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The Twilight Zone (The Complete Scores of Bernard Herrmann)

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Album Review

One is grateful for the very notion that a 1990s recording was made of seven of Bernard Herrmann's scores for the Twilight Zone series from the early '60s. During the 1980s, anyone suggesting such an idea to most record labels would have been shown the door in a less than polite manner, but Herrmann's music seemed to sell as the 20th century drew to a close, and the continuing interest in The Twilight Zone didn't hurt. Of all the music here, Herrmann's score for the episode "Walking Distance" holds up the best, a sweetly elegiac ode to passing youth and passing time that stands on its own. Much of the rest, although often very interesting, is simply not that good as music — Herrmann did as bidden and created very effective, surprising, even otherworldly scores for "Little Girl Lost" and "Living Doll," using instruments such as harps, guitars, and bassoon with great facility, but these still aren't remotely of the quality of his film scores of the same era. It is possible, listening to this material, to discern his further use of such works as Gustav Holst's "The Planets," whose influence could be felt in his music for Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, and it's easy to admire the man's inventiveness and creativity. The recording is excellent, and the performance perhaps a bit too serious, which is ironic since, as a substantial body of music, this lengthy set doesn't hold up. It is too long for its own good, except from the standpoint of Herrmann completists, who will love it.

Customer Reviews

How could Bernard Herrman do so much with so little?

For those of us who remember the original works, these unforgettable tunes keep knawing at the edges of our memories. Similar works include "The Day the Earth Stood Still", "Cape Fear", and "Farenheit 451". The really interesting question is how Bernard Herrmann was able to create this unforgettable music using such a smalll orchestra (13-20 musicians). Obviously his singular abilities allowed him to create these memorable sequences using limited counterpoints and orchestrations. Could anyone else do so much with so little? I think not.

tonight, he will enter a place called the twilight zone!

The twilight zone is terrifying, it gives me nightmares, and that's why I love it! The music is pleasantly wierd and chilling, yet very full and complete. The only thing I don't like is that there are sooo many songs on the album. It gets a little boring after a while. But the Twilight Zone really is one of the best and most haunting shows ever created. So all in all, if you've got a ton of room on your iPod, some money to spend, and an obbsession with the Twilight Zone, get this album!!!!! Oh, and... Happy Halloween! Muahahahahaha!!!

really good

awsome show with awosome music. This is good!


Born: June 29, 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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