CD41 Recordings

Music from the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1941-1951

The Red Shoes (CD41-002) is a 74 minute collection of rare original soundtrack recordings from the classic films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (aka The Archers), made between 1941 and 1951. Those featured include:

49th Parallel (1941) Ralph Vaughan Williams
A Matter of Life & Death (1946) Allan Gray
The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) Allan Gray
A Canterbury Tale (1944) Allan Gray / JS Bach
Black Narcissus (1947) Brian Easdale
The Red Shoes (1948) Brian Easdale
Gone to Earth (1950) Brian Easdale
The Small Back Room (1949) Brian Easdale
Tales of Hoffman (1951) Jacques Offenbach

As well as digitally restored original soundtrack music by the undervalued Allan Gray and Brian Easdale, this carefully researched compilation also features a number of rare associated recordings, including John Gielgud's reading of the celebrated An Airman's Letter to his Mother (1941), the lively quickstep Commando Patrol from Colonel Blimp and A Canterbury Tale, and a superlative rendering of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, recorded by Albert Schweitzer in London in 1935, also featured in A Canterbury Tale.

The booklet features detailed notes on the films and scores, and well as biographies of Allan Gray and Brian Easdale. This CD and downoad is a must for all with an interest in vintage film soundtracks and British light/orchestral music, as well as the dazzling vision of Michael Powell and his musical collaborators.

Reviews: "A gem of a release, guaranteed to delight film music buffs and nostalgists alike. A labour of love which deserves a hearty welcome" (Gramophone, Awards Issue 2002); "Brilliant orchestral excerpts. Colourful, dramatic, audacious, romantic, patriotic in a way that even today seeems intoxicating. Easdale may not be a household name but his work easily stands alongside Vaughan Williams" (Uncut, 10/02); "The sweeping scores of Allan Gray and Brian Easdale put metaphysics into such grand romances, but this meticulously sourced collection is about far more than mere music.While Gray's romp through 'Colonel Blimp' and Easdale's unforgettable title track are are worth the ticket price alone, the sense of wonder conjured by the spoken prologue to 'A Matter of Life and Death' and the church bells of 'A Canterbury Tale' are cinematic sensurround gold. Talk about England's Dreaming" (Glasgow Herald, 07/2002); "The transfers have been well done and the booklet contains much fascinating information. Recommended" (Journey Into Melody, 08/2002)


1. Archers ident
2. 49th Parallel (RVW)
- Prelude
- Epilogue
3. A Matter of Life & Death (AG)
- Prelude / This Is The Universe
- The Waiting Room / Washed Ashore
- Prelude / Stairway to Heaven
4. An Airman's Letter to His Mother
- Narrative by Sir John Gielgud
5. The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp (AG)
- Prelude
- War Starts at Midnight
- Commando Patrol
6. A Canterbury Tale (JSB)
- Prelude
- Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
7. The Red Shoes (BE)
- Prelude
- Ballet Music
8. Black Narcissus (BE)
- Prologue
- Composed Sequence
9. Gone to Earth (BE)
- Prelude
- The Tryst
- The Hunt
10. The Small Back Room (BE)
- Composed Sequence
- Epilogue
11. Tales of Hoffman (JO)
- Orchestral Tuning

Key to composers:
RVW = Ralph Vaughan Williams
AG = Allan Gray
BE = Brian Easdale
JSB - JS Bach
JO = Jacques Offenbach

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