The Film Music Society release of “The World War II Documentary Music of Dimitri Tiomkin” is now available for sale to the general public. The CD contains music from Tunisian Victory, San Pietro, The Negro Soldier, and The Battle of Russia. These four Army orientation and information films were produced by the Capra Unit of the Army Signal Corps in Hollywood from 1942 to 1945. When director Frank Capra asked Tiomkin to join the war effort Tiomkin said, “I want to do duty in war, and what can I do except write notes?” The music was performed by the Army Air Force Orchestra, and includes a track with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in one of its earliest documented film performances.
Tiomkin’s participation was important on many levels. He was pleased to return something to the country that had granted him citizenship and he benefited from the opportunity to refine his skill at combining music with motion pictures at a more relaxed pace than was typical in Hollywood. Tiomkin aficionados may be interested in comparing these documentary scores to the recent Tadlow Music (www.tadlowmusic.com) release of The Guns of Navarone to hear how music the composer created for 1940s combat footage affected and influenced his dramatic Guns score decades later. And Classical music fans may be curious to hear Tiomkin’s adaptation of other Russian composer’s music, particularly Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”), then in its infancy.
As part of The Film Music Society’s Restoration Series, this CD release helps to fund the nonprofit group’s efforts toward preserving and restoring motion picture and television music manuscripts, audio recordings, and historical texts. The album’s producer and art director Marilee Bradford is pleased that this Tiomkin CD has received wonderful accolades and great sales. “We’re nearly sold out,” says Bradford. “It’s a sincere tribute to Tiomkin seeing three generations of film music lovers so enthusiastic about his documentary music. The Society is honored to release it.” Other recent releases by the FMS include Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book (score by Miklos Rozsa) and Music from CBS Westerns (compilation of scores by Moross, Herrmann, Goldsmith and Waxman). Future audio restoration projects will feature music by David Raksin, Herbert Stothart, Jerrold Immel, and other important film and TV composers whose works are not often available on CD. Executive producer Henry Adams adds, “It’s a thrill, and certainly a rare opportunity, to hear Tiomkin’s documentary film music as he wrote it some sixty years ago.”
The disc contains 47 tracks and nearly 80 minutes of music, including some outtakes, with an accompanying 16-page booklet. An expanded version of the liner notes by Warren Sherk will be published as an article in The Cue Sheet, the Film Music Society journal available to Society members. To join go to www.filmmusicsociety.org. Michael Matessino provided the restoration and mastering from digital transfers made by Lance Bowling from material in the Dimitri Tiomkin Collection at the University of Southern California thanks to Olivia Tiomkin Douglas. Ned Comstock and Patrick Russ served as advisors on historical aspects of the project.
This limited edition of 1,000 copies won’t last, so order yours today. For more information and sample tracks.