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Soundtrack Of 'The War, A Ken Burns Film' Inspires Three Companion CDs; Box Set

October 8th, 2007 8:00pm EDT
The WarIn addition to The War soundtrack album - an eclectic mix of vintage era jazz, pop singers of the time, contemporary classical recordings, plus three previously unreleased performances by Wynton Marsalis and a previously unreleased performance by Norah Jones - Legacy will also issue three companion collections:

The War-Sentimental Journey: Hits From The Second World War: 20 tracks starring Frank Sinatra, the Mills Brothers, and the orchestras of Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Teddy Wilson, and others, with vocals along the way by Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Doris Day, and more; including such standards as "We'll Meet Again," "Dancing In The Dark," "Moonglow," "Memories Of You," "I'll Get By," "Pennies From Heaven," "Body And Soul," "Blues In The Night," "Skylark," "Sentimental Journey," and many others;

I'm Beginning To See The Light-I'm Beginning To See The Light: Dance Hits From The Second World War: 20 tracks featuring bands led by Charlie Barnet, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Gene Krupa, Jimmie Lunceford, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw; with such timeless dance hits as "In The Mood," "Let Me Off Uptown," "Taxi War Dance," "The Sheik Of Araby," "Pistol Packin' Mama," "Cherokee," "Tuxedo Junction," "One O'Clock Jump," "Sing, Sing, Sing," "I'm Beginning To See The Light," and many others;

Songs Without Words-Songs Without Words: Classical Music From The War: 10 compositions from the pens of Copland, Dvorak, Elgar, Fauré, Ligeti, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Messiaen, and Walton; as performed such luminaries as Aaron Copland himself and Benny Goodman, Leonard Slatkin & the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma & the New York Philharmonic, and others.

The War soundtrack album and the three companion albums will be sold individually. They will also be packaged together in a box set, The War, A Ken Burns Film: Deluxe Edition, containing a PBS Series Viewers Guide and an essay written by Ken Burns.

The War tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history, and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.

Music is an integral element in the success of the award-winning documentary films produced and directed by Ken Burns, and three of his most recent projects have been accompanied by soundtrack albums released by Legacy Recordings: Jazz (2001, certified multi-platinum), Mark Twain (2001), and Horatio's Drive (2003).

Six years in the making, the series is nothing less than "a new masterpiece," declared TV Guide. "The War promises to be an unforgettable experience and could well rival Burns's breakthrough landmark The Civil War in its simple yet profound artistry and universal appeal," referring to the landmark 1990 series that won four Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards.

The War unfolds overseas and on the homefront by following four Americans from four American towns. The music complements the storyline; every title on the soundtrack album was personally chosen by Burns and Novick, for reasons that are explained throughout the liner notes essay.

"The music we chose for the film," Burns and Novick write, "and for this soundtrack, is an essential element in our attempt to tell the story of the war. Each composition, each recording, helped us breathe life into old photographs and archival footage, added resonance to the testimonies of our witnesses… Again and again, we found that music - freshly created for our film as well as true to the period and gleaned from sources all across the world - helped us immeasurably in trying to describe the indescribable and express the inexpressible."

The War tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history, and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.

BaseballMusic is an integral element in the success of the award-winning documentary films produced and directed by Ken Burns, and three of his most recent projects have been accompanied by soundtrack albums released by Legacy Recordings: JAZZ (2001, certified multi-platinum), Mark Twain (2001), and Horatio's Drive (2003).

Every musical track has been selected to underscore events or themes in the film. There is an eclectic mix of vintage era jazz (Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Nat 'King' Cole), popular singers (Kay Starr, Bing Crosby with guitarist Les Paul), classical works by composers Aaron Copland, Sir William Walton, and modernist Arvo Pärt, and evocative performances by Edgar Meyer (and friends) and Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble.

The album is also distinguished by three Wynton Marsalis compositions, and a previously unreleased performance by Norah Jones on vocal and piano, entitled "American Anthem." As explained in the liner notes, "Gene Scheer's 'American Anthem' became a touchstone that we returned to again and again, a reflection of the complex sentiments in our witnesses' heartfelt testimonies. Norah Jones' beautiful rendition of the song gave us the opportunity to hear Scheer's affecting lyrics, which seemed to give voice to the sacrifice, selflessness, and bravery of those we have tried to honor, the men and women who fought and won that necessary war on our behalf."

Six years in the making, the series is nothing less than "a new masterpiece," declared TV Guide. "The War promises to be an unforgettable experience and could well rival Burns's breakthrough landmark The Civil War in its simple yet profound artistry and universal appeal," referring to the landmark 1990 series that won four Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards.

JazzThe War story unfolds on the frontlines of the European and Pacific theaters of battle abroad, and on the homefront in four American towns: Mobile, Alabama; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; and Luverne, Minnesota. The viewer is compelled to bear witness, to step directly into the lives of those telling the story - the surviving soldiers from those towns, as well as those who lived at home through the war. The music complements the storyline; every title on the soundtrack album was chosen for reasons that are explained throughout the liner notes essay.

For example, "The incomparable Wynton Marsalis generously agreed to compose and help perform a number of pieces especially for us," they write. "Thanks to him, the Americans in our film go to war accompanied by strains suffused with the music that best expresses our country's grief and tragedy, joy and triumph - the blues."

On the other hand, Sir William Walton's funereal Passacaglia, the Death of Falstaff, "seems to signify both the enormity of the war's tragedy, and the intimacy of the suffering borne by individuals around the globe." Walton actually composed it during the Blitz of 1940-41, for the film Henry V, starring Laurence Olivier, which premiered in London at the height of the war, in November 1944. The plaintive melody of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt's Variations for the Healing of Arinuska conveys the wartime anxiety he experienced as a child, as recorded by Estonian pianist Kalle Randalu in 1993.

Two other contemporary recordings are well-utilized by Burns. "Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur," by Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble, "fuses the sounds of Western stringed instruments with tabla drums of India and lutes of the Middle East," the notes explain. "The sense of foreboding and mystery that pervades this piece amplified and intensified some of the film's darkest moments." Another contemporary classical musician, bassist Edgar Meyer, is joined "In the Nick of Time" by Joshua Bell on violin, Sam Bush on mandolin, and guitarist Mike Marshall. Cut in 1998, the track "animated some of the film's most significant action scenes, particularly the crossing of the English Channel on June 6, 1944 - D Day."

The big band swingtime era selections - among them Benny Goodman's "The Wang Wang Blues," Count Basie's "How Long Blues" and "Basie Boogie," Kay Starr's "If I Could Be With You," Nat "King" Cole's "If You Can't Smile And Say Yes" (via Louis Jordan), as well as the more plaintive "Solitude" by Duke Ellington, and the Bing Crosby/Les Paul duet, "It's Been A Long, Long Time" - embodied "the quintessentially American spirit of affirmation in the face of adversity." Jazz provided a link between the soldiers who heard the music on Armed Forces Radio and the folks back home - as Louis Armstrong sang back in 1936, "Rhythm Saved the World."

The Civil War"The music we chose for the film," Burns and Novick write, "and for this soundtrack, is an essential element in our attempt to tell the story of the war. Each composition, each recording, helped us breathe life into old photographs and archival footage, added resonance to the testimonies of our witnesses… Again and again, we found that music - freshly created for our film as well as true to the period and gleaned from sources all across the world - helped us immeasurably in trying to describe the indescribable and express the inexpressible."

The War, A Ken Burns Film - The Soundtrack
1. American Anthem Norah Jones
2. Walton: The Death Of Falstaff Leonard Slatkin & London Philharmonic Orchestra
3. The Wang Wang Blues Benny Goodman Sextet
4. Movin' Back Wynton Marsalis
5. How Long Blues Count Basie
6. In The Nick Of Time Joshua Bell, Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush, Mike Marshall
7. It's Been A Long, Long Time Bing Crosby, with Les Paul
8. America My Home Wynton Marsalis
9. If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight) Kay Starr, acc, by the Capitol International Jazzmen
10. Blue As The Turquoise Night of Neyshabur Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble
11. Until I'm In Your Arms Again Wynton Marsalis
12. Pärt: Variations For The Healing of Arinuska Kalle Randalu, piano
13. Basie Boogie Count Basie & His Orch.
14. Solitude Duke Ellington & His Orch.
15. Copland: Concerto For Clarinet, Strings, Harp and Piano Benny Goodman, Aaron Copland & Columbia Symph. Orch.
16. If You Can't Smile And Say Yes The King Cole Trio
17. American Anthem Amanda Forsyth & Bill Charlap

Sentimental Journey: Hits From The Second World War
1. We'll Meet Again Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (Peggy Lee, vocal)
2. Dancing In The Dark Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
3. Little Brown Jug Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
4. I'll Be Seeing You Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (Frank Sinatra, vocal)
5. Moonglow Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
6. Memories Of You Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra (Lionel Hampton, vibraphone)
7. I'll Get By Harry James & His Orchestra (Dick Haymes, vocal)
8. On The Alamo Benny Goodman & His Sextet (incl. Count Basie, Charlie Christian)
9. Pennies From Heaven Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra (incl. Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday)
10. Body And Soul Coleman Hawkins & His Orchestra
11. Let's Get Lost Frank Sinatra - air check
12. Blues In The Night Cab Calloway & His Orchestra
13. There Shall Be No Night Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra (incl. Ben Webster, Herb Jeffries)
14. Echoes Of Harlem Cootie Williams & His Rug Cutters (incl. Duke Ellington, piano)
15. Skylark Earl Hines & His Orchestra (Billy Eckstine, vocal)
16. Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week Frank Sinatra, vocal, accompanied by orchestra conducted by Axel Stordahl
17. Paper Doll The Mills Brothers
18. Long Ago And Far Away Frank Sinatra, Vocal, accompanied by orchestra conducted by Axel Stordahl
19. Sentimental Journey Les Brown & His Orchestra (Doris Day, vocal)
20. Waiting For The Train To Come In Harry James & His Orchestra (Kitty Kallen, vocal)

I'm Beginning To See The Light: Dance Hits From The Second World War
1. C Jam Blues Duke Ellington & His Famous Orchestra
2. Frenesi Artie Shaw & His Orchestra
3. In The Mood Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
4. Let Me Off Uptown Gene Krupa & His Orchestra (incl. Anita O'Day, Roy Eldridge, G. Krupa)
5. Taxi War Dance Count Basie & His Orchestra (with Lester Young)
6. The Sheik Of Araby Coleman Hawkins' All Star Octet
7. Pistol Packin' Mama Al Dexter & His Troopers
8. American Patrol Glenn Miller & His Orchestra
9. For The Good Of Your Country Count Basie & His Orchestra (Jimmy Rushing, vocal)
10. Cherokee Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra
11. Rose Room Benny Goodman Sextet (incl. Fletcher Henderson, Charlie Christian, Lionel Hampton)
12. Opus #1 Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (incl. Buddy Rich, Buddy DeFranco)
13. I'm Beginning To See The Light Harry James & His Orchestra (Kitty Kallen, vocal)
14. Tuxedo Junction Erskine Hawkins (The Twentieth Century Gabriel) & His Orchestra
15. One O'clock Jump Count Basie & His Orchestra
16. I'm Confessin' Artie Shaw & His Orchestra (incl. Henry "Red" Allen, Benny Carter)
17. (I've Got A Gal In) Kalamazoo Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (Tex Beneke & The Modernaires, vocal)
18. Boogie Woogie Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra
19. 'Tain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It) Jimmie Lunceford & His Orchestra
20. Sing, Sing, Sing Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (incl. Gene Krupa, Vido Musso, Harry James)

Songs Without Words: Classical Music From The War
1. Walton: The Death Of Falstaff Leonard Slatkin & London Philharmonic
Orchestra
2. Dvo?ák: Cello Concerto In B Minor Yo-Yo Ma & New York Philharmonic
(Second Movement)
3. Copland: Concerto For Clarinet, Benny Goodman, Aaron Copland &
Strings, Harp And Piano Columbia Symphony Orchestra
4. Ligeti: Lamento from Hommage Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Marie-Luise
À Brahms Neunecker, Saschko Gawriloff
5. Fauré: Elégie, Op. 24 Steven Isserlis & Pascal Devoyon
6. Liszt: Nuages Gris Barry Douglas 19
7. Messiaen: Quartet For The End Of Ensemble Tashi
Time (Third Movement)
8. Copland: Grovers Corners from Aaron Copland & New Philharmonia
Our Town Orchestra
9. Mendelssohn: Song Without Words Yo-Yo Ma & Emanuel Ax
10. Elgar: Nimrod from Enigmavariations Leonard Slatkin & London Philharmonic
Orchestra

The War Audio Streams
"American Anthem" by Norah Jones Windows | Quicktime
"Two Pieces For Strings: Passacaglia: The Death Of Falstaff" [Edited Performance] by Leonard Slatkin & The London Philharmonic Orchestra Windows | Quicktime
"The Wang Wang Blues" by Benny Goodman Sextet Windows | Quicktime
"Movin' Back" by Wynton Marsalis Windows | Quicktime
"How Long Blues" by Count Basie Windows | Quicktime
"In the Nick of Time" [Instrumental] by Edger Meye, Joshua Bell, Sam Bush, & Mike Marshall Windows | Quicktime
"It's Been A Long, Long Time" by Bing Crosby, with Les Paul Windows | Quicktime
"America My Home" by Wynton Marsalis Windows | Quicktime
"If I Could Be With You (One Hour Tonight)" by Kay Starr, accompanied by the Capitol International Jazzmen Windows | Quicktime
"Blue As The Turquoise Night of Neyshabur" [Edited Version] by Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble Windows | Quicktime
"Until I'm In Your Arms Again" by Wynton Marsalis Windows | Quicktime
"Variations For The Healing Of Arinushka" by Kalle Randalu Windows | Quicktime
"Basie Boogie" by Count Basie & His Orchestra Windows | Quicktime
"Solitude" [78rpm Version] Duke Ellington & His Orchestra Windows | Quicktime
"Concerto For Clarinet & String Orchestra" by Benny Goodman, Aaron Copland, & Columbia Symphony Orchestra Windows | Quicktime
"If You Can't Smile And Say Yes" by The King Cole Trio Windows | Quicktime
"American Anthem" by Amanda Forsynth & Bill Charlap Windows | Quicktime

The War Trailer: (Windows Media) | (Quicktime)

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