The late, legendary film composer Maurice Jarre's soundtrack recordings for the Westerns Villa Rides! and El Condor have been released on a single CD. Here is background from the Screen Archives web site:
"A few months after my Oscar for Doctor Zhivago, Columbia contacted me to do The Professionals, and I literally fell off my chair. I thought I was too French to get involved in such a typically American genre as the western. To me, succeeding with this score amounted to getting a Hollywood certificate, proof that I belonged; it was a test, like a ragging in college..." Maurice Jarre was talking about his relationship to westerns, a genre which symbolizes American films, and the composer went on to work on eight full-length features. Among them were two pictures with very rare scores: Villa Rides! (never reissued on CD before now) and El Condor (which has never been available on any record). These are sister-scores, and the composer's taste for South-American rhythms bursts through them: lavish orchestrations and a whole range of wild percussion display the full range of Jarre's considerable imagination on his journey through the folk-music of Mexico and The Andes. Following the release of the boxed-set Le Cinéma de Maurice Jarre, this album contains the complete versions of two original soundtracks which, taken together, provide an accurate reflection of the singular rapport tying the composer of Lawrence of Arabia to the western, a genre where he was one of the great innovators. Maurice Jarre aficionados will love this CD, and so will anyone with nostalgic memories of Lee Van Cleef, Charles Bronson or Robert Mitchum on horseback.