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Omen II

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Omen II last won the day on February 19 2018

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  1. Here are two photos I took at one of the Summer Music in City Churches concerts last year. It is a wonderful venue in which to hear music - I am not surprised that Herrmann chose the church as the recording venue for some of his last few scores.
  2. Bernard Herrmann fans might not be aware or might not remember that the overture to The Man Who Knew Too Much was actually played at the Royal Albert Hall in the BBC Proms back in 2011, a surreal case of life imitating art. Keith Lockhart conducted the BBC Concert Orchestra. I was lucky enough to be in among the Prommers in the arena that evening and couldn't help feeling that they had missed a trick by not having someone in the boxes fire a gun at the royal box during the climactic cymbal crash!
  3. I have had that CD for the last thirty years or so. The liner notes explain the title given to the first selection of cues from Citizen Kane, but in case you do not have the CD booklet (and for the benefit of others), the title The Inquirer was devised by the album producer John Lasher. Bernard Herrmann... "...indicated, during a 1973 meeting, that he was considering putting together a second suite - the first is the famous Welles Raises Kane - from his Citizen Kane music, this one focusing on period pieces associated with Charles Foster Kane and his influence on those around him." This is one of those rather eclectic (you might well say eccentric!) compilations which actually contains a lot of great stuff, either from Tony Bremner conducted recordings and reissues for the Preamble label or from earlier Entr'acte Recording Society LPs produced by John Lasher. If I recall correctly he even posted here very occasionally back in the day. I sometimes think of Night Digger and Obsession when I attend concerts at St. Giles-without-Cripplegate, imagining Benny barking away at the orchestra in the church where Milton was buried and Cromwell married.
  4. Yes, that’s the one. It’s Alively recording. I would recommend buying it again if you can scrape together enough Marnie. You might well be right. The listings for the BBC Proms usually give an estimate of the length of each piece and the suite from Vertigo is given as 12 minutes long.
  5. I have the recording of the Storms Clouds Cantata by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Elmer Bernstein. The liner notes state that Herrmann re-orchestrated the work for the remake, "adding expressive new voices for harp and organ." If you compare the Royal Albert Hall scene from the 1934 original with the same scene in the 1956 remake, you can see an organist in both but in the original there is only one harp (located immediately in front of the conductor) compared with two in the remake. The would-be assassin's accomplice in the remake reads the conductor score in which the harp parts can clearly be seen. I assume this means that Herrmann wrote additional lines for the organ and harp, rather than adding instrumentation which was not there previously, but the only way to find out for sure would be to have sight of Arthur Benjamin's original orchestration and compare the two. Incidentally, it is nice to see that a suite from Herrmann's score to Vertigo will be performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the BBC Proms this year in the Royal Albert Hall, alongside Mason Bates's piano concerto and Prokofiev's third symphony.
  6. Anne-Sophie Mutter will give the UK premiere of John Williams's Violin Concerto No. 2 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in January 2024. Tickets go on general sale on Tuesday 2nd May 2023. Mutter plays John Williams As well as a suite from Superman, the concert will also feature a suite from Leonard Bernstein's On the Waterfront. There is no sign that John Williams himself will be in attendance (Jonathon Heyward will conduct) but I guess you never know. It would be great to hear another of Williams's concertos live, as I have only ever seen the Tuba Concerto performed by Patrick Harrild with the LSO many years ago.
  7. David Raksin’s score to Forever Amber is magnificent, exemplified by the music for Whitefriars.
  8. I had the pleasure of attending a live to picture performance of Things to Come (1936) with the London Symphony Orchestra playing Arthur Bliss's amazing score at the Barbican yesterday. Both the film and score are two of my absolute favourites and I never dreamed that I would one day be able to witness the whole score played live to picture. The film opens with the London Films logo and it was great to hear one of the percussionists play the logo music - essentially the chimes of Big Ben - on the tubular bells! For those of you familiar with the score, the LSO also played the Christmas carols heard near the beginning of the film (with the choir heard on the film soundtrack) and gave us the whole of the famous march to lead into the interval. Better still, at the end of the film the orchestra played the entire Epilogue music, one of my favourite pieces of film music ever. Frank Strobel conducted. Interestingly, the film itself had subtitles only for the sequences in which dialogue is underscored, while the scenes without music played without subtitles. The film is scarily prophetic, predicting war in Europe, helicopters, a global pandemic, the European Union, the moon landing and even smart watches and tablets.
  9. JWFans are easily startled, but they'll soon be back - and in much smaller numbers.
  10. Yes. I believe he is married to the violinist Hilary Hahn, with whom he collaborated on the album Silfra a few years ago. Of course Hilary has some previous in the world of film music, having performed the violin solos on James Newton Howard's The Village and more recently on Andrew Hewitt's The Sea.
  11. RIP. That’s quite spooky - I was watching Close Encounters on TV on Thursday evening and discussed with my brother whether or not Melinda Dillon was still alive. I even looked her up on IMDB to see that she was. Or wasn’t, as it turns out.
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