Composed and Conducted by JERRY GOLDSMITH

Expanded release of richly melodic, highly exciting Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack for popular Don Bluth animation film from Robert C. O’Brien novel “Mrs. Frisby And The Rats Of NIMH”, with voices of Elizabeth Hartman, Dom DeLuise, Derek Jacobi, Hermione Baddeley, Peter Strauss, John Carradine. Original 1982 album offered generous 48-minute program featuring all of the major cues save one lengthy dramatic sequence entitled “At Your Service” and a few shorter bits.

The original album composer Jerry Goldsmith prepared for The Secret of NIMH in 1982 featured 12 tracks and ran a generous 48 minutes, covering almost all of the score’s major sequences.  When Intrada set out to do an expanded and remastered edition, the complete recording sessions proved to be allusive.  Missing elements are not uncommon in this business of soundtrack archaeology, but this one was a painful near miss.  A deep search uncovered the first-generation, DBX-encoded 1982 album master assembled by Goldsmith and engineer Len Engel, as well as three rolls of 1″ 8-channel and one of three ½″ 3-channel tapes. While these didn’t reveal every sequence of Goldsmith’s magnificent score, they did contain one missing cue — “At Your Service.”  If only one cue of the unreleased material was to surface, this is the one to have. It accompanies the sequence when Mrs. Brisby first journeys into the lair of the intelligent rats.   Additionally the elements revealed a complete “demo” version of the end-credit song performed by Sally Stevens and the orchestra. The latter is identical to the film recording with the exception of the temporary orchestra mix and levels, which largely yielded to the vocal for later balancing purposes.

Goldsmith took the scoring assignment under the condition that he could score it like a live-action film.  “As I told the producers, if they wanted a Disney-like, synchronize-every-cut type of score I couldn’t do it. I wanted to score it as a live-action film, and they agreed.” The score features as many as eight different themes for the film’s major characters and situations. As the composer described it: “They go from pure romanticism to impressionism, everything. It’s sort of an animated Peter and the Wolf, but it all hangs together cohesively. It’s a much more conservative score than, say, Omen or Outland or Alien or evenPoltergeist, but it’s still diversely styled, musically, and it all seems to tie together very well.”

In the film, two stories run in parallel.  Mrs. Brisby is a widow, and one of her four children, Timothy, is sick with pneumonia. She is desperate to move her home away from the farmer’s fields, where it will soon be destroyed by plowing, but her family can’t move while her son is ill. The second story involves a group of rodents—rats and mice—being held at a facility run by the National Institute of Mental Health  (NIMH). After experimental drug treatments alter the rodents’ DNA and render them intelligent they escape—with the help of Mrs. Brisby’s husband—and form a colony underneath the farmer’s lawn. Because Mr. Brisby is killed while drugging the farmer’s cat, Dragon, he is a revered figure to the rats, who eventually help Mrs. Brisby and her family move their home.

For some three decades, complete session elements have been lost and sadly remain as such. But exhaustive search did yield significant reward: Len Engel’s actual first generation 1982 dbx-encoded album master plus 3 rolls of 1″ and 1/2″ multi-track tape offered complete album – and at last! – the previously unreleased “At Your Service”. Three additional demo theme recordings featuring both Paul Williams and Sally Stevens were also present on masters. Jerry Goldsmith fashioned his music in epic-scale for large orchestra plus chorus with nods to classic styles of Debussy, Stravinsky as well as his own landmark Poltergeist. Resulting score offers magical moments, beautiful theme, awe-inspiring colors plus incredibly ferocious action music. Another big asset: several sequences are quite lengthy. Total score now runs 53 minutes. Ten additional minutes of demos bring CD up to 63 minutes. Courtesy MGM, Intrada re-mastered CD now offers nearly-complete program in dynamic stereo. Informative liner notes from Jeff Bond plus flipper-style cover artwork and interior package design by Joe Sikoryak add rich graphics to compliment Goldsmith’s legendary score. Recorded May 4-7, 1982 at CTS Studios in London. Jerry Goldsmith conducts National Philharmonic Orchestra, Ambrosian Singers.

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 332
Date: 1982
Time: 63:09
Tracks: 16


Composed and Conducted by JERRY GOLDSMITH
01. Main Title (3:15)
02. Allergic Reaction/Athletic Type (2:42)
03. Flying Dreams – Lullaby (Vocal: Sally Stevens) (3:18)
04. The Tractor (3:00)
05. The Sentry Reel/The Story Of NIMH (6:05)
06. At Your Service* (3:39)
07. Escape From NIMH/In Disguise (5:02)
08. Flying Dreams (Vocal: Paul Williams) (3:21)
09. Step Inside My House (4:43)
10. No Thanks (2:03)
11. Moving Day (8:00)

12. The House Raising (4:36)
13. Flying High/End Title (2:39)
Total Score Time: 53:00

The Extras
14. Flying Dreams – End Title Demo (Vocal: Sally Stevens)* (3:15)
15. Flying Dreams – Demo (Vocal: Paul Wlliams)* (3:21)
16. Flying Dreams – Demo (Piano Duet)* (3:24)
Total Extras Time: 10:09

*Previously Unreleased