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Thread: Rogers and Bennett - Victory at Sea

  1. #1
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    Default Rogers and Bennett - Victory at Sea

    Any fans of Richard Rogers and Russell Bennett's orchestral music for the Victory at Sea series? I know RR is known for light musicals but the music for VaS, arranged by Bennett, for my money is some of the best orchestral music around. Any other fans?

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    The "Victory st Sea" series score is quite good, and deserves popularity..I greatly prefer the original to the watered-down arrangements that have been issued- designed for community and student orchestras..."Star Wars"suffers the same fate...
    My favorite film series scores, however
    are ones by Morton Gould "World War I", and Norman DelloJoio "Air Power"...the Gould is esp good...used to be available on an L.P., composer conducting NBC Studio Orch..
    Like Victory at Sea, these series were excellent documentaries of the events described, superb historical documents, all greatly enhanced by the fine musical scores written for them.

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Those of a certain age may remember that the Victory at Sea music was a great favorite of Richard M. Nixon. So far a I know, the much-maligned Nixon was the first President to write a piano concerto.

    Another politician, Charles G. Dawes, later vice-president under Calvin Coolidge, wrote his Melody in A major in 1911. It's a familiar tune that we know today from the song It's All in the Game.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtizr2G_7Bk
    Last edited by KenOC; Apr-22-2018 at 21:29.


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    VaS is entertaining enough and unfortunately not that often played anymore. It's not especially easy to play, but very effective. I'm glad you brought it up - I'm planning a concert for next December near Dec 7 (Pearl Harbor day) and the old vets who come to the concert would enjoy it. Not exactly Holiday fare, but what the heck.

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    I believe the Rodgers-Bennett music for Victory at Sea is the best of any ever contributed to TV. Rodgers had a wonderful feeling for the visual, as his collaboration with Hammerstein II demonstrates. Bennett's orchestration is wonderful. "Beneath the Southern Cross" and the "Guadalcanal March" are pop concert classics. The opening "Song of the High Seas" is indelibly impressed on my consciousness, as is the music for the Pearl Harbor attack. I have purchased the DVD series because of the music, and consider it the best documentary series, at least up to the time of Ken Burns. The quality of the DVDs is limited by the quality of TV broadcasting in (I believe) 1952, but anyone taken by the music would benefit from the programs, which are worth having for the history. Happy hunting.

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    Sibelius - good choices, favs of mine too, especially the march. I admit it, I'm not a big fan of marches in general, but Guadalcanal is just so musical in a way I haven't heard in others.

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    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    The Victory at Sea music was one of the first LPs I bought, inspired as others by the riveting TV documentary series.

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