|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
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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