We continue celebrating the centenary of the great John Addison—this time in collaboration with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer—with an expanded 2-CD release of one of his most beloved scores (and one of his personal favorites).
A BRIDGE TOO FAR (1977) is an ambitious epic production by Joseph E. Levine for United Artists directed by Richard Attenborough, with an incredible stellar cast that includes Dirk Bogarde, Michael Caine, James Caan, Sean Connery, Elliot Gould, Gene Hackman, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Ryan O’Neal, Robert Redford and Liv Ullmann, among others. Based on the popular novel by Cornelius Ryan, the film chronicles Operation Market Garden, a failed attempt by the allies in the latter stages of World War II to end the war quickly by securing three bridges in the Netherlands to allow access over the Rhine into Germany.
John Addison had a very personal connection with these historical events. He served as a young soldier in the XXX Corps, a tank division that was decisive in the operation, so when he heard that Attenborough was preparing this film, he insisted on composing the score, which was his particular tribute to all his friends and colleagues who fell during this unfortunate historical episode.
Addison composed an epic march (that immediately became a war-film classic) and much exciting action music, all devised with his exquisite British taste for orchestration. He also composed a dramatic rhapsody for piano and orchestra, which was his personal homage to the fallen.
The United Artists label issued a 38-minute soundtrack album, produced by the composer and sound engineer John Richards, to coincide with the film’s release; two subsequent CD reissues have been out-of-print for years. For this Quartet release, the film score has been remixed from the original multi-tracks vaulted at MGM and includes the complete score in film order, as well as several alternates and revised versions for the film’s ultimate edit. We have also included the remastered original album that features interesting edits and additional mixes specially conceived for it. This collection has been remixed, restored and mastered by Chris Malone, and includes a 20-page booklet with liner notes by film music writer Jeff Bond.