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Citizen Kane: The Essential Bernard Herrmann Film Music Collection

The City of Prague Philharmonic

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Album Review

Oddly enough, the only piece from Citizen Kane to be found on the entire two-CD set is a fairly brief overture. This is not to say that the entire album is thus worthless — far from it, in fact, as Silva have produced a release here that is as good as any they have produced. Not only is the City of Prague Philharmonic in absolutely perfect voice throughout (under the batons of Paul Bateman and Nic Raine), the recording is excellent, and the Dolby Surround encoding and mastering an example to be emulated. The selection of cues and suites is on the mark throughout, not only sampling the scores Herrmann created for Alfred Hitchcock, but providing selections from The Day the Earth Stood Still (a masterpiece of science fiction scoring), On Dangerous Ground, Mysterious Island, and others (though Journey to the Center of the Earth is totally ignored). The running order is designed well, providing a tour through the many styles and forms that Herrmann used throughout his career. Highly recommended in terms of the compilation approach, though the purist will naturally lean towards the original score recordings wherever possible.

Customer Reviews

Great introduction to Herrmann

Really, I can't add much to the album review. As a Herrmann collector, I have many of the original soundtracks in my collection, but this compilation not only provides a good overview of Herrmann's work, the sound quality often exceeds the original recordings in quality. The performances, too, are fairly faithful to Herrmann's conducting style; the conductors here obviously listened to the master and stayed as true to his intent as possible.

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