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Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music
M-G-M's Cimarron (1960)—the second screen adaptation of Edna Ferber's novel of the same name—was an epic western telling the history of Oklahoma settlers through the lives of newspaper publisher Yancey "Cimarron" Cravat (Glenn Ford) and his wife, Sabra (Maria Schell). While the film is known for its massive depiction of the Oklahoma Land Rush, one element stands above all others: Franz Waxman's classic music.
By the time he scored Cimarron in 1960, Waxman was nearing the conclusion of a brilliant career as one of the undisputedly great composers of Hollywood's Golden Age. After stints under contract to Universal and Warner Bros., and a period as highly respected freelancer, Waxman was able to pick and choose his projects. Cimarron provided an opportunity to work once again with director Anthony Mann, with whom he had collaborated on The Furies (1950).
Franz Waxman's stirring title song for Cimarron, which figures prominently through the course of his score, features lyrics by Paul Francis Webster and is sung by the Roger Wagner Chorale. Waxman also employs a European folk song (which Sabra sings to Yancey early in the film) as a love theme for the two principals, and supplies colorful themes for various supporting characters. The film's great set-piece, the Land Rush sequence, benefits from one of Waxman's most exciting action cues, rivaling his own "Ride to Dubno" from Taras Bulba. Another highlight is Waxman's moving setting of the spiritual "O Redeemed," a cue omitted from the film entirely.
This CD features Franz Waxman's complete underscore to Cimarron, remixed from the original 35mm three-track stereo masters. In addition to a suite comprising alternate versions of three cues, many tracks include music that was either mixed at a very low level or severely truncated in the finished film. Christopher Husted's liner notes reveal details of the film's production and Waxman's involvement in the project. After a four-decade wait, one of Waxman's greatest scores is finally available in definitive form.