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Koldys, Mark. "Review: Holdridge." American Record Guide March - April 1987: 83.




by Mark Koldys


HOLDRIDGE: Wizards and Warriors -- Overture; Splash -- Love Theme; The Great Whales -- Introduction and Theme; The Hemingway Play -- Parisian Sketch; Going Home -- The Journey; The Beastmaster; Jonathan Livingston Seagull -- Music for Strings; East of Eden -- Suite; The Brothers; The Father; The Well -- The Naming; The Secret of Monterey -- Abra's Theme; Finale

London Symphony Orchestra; Charles Gerhardt, conductor -- CD -- Varèse Sarabande VCD47244

Who is Lee Holdridge? He is an arranger-conductor-composer, born in Haiti (1944), who moved to the states at the age of fifteen to further his musical education. He has worked on scores of films and television programs without receiving the accolades that Jerry Goldsmith or Miklos Rozsa have. He has not achieved something else that these eminent gentlemen can claim, either: a personal, identifiable musical style. But that may come; obviously Holdridge is a man of some talent to receive the full-album treatment from Charles Gerhardt. As evidenced here, there are enough moments of interest to make up for the occasional lapses of taste.

The Wizards and Warriors Overture exhibits both facets: it begins and ends sweepingly, but the middle section is mush. And the music from The Great Whales is nearly indigestible. But Going Home has a lovely nostalgic aura, The Beastmaster is colorful and energetic, and his Music for Strings (from Jonathan Livingston Seagull, of all things!) will reward repeated listening.

Conductor and orchestra are in top form (has Gerhardt ever given a poor performance?); Varèse's sound, though good, is a touch edgy. The CD is reasonably filled (52:37), but be warned that many of the timings listed for the individual works are in error.


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