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Original album

Album running time

1: Patton Speech (4:50)
2: Main Title (2:18)
3: The Battleground (2:19)
4: The First Battle (2:49)
5: Attack (3:14)
6: The Funeral (1:56)
7: Winter March (1:54)
8: Patton March (2:06)
9: No Assignment (2:03)
10: German Advance (2:30)
11: The Hospital (3:20)
12: The Payoff (2:20)
13: End Title (1:12)

Performed by
conducted by

Orchestrated by

Produced by

Released by
Serial number

Varèse re-recording

Album running time

1: Main Title (2:24)
2: The Battle Ground (2:29)
3: The Cemetery (2:50)
4: The First Battle (3:03)
5: The Funeral (1:52)
6: The Hospital (3:17)
7: No Assignment (2:04)
8: German March (2:03)
9: Entr'acte (2:15)
10: Attack (3:29)
11: German Advance (2:38)
12: An Eloquent Man (1:50)
13: The Pay-Off (2:24)
14: End Title (1:14)

Tora! Tora! Tora!
15: Main Title (3:15)
16: Pre-Flight (2:11)
17: On the Way (1:43)
18: Imperial Palace (2:23)
19: End Title (2:05)

Performed by
conducted by

Orchestrated by

Produced by
Produced by

Released by
Serial number

Film Score Monthly issue

Album running time

1: Main Title (3:08)
2: The Battle Ground (2:14)
3: The Cemetery (2:42)
4: First Battle (2:49)
5: The Funeral (1:53)
6: The Hospital (3:36)
7: The Prayer (1:09)
8: No Assignment (2:21)
9: Entr'acte (1:52)
10: Attack (3:14)
11: German Advance (2:31)
12: An Eloquent Man (1:42)
13: The Pay-Off (2:24)
14: A Change in the Weather (1:24)
15: Pensive Patton / End Titles (2:33)

The Flight of the Phoenix
16: Airborne (:55)
17: Main Title (4:58)
18: Windy / Heartbreak (2:41)
19: Brave Sergeant (1:43)
20: Harris Leaves (2:19)
21: Senza Fine (2:14)
22: Gabriele's Death (1:34)
23: Water (1:38)
24: Let's Get Back to Work (1:38)
25: Caravan (2:55)
26: Naughty Boy (2:29)
27: Model Planes (2:54)
28: The Difference (1:54)
29: The Propeller (2:44)
30: The Big Pull (1:56)
31: Rest Stop / The Ground Run (3:12)
32: Going Up (1:41)
33: Swimming Hole / Finale (1:11)

Performed by
conducted by

Orchestrated by

Produced by

Released by
Serial number
FSM Vol 2 No 2

Artwork copyright (c) 1970 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / 1997 Masters Film Music; review copyright (c) 2002 James Southall

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Sensational, unmissable film score classic

Patton was a landmark score for Jerry Goldsmith: while he had attracted widespread acclaim within Hollywood for many superb scores beforehand, it was not until Patton that Goldsmith really got much attention from the public-at-large. Of course, as with most famous film scores, this was down more to the popularity of the movie than anything else, but whatever the reason, the attention was justified: Patton is one of the best film scores.

This is not a typical war movie score - much of it is very quiet and reflective. Famously, General Patton's belief in reincarnation is represented musically by echoing trumpet triplets, a moment of inspiration on Goldsmith's part so stunning it defies belief - seeing a long shot of George C. Scott in the middle of a large battlefield that has just seen action, panning across, with the echoing trumpets is so perfect it must be one of the most ingenious devices in film music history. The device's use in this score is so famous that no composer has dared to reuse it (well, apart from James Horner) - but just imagining for a moment about how effective it might have been in a film like Saving Private Ryan can bring a shiver to the spine!

There is so much more to the score than this, though, first and foremost the two stunning marches Goldsmith wrote. These are as far removed from Sousa as you'll get - the Patton March, now so famous that it is actually performed at state occasions in America; and the Winter March / German March, an equally wonderful, but rather darker, piece that in many ways is just as impressive. These are both presented in concert versions - the former written as an Entr'acte, and the latter written especially for the original album release. Of course, the Patton March forms one half of Goldsmith's famous Generals Suite in his concerts (the other half being the theme from Macarthur), but its presentation here is starkly different: much less grand, more personal, and with a superb ending: a crash of brass and percussion seems to bring the piece to a close, but after these have vanished, the echoing trumpet figure is still fading into the distance. There are two other major themes (not bad, considering the score is barely half an hour long), one of which is very beautiful, and would later be reused by John Williams in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (reason unknown). This theme can be heard most fully in the end title cue.

The first half of the score, save a brief presentation of the Patton March in the opening cue, is quiet and contemplative, since Goldsmith scored the movie very sparsely - thirty minutes of music in a three-hour movie would be unheard of today, but in Patton the music is so effective simply because it is so deliberately placed. The second half of the album is much busier, with two exciting battle sequences, "Attack" and "German Advance".

There are three versions of Patton available to buy - unfortunately, the best of them is unavailable on CD. Goldsmith originally re-recorded the score for album use in 1970, and this was released on 20th Century Fox's own label, and later reissued on vinyl by Silva Screen. For the recording, Goldsmith fleshed out the orchestration and worked the trumpet triplets much more tightly into the framework of the score to make more musical sense. The second release came in 1997, with another re-recording, again conducted by Goldsmith himself, this time in Glasgow with producer Robert Townson and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, for Varèse Sarabande. This recording features Varèse's well-known concert-hall acoustic, with the echoing trumpets being achieved acoustically, and is especially pleasing on the ear, though from time to time perhaps the orchestra is not quite together - the recordings of the Patton March and German March are probably the best available, however. Finally, in 1998, Film Score Monthly released the score as part of their Silver Age Classics series. This time, they opted to release the original tracks as recorded for the film. While many people always prefer the original tracks over any re-recording, this reviewer remains to be convinced by their merit in this case: the Echoplex trumpets seem to be overlaid almost arbitrarily, and certainly are not in time with the rest of the music; and the recording is muddy and somewhat unappealing.

Also included on the Varèse Sarabande album is a re-recording of another 1970 Goldsmith score, the less well-known (but still excellent) Tora! Tora! Tora!, another WWII film, though completely different from Patton. Here, Goldsmith builds his score largely around Japanese sonorities, including a powerful, driving main theme initially performed on the koto. While not exactly vintage stuff, it is still an enjoyable suite from the score, and pads out the album nicely. This time, the concert-hall acoustic does not work well: lots of the orchestral nuance is lost, and Film Score Monthly's release of the full score in 1999 is undoubtedly far preferable to the short suite here. Film Score Monthly's release of Patton also includes a full score by Frank DeVol, The Flight of the Phoenix, a 1965 movie starring James Stewart and Richard Attenborough. DeVol's score is reasonable, but nothing more: it is a fairly standard war score, featuring little in the way of memorable sections, which is done no favours whatsoever by being placed on the same album as Patton - while I'm sure this was done solely to bring the score more into the public awareness (it's doubtful that the score would have sold many copies if put on an album by itself, given the relative obscurity of both composer and film), it has the unfortunate effect of devaluing Goldsmith's masterpiece, and making DeVol's enjoyable but workmanlike score seem a lot worse than it probably is.

Whichever album you choose, Patton is classic Goldsmith, and must not be missed by fans of serious film music. It is one of his most intelligent scores, and boasts probably his finest theme. This is vintage film music at its best.