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JMan

Bernard Herrmann Film Scores

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Does anyone here have the GreatPerformances Album of Los Angeles Phil playing the music of Bernard Herrmann? I am really getting into his stuff.

There are huge references to Herrmann's music in John Williams' Minority Report, A.I., and Epilogue from War of the Worlds. Im sure you all know that, but I wasnt aware of how much it was remniscent of Herrmann.

JMan

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Does anyone here have the GreatPerformances Album of Los Angeles Phil playing the music of Bernard Herrmann? I am really getting into his stuff.

There are huge references to Herrmann's music in John Williams' Minority Report, A.I., and Epilogue from  War of the Worlds. Im sure you all know that, but I wasnt aware of how much it was remniscent of Herrmann.  

JMan

Bernard Herrmann was a very big influence on Minority Report and Fury for Williams as in few other scores as well. Williams was certainly influenced by him. He is a composer who was a very deft portrayer of human psyche through music and his best work are in that area. Psycho, Vertigo, Hitchcock scores in general, Taxi Driver, Citizen Kane are all great examples of this. Herrmann's music is somewhat infused with dark flavour that I feel gives it a sense of unease that is disturbing. At his most haunting and romantic Herrmann's music still has that edge of dread, maybe buried but it is still there. But without a doubt one of the great voices of film music.

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I have "Music of Great Film Classics" for Herrmann's music, but not the one you speak of. What's on the CD?

I wonder if some find the music "bland" because, in general, it lacks melody. But I think that's one of the characteristics that defines Herrmann's music so uniquely. Usually his music is made up of small clusters of sound which he develops and repeats over and over again (for examples, the preludes to PSYCHO, VERTIGO, and NORTH BY NORTHWEST). And, as Herrmann knew, this sort of form lends itself extremely well to film music since it creates such musical flexibility.

I'm definitely a big fan of Herrmann. He is one of the best.

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Herrmann's scores suit their films better than, IMO, any other composer's. On CD they can drag a bit if you don't know the film. Thankfully, most of the films scored by Herrmann range from OK to excellent (with a few exceptions).

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Herrmann is the real deal.

You either like his style, or you don't, but there no denying that he knew exactly what a film needed, even if that approach went against what was popular or accepted in the film industry at that time.

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I first started getting into Herrmann's music when I saw JW conduct some of it with the Pops. These are the only two Herrmann CD's I have, and I recommend them both if you don't have them already since they give a broad representation of his work and style.

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Herrmann is the real deal.

You either like his style, or you don't, but there no denying that he knew exactly what a film needed, even if that approach went against what was popular or accepted in the film industry at that time.

Very well put Stefan. Herrmann had integrity and sense of what the movie truly needed and that resulted some of the best scores that are now considered classics.

Herrmann was also a master of short motifs rather than longer melodic lines as codanai said. They are more malleable and thus suite the often fast changing pace of film music as they can be changed and transformed more easily than long themes.

Of course Herrmann could do other than scary scores. Ghost and Mrs. Muir is just one wonderful example.

That Elmer Bernstein conducts Herrmann is a wonderful CD Kingpin. I especially love that Mr. Scrath's diabolical violin solo of 'Pop Goes the Weasel' :spiny: Herrmann showed his inventiveness once again with making that simple little tune sound that unsettling.

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I especially love that Mr. Scrath's diabolical violin solo of 'Pop Goes the Weasel' :spiny: Herrmann showed his inventiveness once again with making that simple little tune sound that unsettling.

Of course, the "Devil's Concerto." It's one of my favorite tracks on that particular CD. Check out "The Death Hunt" from On Dangerous Ground on the other CD if you haven't yet. I get chills every time I hear it!

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North by Northwest and Citizen Kane, are a little bland for me.

Lord have mercy on your soul. How dare you talk about any aspect of my masterpiece in such a manner.

:spiny:

I personally love Herrmann and as Steef pointed out above, you either like his style or you don't. There is just a feel and mood I get when I listen to most of his scores that greatly appeals to me. I was lucky enough to attend the concert at New York in April and I think Scorsese's description nailed it. He said Herrmann's music is contemplative and makes you think about the very existence of life itself. That probably isn't the case for every single one of his scores, but I do think it's the general rule of thumb.

If you haven't given Vertigo a listen I highly recommend that to be your next choice.

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I've amassed quite a Bernard Herrmann CD collection lately. JMan, I think a have that CD (or at least the tracks) your looking for. Welles Raises Kane and The Devil and Daniel Webster are by the LA Phil, and Obsession is by the National Phil. How bad do you want it?

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You MUST buy Vertigo and North by Northwest. I prefer the McNeely/Scottish Orchestra re-recording of Vertigo personally but either way both scores are absolutely brilliant.

Herrmann was a genius. Too bad the academy never recognized that. I think he received five oscar nominations his whole life, and two of those came after he was dead!

The best Herrmann reference by Williams is the three note Taxi Driver/Psycho motif that Williams quotes when Han and company emerge from the Falcon compartments on the Death Star in Star Wars.

Too bad some of the best parts of the North by Northwest score (Overture, The Wild Ride, On the Rocks) are of extremely poor quality on the TCM release. I can't believe such great film music was treated like *&$# by the studios when they archived it. I heard that the sheet music to Doctor Zhivago was actually thrown away after the recording sessions were over. Unforgivable...

Dole

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Every film score enthusiast should own (at the very least) the Welles Raises Kane & Devil and Daniel Webster Suites, the Gerhardt album and the big Hitchcock trio (Psycho, Vertigo, NxNW). All highly influential, wonderful film scores.

Jeff - a big Herrmann fan

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Are those suites (Welles Raises Kane and The Devil & Daniel Webster) available anywhere other than this CD?

I don't want to spend that much, and can't order that one anyway (no international shipping). :mrgreen:

I've seen the Kane Suite on one other CD and I've seen the Daniel Webster Suite on a few other CDs, but no where else will you find them on one CD. That's the one to get since it is Herrmann conducting. I'm not usually a fan of Herrmann conducting his own scores, but on this one he got it right. Great performance and sound quality! And you get Obsession too which is an excellent score on it's own. That CD is well worth the price!

Jeff

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That CD on Amazon is mine. I lowered the price and now will ship internationally. Ya'll can PM me if your curious want other CDs I have (and am willing to sell), besides the ones on Amazon Marketplace.

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What do you people think of The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad? There are a few tracks I like (the main theme, for example), but so far I haven't gotten myself to listen to the score in it's entirety. Are there any nice action/adventure tracks in there?

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I've been in a Herrmann mood this week.

First Psycho (the Elfman/Bartek recording) then North By Northwest (OST recording) and just finished the Tsunami compilation CD of Cape Fear/Garden Of Evil/Beneath The Twelve Mile Reef.

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Every film score enthusiast should own (at the very least) the Welles Raises Kane & Devil and Daniel Webster Suites, the Gerhardt album and the big Hitchcock trio (Psycho, Vertigo, NxNW).  All highly influential, wonderful film scores.

Jeff - a big Herrmann fan

The Gerhardt cd also has the best version IMHO out there of Salambo. And it comes the closest to replicating the overall feel of the original music from Kane.

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I didnt know he did that one. Awesome. I listened to Epilogue from War of the Worlds again last night. It is so very much reminiscent of Herrmann. Reminds me of the Finale from Psycho.

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Got my LA Phil recording of Herrmann in the mail today! Really excited to play it all day long. I really also cant wait to buy Superman Returns and blare it all day on me stereo, as obnoxious as that might sound.

JMan

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I've been obsessed with "The Death Hunt" as performed live by Williams with the NYP. It's awesome. I like all the Herrmann tracks, and really didn't listen to a whole lot of his music. I don't own any Herrmann, all the stuff I have is in mp3 form, but I'm working on building my collection. I've added a ton of stuff to my Amazon "Wish List", and I hope to go on a Herrmann binge in the next couple of months :P

Tim, preparing

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I consider Vertigo the greatest score ever, including everything written by Williams.

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.

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And on an unrelated note, the murder scene from Psycho is the only piece of music my mother has ever commented on while I was playing it. She was quite suprised to hear that it was supposed to be music... :P

ttbk

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It would be really great if a passionate Bernard Herrmann collector can compile a list with CDs that contain original recordings of Herrmann's music.

So far I only own 2 Herrmann scores (North by Northwest and beneath the 12 mile reef) and would like to explore more but I am not a fan of re-recordings or compilations, so a list of available original recordings would allow me to cherry pick what interests me.

I only know about these scores being available as original recordings:

North by Northwest (have that)

Beneath the 12 mile reef (have that, too)

Journey to the Center of the Earth

The Day the Earth stood still

The Wrong Man

On Dangerous Ground

Joy In The Morning

Taxi Driver

Blue Denim

The Egyptian

I guess there must be more. Is it correct that the orginal recordings of psycho have never ever seen a CD release?

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The On Dangerous Ground CD is a FSM release, I was just looking at it. The quality is decent, but I was drawn to the "The Death Hunt", again, because I heard Williams perform it in concert :)

I was shocked at how much faster the original, Herrmann conducted, version was. Personally, I liked the Williams tempo. Even still, it's a good track and sounds like an overall good score.

Tim

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What do you guys think of Williams's NY performance of Herrmann themes? I thought that the PSYCHO Opening Title music was a little too soft and restrained, but rest was pretty good--CITIZEN CANE was a good interpretation, and I enjoyed TAXI DRIVER--and I thought Williams and the Orchestra really REALLY had a grasp on the exciting spirit of NORTH BY NORTHWEST. It was WONDERFUL version of it.

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