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 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 1:01 PM   
 By:   Shogun   (Member)

What's the best version to get?

Tony Bremner conducting (21 tracks - 43 minutes), or Joel McNeely (40 tracks - 50 minutes)?

What is the best version in terms of sound and perfomance quality, and faithfulness to original?

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:18 PM   
 By:   TheSeeker   (Member)

Gerhardt. wink

I only know the Bremner version and actually like it a lot, but it reportedly dies when compared to McNeely's new re-rec.

CK

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:23 PM   
 By:   Dorian   (Member)

I've grown on the Bremner version so I'm biased but I like it a lot, however the sound quality is not the greatest, considering we're talking a digital re-recording. But I'm not complaining about that because I guess the slightly muffled sound makes this kind of music sounding more authentic to my ears.

However it seems that Bremner's tempo on Kane's New Office cue is wrong.

According to the thick booklet (which contains liner notes and info as well as musical examples) the arrangements, orchestration and the number of players & instruments are exactly the same on this recording as on the 1941 original soundtrack sessions.

One of the most impressive debut scores ever, I should add.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:26 PM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

I prefer the McNeely. A bit of track editing would have been welcome, so that there aren't as many individual indexes on the disc. But the performances are detailed and exciting.

I hate the editing on Preamble's "Opera Montage". The "dying tape" at the end of the track sounds cheap and processed. But I had this version of Kane for several years and generally enjoyed it.

I agree the Gerhardt has the most energy behind the performance. Also the instrument clarity is fantastic.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:32 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

I prefer the McNeely. The performance seems more vital to me. The sound is too reverby, compared to the Bremner, which is too distant. The McNeely also has a uniform two second gap between tracks, while the Bremner varies for better album flow. I like both, but would pick McNeely's.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:51 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

Gerhardt... I can't stomach either of the other recordings.

 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:54 PM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

Gerhardt. wink

I only know the Bremner version and actually like it a lot, but it reportedly dies when compared to McNeely's new re-rec.

CK


It's hard to get very excited about the Bremner recording (which I have) after hearing Gerhardt's masterful, energetic reading of the KANE tracks on his Bernard Herrmann anthology. I haven't had the pleasure of hearing the McNeely re-recording, so I will defer to others on that.

Your appreciation of CITIZEN KANE will not be complete without hearing the Gerhardt version, which though out of print is readily available and reasonably priced still. Amazon has it:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B000003EM9/ref=pd_bbs_sr_olp_3/105-0997574-3436435?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1187041829&sr=1-3

...and it may be available elsewhere as well.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I've had the McNeely recording for years, and am relatively pleased with it. I think it flows pretty well for an album that has so many short tracks after each other. Still, I have a sneaking suspicion that some of those other recordings would suit my listening preferences better, so I'm thinking of replacing it with one of those.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Jonathan, what's so unstomachable about the two longer score recordings? I mean, it's not like we're talking Leroy Holmes, here. Seriously, please elaborate on your opinion so that we can learn something from it besides "John doesn't like them."

Incidentally, the original Norman Rockwell ad art for KANE and AMBERSONS on the Bremner albums is a definite plus for us Welles fans...

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   Maverick   (Member)

What's the best version to get?

Tony Bremner conducting (21 tracks - 43 minutes), or Joel McNeely (40 tracks - 50 minutes)?

What is the best version in terms of sound and perfomance quality, and faithfulness to original?


I've never heard the Tony Bremner version... However, I have got Joel McNeely's recording. It is probably the best cd I've heard yet. I notice when I listen to a lot of older scores they sound pretty old (Which I like).. However, obviously the McNeely version isn't that old (was recording in 1999 i think) but somehow creates a feeling of an older recording but with crisp sound. It's an amazing cd, something that I listen to a couple of times a week. I would definitely recommend it.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 13, 2007 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   Roger Feigelson   (Member)

Not that I want to pull a Thor here...but I did recall writing about this awhile back. Here it is:

http://fsm.rciwebhosting.net/board/posts.cfm?threadID=20941&forumID=1&archive=1

The Gehardt is the best peformance...it's just too damn short.

Here was my review from my now defunct weekly column back when the McNeely version was released. I was probably a bit more dramatic in this review than I would be if I wrote it today:

I promised you last week that I would give you an evaluation of the new
CITIZEN KANE on Varese to essentially answer the question: if I were to
purchase just one KANE recording, which one should it be? The answer,
hands down, is the Tony Bremner recording. It's a strange
recommendation, because I'm not a big fan of Bremner's conducting, and
his recording of KANE does have its drawbacks. But not as many as the
Varese release.

KANE is one of those scores that contains so much detail, you really
want to hear it all. It's a score more suited to the recording style of
London Phase 4 or the close-miking of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. With
the Varese recording, as you'd expect by now, the detail is lost in the
mushy, reverby concert-hall sound that has been part of their creative
signature. With the Bremner recording, you can hear the bassons,
clarinents, and oboes so crisply. They all contribute to such a
Herrmann trademark sound. They're sort of melted into the overall sound
on the Varese CD without any particular distinction.

Next comes the assembly. Or lack there of on the Varese recording. All
they did was record and present the cues, with no assembly. Not only
that, each cue is separated by a 3-second pause. Now, the assembly of
an album is part of the creative process. Each cue should naturally
come out of the one before. It should follow from the rhythm...there
needs to be some musical sense to the pause between cues. Sometimes no
pause is perfect. Sometimes 1 second or 2 seconds or something in
between. There was no thought put into creating a musical experience
out of the recorded cues. Not true of the Bremner recording that
creatively grouped together the shorter cues into larger suites which
gives the music a more coherent and artistic flow.

The most remarkable part of the Varese recording is the opening of the
Scherzo, which eliminates many of the trumpet notes...as if it was too
hard to perform. This dumbed-down version is just wrong, and can be
heard properly on the Bremner recording and on the Phase 4 recording.
What's strange is this same trumpet part is played correctly later in a
similar cue.

As for the Aria, the soprano is much more in your face on the Bremner
version, while as the piece progresses on the Varese she seems to get
somewhat lost in the orchestra. Finally, the extra music on the Varese
release (10 minutes worth) is pure padding.

Not to beat up too heavily on the Varese album, it has one thing hands
down better than the Bremner: the tempos seem very accurate. The tempos
on the Bremner recording are all over the map, some parts too slow, some
too fast.

Neither recording is really a definitive presentation, but if you had to
chose one, go with the Bremner. And the most attractive part is it's
available for only $5.99!

A strange omission from both albums is the end title or exit music.
Perhaps there's a story here I'm missing. This is a piece that was on
the original 2-lp set of the original soundtrack and was also recorded
by Elmer Bernstein for Milan a few years back (that album with the suite
from BRIDE WORE BLACK). Since the style is so dramatically different
from the rest of the music, I can't imagine it's really part of the KANE
score, but where did it come from? And to be honest, it would have
weakened the ending of the album.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 6:07 AM   
 By:   soundtrakker   (Member)

I'm fond enough of my LeRoy Holmes CITIZEN KANE LP, to have had it converted to CD.

(Hasty exit now before I'm lynched!)

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 8:46 AM   
 By:   Guenther K   (Member)

I'm fond enough of my LeRoy Holmes CITIZEN KANE LP, to have had it converted to CD.

(Hasty exit now before I'm lynched!)


Membran already did that wink

http://www.bernardherrmann.org/news/archive/recordings.xdoc#182

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   Guenther K   (Member)

Since the style is so dramatically different
from the rest of the music, I can't imagine it's really part of the KANE
score, but where did it come from? And to be honest, it would have
weakened the ending of the album.


"A Poco No" by Pepe Guizar arranged by Conrad Salinger...

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

If memory serves, the end title montage of KANE is scored by Conrad Salinger, using of course the Kane campaign song which was by -- who? Harry Warren?

Say what you will about the Leroy Holmes, at least he made the effort to include the "News on the March" pastiche which really is a part of KANE that helps set the tone of the film.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 9:59 AM   
 By:   GaryInMN   (Member)

If memory serves, the end title montage of KANE is scored by Conrad Salinger, using of course the Kane campaign song which was by -- who? Harry Warren?

The tune for Kane's campaign song was "A Poco No" - a Spanish language song by Pepe Guizar with new lyrics by Harry Ruby. Conrad Salinger did arrange it for the end title music. You can find that arrangement on Elmer Bernstein's recording of Herrmann's music "From Citizen Kane to Taxi Driver."

Herrmann also used the theme in the score, most notably in the "Kane Marries" cue, mixed with Mendelsohn's Wedding March.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

I've always felt that the end title version of "There is a Man" should have been included on the recordings. It is integrated into the score, after all.

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I've got both versions and I actually prefer the Bremner.

Cheers

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 10:16 PM   
 By:   KeoNato   (Member)

I've lived with the Bremner recording and never had any major issues with it. I can't speak as to how in compares to what's heard in the film since I haven't seen it in several months but no major differences immediately spring to mind.

Also, I've never been exposed to the McNeely version so who knows how it compares to that.

I guess what I'm saying is -- I've been stuck with the Bremner recording all this time and I'm more than happy with it. wink

 
 Posted:   Aug 14, 2007 - 10:26 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

I'll say this, every post has convinced me to grab them for a to and from work listen and compare. I haven't listened to the Bremmer version since about 1994; the Varese since maybe 2001.

They sounded like CITIZEN KANE when I listened to them both, though.

 
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