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Album running time

1: Fox Fanfare (:20)
2: Main Title (2:09)
3: The Revelation (2:50)
4: *The Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond (:44)
5: The Immigrant (1:14)
6: *Loyalty and Courage / The Holy Trinity (1:23)
7: *Jesus Christ the Lord / *Alma Mater (:51)
8: Catherine (1:03)
9: *That Old Time Religion (:46)
10: Goodnight, Peter Darling (3:05)
11: One Week Later (:36)
12: *God the Father (:32)
13: The Proposal / The Cedars Waltz / The Way of Love (6:17)
14: *The Marriage / The Honeymoon (1:24)
15: Washington, DC (1:03)
16: The Lincoln Memorial (1:02)
17: *A Mighty Fortress (1:20)
18: *O Rest in the Lord (2:05)
19: The Church of the Presidents (:37)
20: *Eternal Father / *A Mighty Fortress (2:00)
21: Hospital Scene (1:05)
22: *Annapolis Chapel / *Eternal Father (1:50)
23: *Extract from Brahms I (1:35)
24: *Mairsie Doats (1:01)
25: *Comin' Through the Rye (1:23)
26: *Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (:58)
27: Tuberculosis (1:02)
28: Illness (:35)
29: Soliloquy (3:40)
30: Faith and Recovery (1:54)
31: Cape Cod (2:18)
32: Prayers for Peter (1:01)
33: *If With All Your Hearts (1:02)
34: Our New Chaplain (:34)
35: *Annie Laurie (1:00)
36: Peter's Death (2:30)
37: Finale (2:16)

*Source music, not by Newman

Performed by
conducted by


Produced by

Released by
Serial number
FSM Vol 4 No 7

Artwork copyright (c) 1955 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; review copyright (c) 2002 James Southall

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Typical Newman religious score mixes with tonnes of source music

Alfred Newman was no stranger to scoring religious epics when he wrote A Man Called Peter in 1955 - The Song of Bernadette, The Robe and The Egyptian had all come beforehand - but the tone of the film was sufficiently different as to require a fresh approach by the composer. The film is about a Scottish protestant who rises to become chaplain to the United States Senate.

Newman's score is centred around three excellent themes - a jaunty piece for Peter filled with joie de vivre, a pleasant love theme and a warm Americana theme. Aside from variations on these themes, the album consists of an awful lot of source music which is integral to the story but not an awful lot like Newman's score at any point. It must have been an agonising decision for the album's producers as to what to do with the source music - leave it off altogether, clump it together at the end or place it through the score? In the event I suppose each option comes with positives and negatives, but my preference would have been for either of the other two options because Newman's score is never really given the chance to show itself off enough. Unfortunately, it seems that some album producers consider the wishes of people other than James Southall when making their CDs. Can you believe it?

The strongest part of the album is the last quarter or so (and I don't think it's a coincidence that this is when the source music is least prominent). "Faith and Recovery" is a stunning cue, vintage Newman, which underscores Peter discovering his wife Catherine has recovered from a longstanding bout of tuberculosis. "Peter's Death" evocatively depicts all the tragedy that event inevitably meant his family would feel; and the finale combines both Peter and Catherine's themes to stunning effect.

Newman's score has some brilliant moments in it (don't they all?) but I really do feel their impact is diminished considerably by the source music, which I would imagine is to few listeners' tastes. Of course, this can be solved by programming your CD player, and if you do that I think there's a rich and rewarding listen to be had here.