CAN YOU REMEMBER THE MOMENT YOU DISCOVERED ROZSA AND HIS MUSIC?

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sciabarra
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sciabarra
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08 Jan 2018, 15:48 #41

I don't remember the first date exactly, but my mother had the collectible soundtrack with accompanying book, having seen the film around Christmas 1959 in New York City at the Loew's State Theatre (where the film debuted in November of that year). I was born in February 1960, so I was most likely serenaded by Rozsa while still awaiting my entrance into this world. Later on, maybe when I was around 5 years old, I had manifested a real love for music, listening to everything from Chubby Checker and Joey Dee to Ahmad Jahmal, Joe Pass, and the soundtrack to "Ben-Hur." Indeed, by the time I saw the film in its re-release at the Palace Theatre in NYC in 1969, I knew virtually every note of the soundtrack, and had fallen in love with it. It only predisposed me to utterly fall in love with the film, which remains my all-time favorite till this day. 

I tell the story of my first encounter with that epic film, my all-time favorite, here: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... 02236.html and explain why it's my all-time favorite here: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... benhur.htm .

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thegoldenage3060
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thegoldenage3060
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08 Jan 2018, 16:34 #42

sciabarra wrote: I don't remember the first date exactly, but my mother had the collectible soundtrack with accompanying book, having seen the film around Christmas 1959 in New York City at the Loew's State Theatre (where the film debuted in November of that year). I was born in February 1960, so I was most likely serenaded by Rozsa while still awaiting my entrance into this world. Later on, maybe when I was around 5 years old, I had manifested a real love for music, listening to everything from Chubby Checker and Joey Dee to Ahmad Jahmal, Joe Pass, and the soundtrack to "Ben-Hur." Indeed, by the time I saw the film in its re-release at the Palace Theatre in NYC in 1969, I knew virtually every note of the soundtrack, and had fallen in love with it. It only predisposed me to utterly fall in love with the film, which remains my all-time favorite till this day. 

I tell the story of my first encounter with that epic film, my all-time favorite, here: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... 02236.html and explain why it's my all-time favorite here: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... benhur.htm .
glad for your post I know very well your passion for Rozsa thanks  to nice articles on the web like this https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... 5rozsa.pdf
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sciabarra
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sciabarra
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08 Jan 2018, 16:39 #43

thegoldenage3060 wrote:
sciabarra wrote: I don't remember the first date exactly, but my mother had the collectible soundtrack with accompanying book, having seen the film around Christmas 1959 in New York City at the Loew's State Theatre (where the film debuted in November of that year). I was born in February 1960, so I was most likely serenaded by Rozsa while still awaiting my entrance into this world. Later on, maybe when I was around 5 years old, I had manifested a real love for music, listening to everything from Chubby Checker and Joey Dee to Ahmad Jahmal, Joe Pass, and the soundtrack to "Ben-Hur." Indeed, by the time I saw the film in its re-release at the Palace Theatre in NYC in 1969, I knew virtually every note of the soundtrack, and had fallen in love with it. It only predisposed me to utterly fall in love with the film, which remains my all-time favorite till this day. 

I tell the story of my first encounter with that epic film, my all-time favorite, here: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... 02236.html and explain why it's my all-time favorite here: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... benhur.htm .
glad for your post I know very well your passion for Rozsa thanks  to nice articles on the web like this https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ ... 5rozsa.pdf
Thanks for your kind words.  It's nice to be among folks who share the same passion.  Happy 2018!

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paulw
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08 Jan 2018, 21:43 #44

The first time I was aware of Miklos Rozsa's music was one day about 1961  when a local AM radio station played some tracks from Quo Vadis.  I was hooked  and my first Rozsa music was a 78 of Quo Vadis  which has long gone  but I did look around for Miklos Rozsa's LPs   though down here in New Zealand they were few and far  between  and if you did find them they were generally  mono LPs.  If you wanted stereo you had to buy them from the US or UK which was not particularly easy in those days. . 
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WagnerAlmighty
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09 Jan 2018, 20:44 #45

These are all awesome memoirs regarding the maestro. All I have to add is how much of a positive influence Rozsa's music has had on me, musically and holistically. I have been massively motivated in my own compositions by his music, and I must say he is the most consistently great film composer I've ever encountered.
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shu.utahinventorsforum
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Joined: 24 Nov 2008, 01:10

10 Jan 2018, 16:15 #46

Sciabarra had mentioned watching Ben Hur at the Palace Theater in New York back in 1969.   I was a sophomore in a 4 year art school in Japan then and in July of 1969, I was given an opportunity to tour Washington DC, Boston, New York etc and to study briefly at University of Utah with 9 other Japanese students.  One day we were given a free time in New York City and so I was browsing the streets and found a theater showing Ben Hur - what a pleasant surprise, because by then I was a devoted Rozsa fan - now I realize that it was "Palace Theater".  A few years earlier in Japan, a friend showed me US made hard cover souvenir program of Ben Hur.  Unlike soft cover Japanese version, it was so impressive looking.  (Only flaw on the gem is paintings on the last pages of the book, which was commissioned to Ben Stahl.  Harry Anderson, Tom Lovell or Arnold Friberg should be the more appropriate choice I think.)  I did not have enough time to see the movie but at least I wanted that hard cover program, so I went in to purchase it.  To my disappointment the hard cover version was no longer available, so I had to settle with the soft covered one.  On that free time day in NYC, I was able to purchase piano score books of Ben Hur, King of Kings and Quo Vadis at a store, which I treasure to this day.
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doug raynes
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10 Jan 2018, 19:51 #47

I see that few of us had the opportunity of seeing BEN-HUR in 70mm and stereophonic sound in its original road show presentation. I recently came across an old magazine giving details of the release pattern of the film throughout the UK. BEN-HUR opened in central London in December 1959 but took a year before it opened in several other large provincial cities in 70mm; there being only four cinemas equipped for 70mm outside London at that time. The film then had a series of separate performance 35mm mono presentations around the country up to February 1963 but it wasn't until December 1963; a full four years after its premiere, that it went on general release at normal prices. So my estimate of having seen the film in 35mm in 1961 wasn't quite correct. The film ran in central London in 70mm continuously for two and a half years.  What a difference to the blanket release pattern of films today! 

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WagnerAlmighty
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10 Jan 2018, 20:02 #48

doug raynes wrote: I see that few of us had the opportunity of seeing BEN-HUR in 70mm and stereophonic sound in its original road show presentation. I recently came across an old magazine giving details of the release pattern of the film throughout the UK. BEN-HUR opened in central London in December 1959 but took a year before it opened in several other large provincial cities in 70mm; there being only four cinemas equipped for 70mm outside London at that time. The film then had a series of separate performance 35mm mono presentations around the country up to February 1963 but it wasn't until December 1963; a full four years after its premiere, that it went on general release at normal prices. So my estimate of having seen the film in 35mm in 1961 wasn't quite correct. The film ran in central London in 70mm continuously for two and a half years.  What a difference to the blanket release pattern of films today! 
Great post and yes, that's one astonishing difference!
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