I love film music from a classical music perspective. Film music recordings often present watered-down pop arrangements of themes from movies. Sometimes the original soundtrack recording isn't very satisfying because: However many recordings are available that do present film music in extended suites, as close as possible to the form in which the composer wrote it. Here are a few that I enjoy. I'll be adding comments and albums to this list as time allows. If you have any comments, corrections or recommendations of other film music albums, feel free to send a note to d m z a j i c at umiacs.umd.edu


Catalog
Year
Duration
Composers & Titles Comments
RCA Victor Classic Film Score series
The albums in this series are collections organized by composer or film star. Films are represented by short suites, ranging in duration from 1 to 20 minutes and are either the original orchestrations or good reconstructions. This series is credited with innovating the business of re-recording film music as serious orchestral music. The National Philharmonic Orchestra seems to be a London-based pick-up ensemble that doesn't exist outside the recording studio. An interesting essay about the series can be found here .
7890-2-RG
1989
70:05
The Sea Hawk
The Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

The Sea Hawk · Of Human Bondage · Between Two Worlds · The Sea Wolf · The Constant Nymph · King's Row · Anthony Adverse · Deception · Devotion · Escape Me Never
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded 1972
There are two versions of this album on cd. This was the first of the series to be re-released on CD, and it contains some additional material from other albums. A later release contains the same program as the original LP. The selection from The Constant Nymph is a sort of tone poem and orchestral song called Tomorrow sung by contralto Norma Procter.
0185-2-RG
1973
47:48
Elizabeth and Essex
The Classic Film Scores of Erich Wolfgang Korngold

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex · The Prince and the Pauper · Anthony Adverse · The Sea Wolf · Deception · Another Dawn · Of Human Bondage
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded February 1973
The selection from Deception is a cello concerto, performed by cellist Franciso Garbarro.
0136-2-RG
1973
53:31
Now, Voyager
The Classic Film Scores of Max Steiner

Now, Voyager · King Kong · Saratoga Trunk · The Charge of the Light Brigade · Four Wives · The Big Sleep · Johnny Belinda · Since You Went Away · The Informer · The Fountainhead
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded February 1973
The selection from Four Wives is a piano concerto called Symphonie Moderne, performed by pianist Earl Wild.
0183-2-RG
1973
40:50
Classic Film Scores for Bette Davis
Max Steiner   Now, Voyager · Dark Victory · In This Our Life · Jezebel · Beyond the Forest · The Letter · All This, and Heaven Too   Erich Wofgang Korngold The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex · Juarez   Franz Waxman   Mr. Skeffington   Alfred Newman   All About Eve
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded February 1973
0184-2-RG
1973
44:38
Captain from Castile
The Classic Film Scores of Alfred Newman

20th Century-Fox Fanfare and Street Scene · Captain from Castile · Wuthering Heights · Down to the Sea in Ships · The Song of Bernadette · The Bravados · Anastasia · The Best of Everything · Airport · The Robe
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded February 1973
0452-2-RG
1974
43:27
Max Steiner   Gone With the Wind
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded September 1973
0422-2-RG
1974
50:52
Casablanca
Classic Film Scores for Humphrey Bogart

Max Steiner   Casablanca · Passage to Marseille · The Treasure of the Sierra Madre · The Big Sleep · The Caine Mutiny · Virginia City · Key Largo   Franz Waxman   To Have and Have Not · The Two Mrs. Carrolls   Frederick Hollander   Sabrina   Victor Young   The Left Hand of God   Miklos Rozsa   Sahara
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded September 1973
0707-2-RG
1974
52:05
Citizen Kane
The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann

On Dangerous Ground · Citizen Kane · Beneath the 12-Mile Reef · Hangover Square · White Witch Doctor
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano · Joaquin Achucarro, piano · National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded June 1974
The selection from Hangover Square is a piano concerto called Concerto Macabre, performed by Joaquin Achucarro. The aria from Salammbo in Citizen Kane is performed by Kiri Te Kanawa.
0708-2-RG
1974
53:33
Sunset Boulevard
The Classic Film Scores of Franz Waxman

Prince Valiant · A Place in the Sun · The Bride of Frankenstein · Sunset Boulevard · Old Acquaintance · Rebecca · The Philadelphia Story · Taras Bulba
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded July 1974

0911-2-RG
1976
54:25
Spellbound
The Classic Film Scores of Miklos Rozsa

The Red House · The Thief of Bagdad · The Lost Weekend · The Four Feathers · Double Indemnity · Knights of the Round Table · The Jungle Book · Spellbound · Ivanhoe
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded October 1974
0912-2-RG
1975
56:01
Captain Blood
Classic Film Scores for Errol Flynn

Max Steiner   The Adventures of Don Juan · They Died with Their Boots On · Dodge City   Erich Wolfgang Korngold   The Sea Hawk · Captain Blood · The Adventures of Robin Hood   Franz Waxman   Objective, Burma!   Hugo Friedhofer   The Sun Also Rises
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded November 1974
1669-2-RG
1976
45:44
Lost Horizon
The Classic Film Scores of Dimitri Tiomkin

Lost Horizon · The Guns of Navarone · The Big Sky · The Fourposter · Friendly Persuasion · Search for Paradise
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded December 1974
1490-2-RG
1976
46:55
Laura
David Raksin Conducts His Great Film Scores

Laura · Forever Amber · The Bad and the Beautiful
New Philharmonia Orchestra · David Raksin
recorded 1975
6/11/91 John Williams' Classic Film Scores
Star Wars · Close Encounters of the Third Kind
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded December 1977
It's very odd that this album and the other two Star Wars albums were recorded almost immediately after the releases of the films. The earlier albums consist of music that was 20 to 40 years old at the time of recording. The program notes offer very little to explain why the Star Wars scores were re-recorded while the ink was still drying, other than a note from Williams saying that he likes the recordings. The recordings are wonderful, offering interpretations that are often very different from Williams' own.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold   Kings Row
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded July 1979
Originally released by Chalfont Records.
John Williams   The Empire Strikes Back
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded May 1980
This wasn't released on cd until about 1989, and was also originally recorded for Chalfont.
3/8/91 John Williams   Return of the Jedi
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
recorded May 1983
Absolutely no program notes come with this album.
VSD 5207
1989
66:39
The Prince and the Pauper
John Williams   The Reivers · Jane Eyre   Miklos Rozsa   The Lost Weekend   Erich Wolfgang Korngold   Between Two Worlds · The Constant Nymph · The Prince and the Pauper · Escape Me Never   George Antheil   The Specter of the Rose   Michael J. Lewis   The Madwoman of Chaillot   Alex North   Cleopatra · Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?   Leonard Pennario   Julie   George Delerue   Anne of the 1000 Days   William Walton   Henry V
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
This album is a compilation of recordings made for Readers Digest in the late 1960s along with some selections that were recorded later but didn't fit into any of the albums. The suite from Walton's Henry V contains different selections than the standard concert suite and uses the original orchestrations.
2792-2-RG
1977
51:17
(27:08)
The Spectacular World of Classic Film Scores
McHugh   Universal Pictures Fanfare   Miklos Rozsa   Julius Caesar   Franz Waxman   Peyton Place   Dimitri Tiomkin   The Thing (from Another World)   Bernard Herrmann   King of the Khyber Rifles   Daniele Amfitheatrof   Salome  
National Philharmonic Orchestra · Charles Gerhardt
This is a compilation album. Most of the music comes from the other albums in the series, and a few selections are unique to this album. I've listed only the music that is unique to this album. The program notes don't make it clear who McHugh is. My guess is songwriter Jimmy McHugh, but if anyone can say for sure, please send me a note. The program notes are mostly an interview with Charles Gerhardt about the series.
Varese Sarabande Film Classics series
Alex North   2001 (Unused Score)
Jerry Goldsmith/National Philharmonic Orchestra
recorded January 1993
Bernard Herrmann   Fahrenheit 451 · The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit · Tender Is the Night · The Ghost and Mrs. Muir · Anna and the King of Siam
Joel McNeely/Seattle Symphony Orchestra
recorded May & November 1994
Alex North   A Streetcar Named Desire
Jerry Goldsmith/National Philharmonic Orchestra
recorded January 1995
Bernard Herrmann   Vertigo
Joel McNeely/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded September 1995
Elmer Bernstein   To Kill a Mockingbird
Elmer Bernstein/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded August 1996
Bernard Herrmann   Psycho
Joel McNeely/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded September 1996
Alex North   Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Jerry Goldsmith/National Philharmonic Orchestra
recorded February 1997
Jerry Goldsmith   The Sand Pebbles
Jerry Goldsmith/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded February 1997
Jerry Goldsmith   Patton · Tora! Tora! Tora!
Jerry Goldsmith/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded February 1997
Bernard Herrmann   Torn Curtain (The Unused Score)
Joel McNeely/National Philharmonic Orchestra
recorded February 1997
Alex North   Viva Zapata!
Jerry Goldsmith/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded September 1997
Alex North   The Agony and the Ecstasy
Jerry Goldsmith/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded September 1997
John Williams   Midway
Rick Wentworth/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded April 1998
John Barry   Body Heat
Joel McNeely/London Symphony Orchestra
recorded April 1998
Bernard Herrmann   The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
John Debney/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded May 1998
John Williams   Superman
John Debney/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded August 1998
Bernard Herrmann   Citizen Kane
Joel McNeely/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded February 1997, May 1998, September 1999
Bernard Herrmann   The Twilight Zone   Main Title · Where Is Everybody? · Walking Distance · The Lonely · Eye of the Beholder · Little Girl Lost · Living Doll · Ninety Years Without Slumbering
Joel McNeely
recorded September 1999
No orchestra is credited because the ensembles for which Herrmann wrote these television scores are so non-standard that it wouldn't make sense to engage a full orchestra for them.
John Williams   Jaws
Joel McNeely/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded September 1999 & May 2000
Franz Waxman   Rebecca
Joel McNeely/Royal Scottish National Orchestra
recorded May 2000 & January 2002
Bernard Herrmann   The Day the Earth Stood Still
Joel McNeely
recorded January 2002
Marco Polo Film Classics series
8.223134
12/17/92
63:15
Arthur Honegger   Les Misérables · La Roue · Mermoz · Napoléon
Adriano/CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)
recorded November 1987
8.223181 Honegger: Les Miserables
223287
12/17/92
Jacques Ibert Macbeth · Golgotha · Don Quichotte
Adriano/Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)
recorded July 1989 & January 1990. No longer in Marco Polo's catalog.
8.223314
06/14/01
Aram Khachaturian The Battle of Stalingrad · Othello
Adriano/Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)
recorded July 1989 & June 1992. No longer in Marco Polo's catalog.
8.223315
12/17/92
Bliss Christopher Columbusordered 3/10
223399
12/17/92
Franz Waxman   Rebecca
Adriano/Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
recorded November 1990. No longer in Marco Polo's catalog.
8.223466
10/05/93
Honegger Crime et chatiment, etc.
8.223467
02/01/94
59:51
Arthur Honegger   Mayerling · Regain · Le Démon de l'Himalaya
Adriano/Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava)
recorded June 1992 & February 1993
8.223477
01/04/94
Hans Salter   House of Frankenstein · Ghost of Frankenstein
Andrew Penny/RTE Concert Orchestra
recorded September 1992
8.223535
11/29/94
Herrmann Jane Eyreordered 3/10
8.223607
05/23/95
Miklós Rózsa   The King's Thief   Victor Young   Scaramouche   Erich Wolfgang Korngold   Captain Blood   Max Steiner   The Three Musketeers
Richard Kaufman/Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Potsdam
recorded April & June 1994
8.223608
05/23/95
Historical Romances Korngold, Newman, Steiner ordered 3/10
8.223651
08/08/94
Devreese Soundtrack?
8.223681
06/14/94
Devreese Benvenuta, etc.
8.223682
10/27/98
Nordgren The Bergman Suites
8.223747
02/20/96
Monster Music of Salter & Skinner ordered 3/10
8.223749
02/20/96
Salter/Dessau House of Frankenstein ordered 3/10
8.223750
06/23/98
Alfred Newman   All About Eve · Beau Geste · The Hunchback of Notre Dame
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded October 1996
8.223763
10/19/99
Max Steiner   King Kong
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded October 1996
8.223765
04/23/96
Georges Auric   La Belle et la Bête
Adriano/Axios/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded December 1994. No longer in Marco Polo's catalog
8.223841
08/06/98
Herrmann Garden of Evil, Prince of Players
8.223857
08/05/97
Hugo Friedhofer   The Adventures of Marco Polo · The Lodger · The Rains of Ranchipur · Seven Cities of Gold
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded April 1996
8.223870
12/17/96
Steiner Virginia City, Lost Patrol, etc.
8.223871
02/04/97
Korngold Another Dawn, Escape Me Never
8.223897
01/21/03
Shostakovich Fall of Berlin, etc.
8.225037
09/28/99
Waxman Mr. Skeffington
8.225038
09/28/99
Erich Wolfgang Korngold   Devotion
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded October 1997
8.225050
12/15/98
Philip Sainton   Moby Dick
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded April 1997
8.225063
03/09/99
Young Greatest Show on Earth, etc.
8.225066
11/30/99
Auric Volume 2
8.225070
06/13/00
Auric Volume 3
8.225078
11/30/99
Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Newman   The Egyptian
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Choir
recorded April 1998
8.225079
06/22/99
Steiner They Died with Their Boots On
8.225124
05/16/00
Salter,Skinner Mystery and Horror
8.225125
06/13/00
Webb Cat People, Bedlam, etc.
8.225132
10/19/99
Murder and Mayhem (sampler)
8.225136
04/17/01
Auric Volume 4
8.225148
11/14/00
Waxman Objective Burma
8.225149
01/16/01
Max Steiner   The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
recorded October 1999
8.225153
01/21/03
Kilar Bram Soker's Dracula
8.225166
03/20/01
Max Steiner   The Son of Kong · The Most Dangerous Game
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded April 2000
8.225167
01/15/01
Malcolm Arnold   The Roots of Heaven · David Copperfield
William Stromberg/Moscow Symphony Orchestra
recorded April 2000
8.225168
09/18/01
Herrmann Snows of Kilimanjaro
8.225169
07/16/02
Deutsch Maltese Falcon, etc.
8.225268
11/18/03
Korngold Adventures of Robin Hood
Other recordings (not part of series)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold   Anthony Adverse
John Scott/Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
recorded June 1990, Varese Sarabande
Warsaw Concerto and other Piano Concertos from the Movies
Richard Addinsell   Warsaw Concerto from Dangerous Moonlight   Jack Beaver   Portrait of Ilsa from The Case of the Frightened Lady   Miklós Rósza   Spellbound Concerto from Spellbound   Nino Rota   The Legend of the Glass Mountain from The Glass Mountain   Richard Rodney Bennett   Theme and Waltz from Murder on the Orient Express   Hubert Bath   Cornish Rhapsody from Love Story   Bernard Herrmann   Concerto Macabre from Hangover Square   Charles Williams   The Dream of Olwen from While I Live   Leonard Pennario   Midnight on the Cliffs from Midnight on the Cliffs  
Philip Fowke, piano/RTE Concert Orchestra/Proinnsías Ó Duinn
recorded September 1995, Naxos