Jerry Goldsmith

" Religious Television score fares better on 1 CD "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

It's called the third in a Series of Newly Recorded Complete Classic Scores composed by Jerry Goldsmith, QB VII premieres in its complete form after nearly 30 years. The soundtrack release of Intrada back in 1995 was an exciting one, but showed a hindrance when it came down to the quality of the recording. Especially the choir couldn't lash out, something that was rectified the moment several tracks were used as a bonus on the Exodus release in 2009. Now that kind of quality demanded a re run, and an expansion. And voila, QB VII was born in its entirety. Unleashing 90 minutes of music for the 1974 Television series lasting six and a half hours.

Now, as is the case with virtually every Jerry Goldsmith score, there are riches here that exceed your expectations. Perhaps not all as bold or exciting as many of his blockbuster efforts, but present nonetheless. "QB VII - Main Title Part 1" delivers 2 of these, 2 themes that will receive their variation in one form or another. The Adam theme (opening after an (often returning) bold fanfare) is first, Abe's more colorful theme follows after that, showing a wonderful sense of playfulness and pride in just mere 30 seconds. Naturally, these 2 themes return a lot, always accompanied by new themes as the story moves on.

Like the wonderful Arabian scenery theme, first used in "Journey into the Desert" and fully unleashing its delicious upbeat pride in "Visit to the Sheik". A secondary exotic motif (which was heard at the end of the previous track) returns in "A Night in the Desert / Stay Out of the Desert" and listens equally charming. Cues like these do enrich the experience more on the first CD than the second CD.

A wonderful waltz like version of Adam's theme graces "Sir Adam Kelno" while Abe's theme is heard gently over "I Cannot See my Love", revealing yet another new theme for the series. This time, a wonderful almost Bond like love theme which gets perhaps its most beautiful version here. And as life passes by with the positive moments ("Hollywood") and harsher moments ("Breaking Up"), we arrive at the revelation of the most important theme, namely the main theme that supports first "Papa's Burial" before putting some weight on it in the lovely "The Wailing Wall", most specifically through the choir that's fully unleashed for the first time. And in this track, we have a new bouncy melody that will make a larger impact at the beginning of the second disc ("Rekindling the Flame of Jehovah"), holding that delightful Jerry Goldsmith creativity we miss so much these days.

Though the choir is heard before the end of CD 1 as well, the use of it isn't always that potent, underscoring the couple of cues with an almost religious supportive tone ("A New Life", "ID Parade"). But when it does unleash something more powerful, the results are spectacular. The aforementioned "The Wailing Wall" and "Theme from QB VII – A Kaddish for the Six Million" are thereby to be entitled true powerhouse cues. And though the score has hardly any action music whatsoever, some moments do feel more alive than others. Like "Escape" with its almost exciting Gremlins like action rhythms.

Sadly somehow the second CD doesn't fully fulfill my expectations. It's continuously using the themes alright, but never as potent. Luckily there is enough variation on board, but due to the dramatic nature of the tale, we hear the same themes returning too often now (and lacking the exotic ones that did bring a creative diversity to the first CD). The haunting quality of "The Witnesses" is nonetheless interesting, and the use of wordless choir does captivate the listener in true Omen like style ("Jadwiga Relived"). Luckily the second CD closes with a choir-less version of the main theme downright powerfully in "Cady's Speech", followed by a duplicate of that amazing main theme track of CD 1.

Don't get me wrong, QB VII is a wonderful score, and another testament as how themes can enrich an experience on CD. But somehow 1 disc says it better than 2, specifically when the themes return a little too often on the second disc. The color of the first is also absent, leaving it nonetheless to the potent gloom of the second CD (with "Jadwiga Relived" being the haunting highlight) to make an impression. But whatever you can say about the presentation (like Masada you can make your own playlist of it), QB VII does listen spectacular now, with another faultless performance and recording. For the fan of Goldsmith, knowing he can make whatever version of it once he's done dissecting it, a must for sure.

Favorite Moment - Theme from QB VII – A Kaddish for the Six Million (1.19 - 2.34)
Nothing can beat the majesty of this cue, reminding me of the powerful outburst of the choir in The Final Conflict

CD 1: 50.40
1. QB VII – Main Title Part 1 (1.55)
2. Escape (2.10)
3. A New Life (4.07)
4. Poland (1.55)
5. ID Parade (1.29)
6. Kelno at Home (0.33)
7. Journey into the Desert (2.46)
8. Visit to the Sheik (3.42) Excellent track
9. A Night in the Desert / Stay Out of the Desert (3.57)
10. Sir Adam Kelno (3.03)
11. Abe Cade (0.40)
12. I Cannot See My Love (4.36)
13. Hollywood (2.46)
14. Breaking Up (4.59)
15. Papa's Burial (2.13)
16. The Wailing Wall (3.23) Excellent track
17. The Holocaust (3.42)
18. Theme from QB VII – A Kaddish for the Six Million (2.38) Excellent track

CD 2: 43.56
1. QB VII – Main Title Part 2 (1.55)
2. Rekindling the Flame of Jehovah (2.25)
3. Suing Cady (3.20)
4. I'm Your Attorney, Not Your Confessor (1.15)
5. Free to Love Again (2.59)
6. The Chagall Windows (3.32)
7. The Courtroom / Oxford (1.44)
8. Return to the Courtroom / Father & Son (2.09)
9. The Witnesses (4.16)
10. Gustav Tukla / Tesslre is Dead (5.23)
11. Jadwiga Relived (4.35)
12. The Medical Journal / Kelno Recalled (2.25)
13. A Sorrow of Two Fathers (2.15)
14. Cady's Speech (3.05) Excellent track
15. Theme from QB VII – A Kaddish for the Six Million (2.35) Excellent track
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 11 votes - average 4.68/5)

Released by

Prometheus XPCD 175 (regular release 2013)

Conducted by

Nic Raine

Performed by

The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus