Frank Cordell’s Khartoum is a huge epic score, and similarly to Twisted Nerve, has had split releases, with the original LP (a re-recording) being reissued by different labels with different Cordell scores, such as Ring Of Bright Water and Mosquito Squadron, but having the original and complete score allows for the scale of the score to really be felt musically.
And Cordell executes the score beautifully. From the first moment of ‘Overture’, with those huge bold brass strokes, you know you’re in for something wonderful, and his score encompasses that feeling as it introduces the main themes; the mysterious long-lined Mahdi theme, the soaring five-note main theme, and the romantic and noble British military theme. All of these are versatile and Cordell weaves them throughout the score in a variety of ways, scoring for mystery, a kind of romance and nobility, and subsequent tragedy.
Khartoum is a fabulous score, and Stylotone have done it real justice. It sounds beautiful, especially on (“sandstorm”) vinyl, and they’ve done a great job of remastering the sound without sacrificing the fidelity. The album is in mono, but don’t let that put you off – this release demands attention. As before, you get some great extras, with the complete album on CD, along with a download of the score, a poster, and a certificate signed by Anja Cordell. Fantastic.
Khartoum is out now on vinyl from Stylotone