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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Bernard Herrmann

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Album Review

Arguably the best soundtrack that Bernard Herrmann ever composed, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was his most expressive body of dramatic music, not really a surprise since a portion of its material was "stolen" by Herrmann from his own contemporary opera Wuthering Heights. The thematic material displays a level of elegance and delicacy that put it head and shoulders above the standard for film scores of its era, and made it one of the crowning achievements of film music composition in Hollywood. This recording, originally made by Elmer Bernstein and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for his Film Music Society, was considered a landmark in its time for recreating — with extraordinary faithfulness — the main body of the original 1947 score in all of its nuances. It holds up extremely well even a quarter century later. Bernstein took a great deal of care with this score, and although it now competes with the original unmixed tracks from the film conducted by Herrmann himself, it should not be dismissed out of hand as superfluous. The modern fidelity will make it more impressive on many sound systems, and all of the content that makes the Herrmann music so special is here.

Biography

Born: 29 June 1911 in New York, NY

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s

Bernard Herrmann was arguably the most innovative film composer of the 1940s, '50s, and '60s, even though he actually rejected the term "film composer," preferring to call himself a composer who sometimes wrote film scores. That was an apt description for a musician who, in addition to his film work, also composed works in a variety of other forms including opera, symphony, musical comedy, and concert music, as well as writing extensively for radio and television, while maintaining a concurrent conducting...
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