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Album Review

This rootin'-tootin' salute to Westerns on TV and movie screens was the most popular demonstration disc at the 1987 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas — and it's easy to hear why. Before you can say Hopalong Cassidy, the disc opens with the stunningly-reproduced stereophonic hooting of horses on the range, followed of course by a leisurely trot through the "Hi -O-Silver" section of Rossini's "William Tell Overture." Excerpts from Elmer Bernstein's score for The Magnificent Seven — which contains probably his most memorable theme, along with a Copland pastiche — are given a spectacular arrangement by Christopher Palmer. The usual big-time Hollywood composers of the past, Alfred Newman ("How the West Was Won"), Dimitri Tiomkin ("Gunfight at the OK Corral," "High Noon"), Franz Waxman ("The Furies") and Jerome Moross ("Big Country") show up — and collectively they prove that Westerns invariably brought out the best in their craft. A Palmer Boston Pops-style medley of TV themes with gunfire punctuation turns up, as does a taste of the genuine article, Richard Hayman's "Pops Hoedown" — complete with whoops from some hired hands on the recording stage. Why, even Frankie Laine, then 73, was lassoed out of semi-retirement in order to authentically resurrect "OK Corral," "Rawhide" and his big hit "High Noon." Laine sounds pretty good, hamming it up in "Rawhide" and delivering "High Noon" in clipped phrases. The weight of Kunzel's Cincinnati Pops enhances the stature of this music to no end — and Telarc's pickup of the sound is as broad as a big screen and deep as a desert canyon. This is one of the best of Erich Kunzel's many discs, and it sounds as if he and the Pops are having a ball recording it. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Music that Molded my Mind

My father owned this album when I was a kid; I remember hearing it over and over again when we lived in Hawaii...way back in 1990, when the Amiga-Commodore 64 was still a cutting edge consumer PC and it was still permissable for major motion pictures to leave out digital special effects without being shunned as B movies or b-rated by eye-candy-oriented critics... The point is that this album is a steal for the price--and the variety of high-quality music is bound to make you a SMARTER PERSON because it doesn't drone on; there is a lot of inspiration in the Western genre, and it comes out clearly through Western music. This album comprises the epitome of epic frontier culture--something that should be near and dear to each and every American. I may be a little biased on this concluding point, but make your kids listen to this album instead of Disney pop nonsense or whatever other newfangled music there is out there nowadays; a healthy diet of Wagner, coupled with something on par with THIS album, and a collection of the best classics of the '80's will mold your kids brain to give him/her highly creative tendencies and an ear for good sound. Buy this album here--if you can't find it anywhere esle.

Round-Up/Cincinnati Pops Orchestra & Erich Kunzel

Excellent!! Very well done. Brings back fond memories of watching tv westerns with my dad when I was a little girl. Being a musician, I recognize the top quality of this collection and very much appreciate the classy arrangements beautifully performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. I highly recommend this album to all, especially those interested in this particular genre!

Horsey Music

My 3yr old daughter runs circles in the house endlessly while riding her pretend horse to this compilation. That's a win in my books.


Formed: 1977 in Cincinnati, OH

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra has roots going all the way back to the 1870s, but was not officially distinguished from its parent organization, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, until 1977. The early Cincinnati orchestra society programmed popular music concerts and that continued with the Cincinnati Symphony, particularly under conductor Max Rudolf, who became its director in 1958. In 1965, Rudolf hired Erich Kunzel as assistant conductor and asked him to conduct the first "8 O'Clock Pops" concert....
Full Bio
Round-Up, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
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Customer Ratings