The Thin Red Line (excerpts)

COMPOSERS: Various
LABELS: RCA Victor
ALBUM TITLE: Melanesian Choirs
PERFORMER: Chants from The Thin Red Line
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 63470 2

Advertisement

Naxos has released the equally topical CINEMA CLASSICS 1999, with ‘classical music made famous’ in everything from Hilary and Jackie to Life is Beautiful’and The Thin Red Line. And not content with releasing the soundtrack to the last-named film, RCA now offers MELANESIAN CHOIRS: CHANTS FROM THE THIN RED LINE.

Clever, that: those intrigued by the original dash of exoticism can now hear a whole hour of it, while a far-flung group of musicians can get a moment of fame and, one hopes, an influx of cash. Finally, a serious collectible from Decca in the form of SHOSTAKOVICH: THE FILM ALBUM, in which Riccardo Chailly and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra give immaculate accounts of some of the lugubrious master’s cheerier products.

Advertisement

The later works suffer from Shostakovich’s over-declamatory tendency, but the early ones — The Counterplan and Alone— are extraordinarily beguiling.