Miklos Rozsa at The Recording of "Quo Vadis" (1977)


The Hollywood composer, Dr Miklos Rozsa composed the score for an american cinematographic adaptation of "Quo Vadis" (1951) directed by Melvin Leroy and produced by Metro Goldwin Mayer. The film was shoot in Rome at the Cineccita studio, Italy. At that time, Dr Rozsa has been under contract with MGM for three years.

In 1977, the Decca label decided to produce new recordings of three of the most important epic scores by the composer : "Quo Vadis, Ben-Hur and King of Kings". Unfortunately, only two were recorded.

Now, more than sixty years after the movie was shown, the Tadlow label has just recorded the complete film score of "Quo Vadis".

Suite from "Quo Vadis"

This seems to me the right moment to put some light on the Decca recording... 


The compilation of the recording of the Decca Album, (September the 3rd, 1977) :

Assistant to Mr Rozsa : Christopher Palmer
Producer : Ray Few
Engineer : Stan Goodall

Orchestra : The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus : The Saltarello Choir 
(Non Professional Singers from Dr Rozsa’s comments)

Time of The Recording Session : 6 hours

Special Visitor : Charles Gerhardt

Place of Recording : London's Kingsway Hall

Recording order (from Dr Rozsa’s own list) :
Prelude *
Finale *
Ave Caesar
Chariot Chase
The Burning of Rome
Hail Galba
Fertility Hymn *
Aftermath (Death of Peter * / Death of Poppaea / Nero’s Suicide)
Petronus’s Banquet, Meditation and Death
Marcus’ awakening (Marcus and lygia)
Lygia (love theme not retained in the final record)
Assyrian Dance
*: (Orchestra and Chorus)

Not recorded because of lack of time :
Women’s Quarter of Nero
Sicilian’s Dance


Here are some pictures of this recording session taken by my father :


 Dr Rozsa chatting with a player who had been a member of The RPO
 at the time of the original recording of "Quo Vadis" in 1951

Dr Rozsa with Christopher Palmer

Dr Rozsa with Charles Gerhardt

Dr Rozsa is conducting The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Kingsway Hall

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