Carl’s War

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

LABELS: Carl Davis Collection
WORKS: The World at War; Theme from Echoes That Remain; Anne Frank Remembered; Rhapsody on Themes from The Snow Goose
PERFORMER: Czech National SO/Carl Davis

Incidental music doesn’t come more accomplished than this. Carl Davis has always had an enviable knack for matching music to pictures, and this CD will trigger sharp visual images in what I suspect is the target audience: those who remember these TV films and documentaries, all concerned with World War II.
The grandiose theme for The World at War is completely in tune with the ambitious 1970s series, and the Jewish flavour appropriately strong in Echoes that Remain, a documentary about village life in pre-War Eastern Europe. But the nine short movements, shorn of the visuals, don’t really add up to a satisfying listen, though the more extended suites from Anne Frank Remembered and Goodnight Mr Tom have greater effect.
Most effective is the Snow Goose Rhapsody, where the very English themes are developed into a stand-alone tone poem. Like everything else here, it’s lovingly played, if rather brashly recorded. Martin Cotton