George Martin, The Film Scores and Original Orchestral Music of George Martin, The Berlin Music Ensemble conducted by Craig Leon (Atlas Realizations).
If anyone was "The Fifth Beatle," it was George Martin, the composer, producer, recording executive and prime enabler of the Beatles when they were at their most ambitious and creative. It's certainly an exaggeration to say that without Martin, Liverpool's "Fab Four" wouldn't have gotten much farther than the Dave Clark Five and Herman's Hermits but it's not all that much of one.
But what does that mean about this man who also wrote classical music and film scores, among other things? The irony is that it seems, from this disc, that it was ONLY as "The Fifth Beatle" that Martin could be suspected of genius. Evidence for something independent of that just isn't here. This s pleasant music -- Three American Sketches for Violin and Orchestra, original sketches of music to be used in "The Mission," "Pepperland Suite" of music from "Yellow Submarine."
In the case of the "The Mission" music, Martin's was nothing but sketches to indicate ways a future film score could go. The music actually used in the film was written by the great film-composing genius Ennio Morricone, who superseded Martin's music with giant leaps and was one of Morricone's best ever. That's who Martin was -- a sketch artist of genius who made some of the great musicians of his time into the figures they were.
3 1/2 stars (out four)