Bernard Herrman Film Scores
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||Citizen Kane: Prelude / The Inquirer (Polka) / Finale / End Cast||Bernard Herrmann||11:04||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||The Devil and Daniel Webster: The Devil's Concerto||Bernard Herrmann||1:56||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||The Man Who Knew Too Much: Cantata / The Storm Clouds (Arthur Benjamin)||Bernard Herrmann||8:20||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||Psycho: Prelude/ The Murder / Finale||Bernard Herrmann||6:39||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||The Wrong Man: Prelude||Bernard Herrmann||2:16||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||Vertigo: Scène d'amour||Bernard Herrmann||6:46||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||North By Northwest: Prelude||Bernard Herrmann||3:12||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||The Bride Wore Black: A Musical Scenario / Prelude / Femme Fatale / The Accident / Love and Death / Fune||Bernard Herrmann||11:35||Album Only||View in iTunes|
||Fahrenheit 451: Finale||Bernard Herrmann||4:40||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||Taxi Driver: A Night Piece for Orchestra / Prelude / Blues / Night Prowl / Bloodbath / Finale||Bernard Herrmann||8:45||£0.79||View in iTunes|
||Interview: Benard Herrmann On Film Music||Bernard Herrmann||4:45||£0.79||View in iTunes|
New recordings of the film music of Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) have been sprouting like dandelions in recent years, as exposure on home video and various cable channels has raised the profile of film scores among casual viewers to its highest level ever and stimulated new interest in the whole field. And what more logical orchestra to record Herrmann's music than the Los Angeles Philharmonic (under conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen), which represents the high-culture side of music immediately adjacent to Hollywood? This album opens with what is probably the most straightforward and disposable piece of music that Herrmann ever wrote for Alfred Hitchcock, the prelude from The Man Who Knew Too Much, which makes a kind of bite-sized appetizer for what follows: "Psycho - A Suite for Strings," 11 short movements played about as tautly as they have ever been presented, right down to the screechy murder-sequence music; the gloriously romantic prelude and hunt music from Marnie; the loony overture for North by Northwest; a three-movement suite from Vertigo's lush score; and just under seven minutes of Herrmann's unused music from Torn Curtain. The CD also contains a 20-minute suite derived from the score of Fahrenheit 451, and seven minutes of the last score that Herrmann ever wrote, from Taxi Driver. The results are impressive — though it should be pointed out that Herrmann himself made good recordings of virtually all the music on this album for Decca/London during the 1960s, several with more prestigious orchestras — with finely wrought playing throughout. The orchestra's cohesiveness comes into play in the quiet passages of the "Psycho" suite, where Salonen gets the bass and cello sections playing like single instruments. The sequencing is also very sensible, shifting the moods carefully for the listener so that a sense of variation is maintained. This album also has the distinction of being the first collection of Herrmann's music to appear on Super Audio CD — a format that was made for music of this scope and range, bringing the bowing of the strings and the surge of the percussion, as well as the horn calls on "The Hunt" from Marnie, right into the listener's own room.
5 star album, No star review.
Despite the review above being for an entirely different CD, this Elmer Bernstein conducted collection of Bernard Herrmann's greatest works is really quite superb and a perfect sampler of Herrmann's work. That Bernstein chose to arrange and conduct such an extensive programme of another composer's work speaks volumes for both men. This selection contains a joyful 'End Cast' arrangement from Citizen Kane, the wonderful Arthur Benjamin piece from the Royal Albert Hall sequence in 'The Man Who Knew Too Much' (which also showed Herrmann in cameo as the Conductor), a fabulously rich 'Night Piece for Orchestra' plus the simply beautiful and dolorous Finale from Fahrenheit 451. A very welcome bonus is the excerpt of Bernard Herrmann giving his views on the vital contribution of score to cinema. All in all a hugely satisfying collection and a great way to sample Bernard Herrmann's truly brilliant catalogue. If this works for the listener, look out for 'Marnie' and also the full score of Fahrenheit 451.
Born: 29 June 1911 in New York, NY
Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s