Bernard Herrmann: The Master of Movie Music


Today is  the birthday of Bernard Herrmann.

Composed the score of "Vertigo".

Listen  to  Scene d'amour and you will determine

Of this genre of music,  he was the  maestro.*


*The "Vertigo" score vastly enriches the images it accompanies, but it has also found a life outside the film. As an excellent complete recording on the Varèse Sarabande label testifies, it can be heard on its own terms -- if not quite as a coherent narrative, then as a mesmerizing succession of fragments. Herrmann is a puzzling paradox: most of his ''serious'' compositions don't quite come off, yet his film scores can be taken seriously as concert music. Esa-Pekka Salonen, the rigorously European-trained conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, proves as much with a new Herrmann anthology on the Sony Classical label.

Alas, the original 1958 recording suffered from less than ideal conditions. Herrmann could not conduct it himself because of a musicians' strike; most of it was recorded in London, the rest in Vienna. The playing sometimes sounds ragged and murky, at least on current copies.

The restoration may tell a different story: Mr. Harris and Mr. Katz have discovered a clear original tape, partly in true stereo, and revamped the whole soundtrack in digital sound. Royal treatment indeed for a mere movie score -- but there is none greater than ''Vertigo.'' (Alex Ross, movie critic of the New Yorker)




Filed under: Movies, music


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  • So enjoy your posts---intriguing and inspiring! Good stuff.

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