First Pair Draba Fight Kill Brooding Revolt The Breakout Slaves Escape Crassus Home Deserted School Forest Meeting Oysters And Snails Vesuvius Camp New Recruits Glabrus March Poem Love Sequence Glabrus Defeated Entr'acte 2. On To The Sea 3. Luceria Camp 4. Beside The Pool 5.
Dusty March 6. Metapontum Triumph 7. Roman Baths 8. Arrival At The Beach 9. This is not to say that North's music is simplistic at all, merely that North takes a slightly more pragmatic approach than the glorious excess of someone like Rozsa. Spartacus is an historical epic in every sense and even though I've never actually seen it, I can imagine that being from Kubrick it was possibly made in a somewhat different way to films such as Ben-Hur, Ivanhoe, or even something like Cleopatra, also scored by North.
This album is only a fairly brief sample of what was originally written for the film and is slightly weighted toward the popular love theme which was turned into a song of some description , but despite that, it is still a remarkably exciting and surprising experience. Rather than the pomposity of the typical Overture, the Main Title is still percussive and brassy, but in a far more terse and uncompromising way. It is not full of glory, but is more of a tense and militaristic call to arms, muted trumpets play off against one another backed by snare drum.
The romantic music is perhaps where North veers more toward a traditional Hollywood feel to writing; the theme is string laden and somewhat syrupy, but just about avoids being grating, given enough alternate variations and orchestrations to prevent it becoming too wearing. The few more exciting moments, like the Main Title, tend to refrain from excess, but use effective deployment of brass and percussion, with off-kilter rhythms and surprising harmonies to give the whole thing a more intimately intense feel.
One thing that many historical epic scores lack is any light heartedness, but North actually effectively weaves in a few lighter moments, most notably the Hopeful Preparations which even incorporates some nice acoustic guitar writing. To complement Kubrick's apparently unintentionally sappy finale, North's music is perhaps at its most cathartic, but a short reprise of some of the material from the Main Title provides for just the right way to cap the score. This MCA release is a straight re-issue of the original LP and has often been criticised for having poor sound and a poor selection of cues.
In respect to the former, I would say that it sounds badly mixed rather than having poor sound due to degredation of the tapes. I happened to review Ben-Hur on the same day as Spartacus and while I felt that Ben-Hur had particularly note-worthy sound given its age , Spartacus sounded like it had been recorded yesterday. I wouldn't necessarily expect a random straight person to get it immediately now, either, but, for the record, the same character in an episode of the original Morse series makes a reference when talking to Morse to "the love that dare not speak its name," so he has a habit of saying that sort of thing to him.
Thank you! This is a super fun question because it seems like the thing that should be solvable via research. I was able to find three references to this scene in contemporary reviews.
Were all of these reviewers in one of the preview audiences? In she was in the film industry, but not yet famous. The production notes from the edition say this about work on the restoration: "there was no readily accessible picture and dialogue continuity which could serve as a guide to precisely what the original version had been Some reviews mentioned graphic elements of the battle scenes Film lore had discussed, but few could remember actually seeing the scene in which Tony Curtis is the attempted seductive of Laurence Olivier--what has become known as the "snails and oysters" scene.
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