of The Archery Contest (6:37)
14. Arrest Of Robin Hood (0:47)
15. Tribunal - The Jail (2:26)
16. The Gallows - The Flight Of Robin Hood (4:39)
17. Love Scene (6:24)
18. Arrest Of Lady Marian (0:45)
19. Much: The Knife Fight (1:10)
20. Richard Meets Robin Hood - Richard The Lion Heart (4:03)
21. The Procession (3:08)
22. Prince John (1:32)
23. The Battle - The Duel - The Victory (5:36)
24. Epilogue (1:33)
25. End Cast (0:35)

Total duration: 78 minutes
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Review of Tom Daish, submitted at , score: 10/10
After years of neglect, the true class and longevity of Erich Wolfgang Korngold's film music is evident in its increased programming in film music concerts and the inclusion of his non-film work in amongst concerts featuring music by the other great composers of his day. The scores that appear most frequently are undoubtedly The Sea Hawk and The Adventures of Robin Hood both are equally superb as classic film scores, but the enduring appeal of the latter gives it the edge in popularity, even though it was first released such a long time ago that few could recall seeing it at the cinema first time around. Its cheerful simplicity seems quite naive these days, as does the incredible technicolour cinematography which gives all the costumes an almost disturbing garishness and outdoor scenery that appears to have been applied with a few coats of Dulux. In many ways, Korngold's music has dated too; its florid and complex style isn't in vogue any more and even those that ape it tone it down, although I suspect that's because few Hollywood composers these days are capable of writing something so intricate, yet note perfect.

Almost every Korngold compilation features something from Robin Hood, but this represents the first recording of the complete score by the accomplished trio of conductor William Stromberg, musicologist John Morgan and the musicians of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. As a film, Robin Hood has all a composer could want for a colourful, dynamic score and of course Korngold delivers beyond wildest expectations. There is scintillating action that mirrors the agility of the performers onscreen, but without ever becoming disjointed or unmusical. It is astonishing to think that Korngold composed music that has such a miraculous synergy with the action by simply playing the film repeatedly and improvising along to it on the piano. The music seems frighteningly difficult when shared between dozens of orchestral players, but seemingly impossible to make up as one went along on the piano; I guess that would be the genius part of Korngold. Of course, not every frame is breathless action and there are a myriad of equally lovely interludes, from the swaggering March of the Merry Men - ostensibly the film's main theme - to the velvety romance music for Robin and Marian. Each mood and action is captured so perfectly in music that it simply plays as a ballet based on the story, the film is almost redundant to its own score.

The only album containing more than a brief suite from the score is the Kojian album on Varese Sarabande with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, which was limited in length as the selections were chosen to fit on an LP, but lacked nothing in technical prowess or faithfulness. Compared to this latest disc, Kojian offers a more lithe performance and in a change from usual, the Varese disc has a much cleaner, more upfront acoustic. By contrast, the Marco Polo recording has a more weighty sound which gives it a more beefy and richer sound as opposed to the much more incisive Kojian. I never imagined I'd be able to compare the quality of performance for multiple re-recordings, but in this case it's am embarrassment of riches. Of course, no Korngold fan should go without either disc as they both offer equally superb, but different takes on the same always sublime music. Overall, I suppose Marco Polo win on points due to the longer release and the typically extensive and detailed liner notes covering the making of the film, the conception of the score and a track by track analysis. Essential.

Read other recent reviews by Tom Daish: The Snow Files: The Film Music of Mark Snow, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Andromeda

Review of Tudor H., submitted at , score: 10/10
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.

Read other recent reviews by Tudor H.: Cocoon, An American Tail, Once Upon a Forest

Find more reviews on FilmMusicSearch.com
Other releases of The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938):

Adventures of Robin Hood, The (2004) Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1983) Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1997) Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1983) Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1987)

Soundtracks from the collection: Re-recordings

Out of Africa (1997) Jason and the Argonauts (1999) Wings (2012) Quo Vadis (2012) Another Dawn / Escape Me Never (1996) El Cid (2008) Conan the Barbarian (2010) Film Music of Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, The (2001) Snows of Kilimanjaro / 5 Fingers, The (2001) Julius Caesar (1995)

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