Escape to Paradise: The Hollywood Album

Reviewed on Thu 06 Nov, 2014

Although Nicola Benedetti may have stolen his thunder, Daniel Hope makes a decent fist of the Korngold Concerto, the main event on another selection of Hollywood-related works. Accompanied by Alexander Shelley and the Royal Stockholm Phil, Hope is a little brisker and breezier than Benedetti, making the finale an especially springy affair; while DG’s recording is a little more focused than Decca’s. Elsewhere, Hope surveys the contributions of European immigrants to the 'Hollywood sound' – from Ziesl and Weill to Waxman and Rózsa. Sting provides a husky version of Eisler’s 'The Secret Marriage', while Max Raabe is more idiomatic in Weill’s 'Speak Low'. The album’s notional theme “From the Holocaust to Hollywood” allows for the inclusion of Williams’s 'Schindler’s List', though some other miscellaneous arrangements of film themes don’t seem especially germane and arguably over-emphasise the clichéd sentiment of the Hollywood sound. But this is a pleasant collection, if occasionally out-of-focus.
–Mark Walker