, October 2000
"Some of Georges Auric's best music has been saved for Volume 3 in Marco Polo's series devoted to his film scores. Notre-Dame de Paris, known as the Hunchback of Notre Dame in this country, was a somewhat lackluster filming of the famous Victor Hugo story, shot in Cinemascope with Anthony Quinn as Quasimodo and Gina Lollobrigida as Esmeralda. Auric's score has some lovely romantic music, as well as an imposing chorale tune to identify the cathedral itself. There are two suites from this score on this CD: one a full orchestra synthesis of important scenes; the other, titled 'Esmeralda, a little dance suite for two harps, two guitars, & cello,' more intimate music written in an old style to serve as source music.
"Lola Montez was the last movie of famed director Max Ophuls, and it tells the story of the famous, scandalous courtesan who in the movie has been reduced to reliving her story as a circus act. Since the movie is based in the big ring yet makes frequent flashback excursions to the past, Auric has a field day at writing in different styles. The colorful suite presented here serves exceptionally well on its own as pure music without the visuals. Farandole, a cyclical tale of infidelity, is scored more economically than Notre-Dame de Paris or Lola Montez, with an eye to dealing with problems of early optical recording. Marco Polo has whisked Swiss maestro Adriano to Russia for this recording with excellent results. The virtuoso Moscow musicians play like they have lived on a Hollywood sound stage all their lives and the recorded sound is broad, spacious, and exciting. All in all, a most enjoyable release."
"Lola Montez tells of the famous femme fatale who plied various trades: dancer, espionage agent, trapeze artist, and finally religious recluse. Auric had a gift for theatricality, and that shows in the orchestrations (five saxophones and multiple percussion instruments join the orchestra).
"Marco Polo gets the usual top marks for production and sound."