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All About Eve
1: Main Title (1:04)
2: Prologue (3:24)
3: The Award (1:13)
4: Eve's Narration (2:43)
5: The Friendship Begins (:27)
6: Margo (:41)
7: Exit Music (1:48)
8: The Party (:47)
9: A Theme for Piano (:48)
10: Liebestraum / Liebestraum 2 (Liszt) (1:16)
11: Eve's Dream (:45)
12: The Audition (:22)
13: Margo and Bill (:29)
14: Karen's Decision (1:51)
15: Beau Soir (Debussy) (2:02)
16: Eve's Success (:41)
17: Karen's Guilt (:32)
18: Margo and Bill's Reconciliation (:45)
19: Karen's Resignation (1:21)
20: The Real Eve (:36)
21: Eve's Photo (:25)
22: Phoebe's Arrival (1:00)
23: All the Eves (1:38)
24: Encore (:46)
25: All the Eves (stereo) (1:39)
26: Encore (stereo) (:46)

Leave Her to Heaven
27: Prelude (1:20)
28: Ash Ritual (2:41)
29: Bar Harbour (2:06)
30: Unrest (1:21)
31: Homicide (2:49)
32: Arsenic (1:40)
33: Redemption (1:19)

Performed by
conducted by

Produced by

Released by
Serial number
FSM Vol 2 No 7

Artwork copyright (c) 1950 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; review copyright (c) 2002 James Southall

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Classic Newman romance one of his best

By 1950, Alfred Newman had already forgotten more about how to score a film than virtually anyone else would ever learn, with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Song of Bernadette just two of his astonishing achievements to that point. He was a pioneer, of course, and ahead of his time in so many ways; back then, it was just about unheard of for a film score to do anything other than Mickey Mouse the action 100%, but for All About Eve Newman wrote music that seems to be more a loose dramatic commentary on the film than a traditionally programmatic film score. This was a revelation, but would not become common practice for many years to come.

The style of the music, though, is unmistakably of its time: lush, rich string sounds predominate, forming the basis for each of the themes in the score. One theme stands above the others, and is heard countless times in the various short cues. Unfortunately, this is where the one flaw kicks in: because of the way he chose to score the film, so many of Newman's cues are less than a minute long. Because of this, it is so difficult for him to allow the music to really progress anywhere, and so he is broadly left to simply restate the main themes established in the "Prologue". It is a good job, therefore, that these themes are so good: but even so, it is probably not such a bad thing that the score goes on no longer than the 25 minutes or so it is allowed.

Much of the score is in mono, and while there is a general clarity of sound, it is not as crisp as on some of the other recent releases of Newman's music, The Song of Bernadette and Prince of Foxes especially. There are stereo remixes of the two climatic cues, and the difference is immediately striking: it is a great pity that the producers of the album were not able to locate more dual-track recordings.

Because All About Eve was not long enough to justify a release on its own, Nick Redman and Rick Victor have also provided us with a loving recreation of a lesser-known (but no less impressive) Newman score, Leave Her to Heaven, whose music is in a similar vein to its counterpart on the album, but whose longer cues allow the composer to develop his ideas perhaps a little more than in the more famous work.

It is really amazing to look at all the classic scores being released today; they are coming at such a pace that it must be tempting for some collectors to sit back and think they will delay purchasing them because they've only just bought another one. Don't fall into this trap! Snap them up while you can, else the thrill of whatever the next big Golden Age release might be could sweep you away and lead you to forget your previously-postponed purchase. All About Eve is another great release from Film Score Monthly, and comes highly recommended. (It's even, at the time of writing, available at mid-price from FSM.)