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  • Citizen Kane: The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann
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Citizen Kane: The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann


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Audio CD, March 12, 1991
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Charles Gerhardt
  • Audio CD (March 12, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rca Records/Sbme
  • ASIN: B000003EM9
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,218 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. On Dangerous Ground:The Death Hunt Bernard Herrmann
2. Citizen Kane:Prelude/Xanadu/Snow Picture - Bernard Herrmann
3. Citizen Kane:Theme&Variations (Breakfast Montage) - Bernard Herrmann
4. Citizen Kane: Aria From Salammbo Bernard Herrmann/Kiri Te Kanawa
5. Citizen Kane: Rosebud And Finale - Bernard Hermann
6. Beneath The 12-Mile Reef: The Sea/The Lagoon
7. Beneath The 12-Mile Reef: Descending
8. Beneath The 12-Mile Reef: The Octopus/Homecoming
9. Hangover Square: Concerto Macabre For Pno And Orch
10. White Witch Doctor: Talking Drums/Prelude/The Riverboad/Petticoat Dance/The Safari
11. White Witch Doctor: Tarantula/The Lion
12. White Witch Doctor: Nocturne
13. White Witch Docotor: Abduction Of The Bakuba Boy/The Skulls
14. White Witch Doctor: Lonni Bound By Ropes/Departure

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D.B. Spalding on June 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I treasured several of these Gerhardt/NPO film score releases on cassette as a film-fan teen, and this CD is no different. Gerhardt's interpretations of these selections (with Herrmann present at the sessions) are stunning, true to the original compositions, with all the passion and grandeur that they deserve without having to conform to a) screen timing, and b) the limitations of monaural optical film soundtrack methods of the time. As another reviewer pointed out, Herrmann is known for his great Hitchcock film scores, but his other work was no less marvelous. (Typical example, his score for THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, making exceptional use of piano, deep bass brass and the unusual but appropriate Theremin.)

An intriguing footnote.... For CITIZEN KANE's portrayal of Susan Alexander's disastrous opera debut, Herrmann needed a grand opera excerpt that could convey the pandemonium, confusion, and Wagnerian excess of an opera, and showcase the soprano as having a legitimate voice, but one incapable of matching a smothering orchestra arrangement. No such selection from grand opera sufficed, so Herrmann composed his own. His fictitious SALAMMBO recitative and aria astutely illustrate in abstract, subtextual musical syntax the anguish that Alexander felt participating in Kane's delusion that she would be a great opera star. In fact, the libretto is derived from Racine's "Phedre," in which the heroine begs her lover to kill her and release her from shame. For the film, the light lyric soprano Herrmann used was appropriately overwhelmed by the thunderous arrangement. For this June, 1974, recording, a truly capable, genuine opera star (a then up-and-coming pro named Kiri Te Kanawa ... yes you read that correctly, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa) was recruited.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Cody Robert at Spokane on February 6, 2014
Format: Audio CD
This is a vital, and very spectacular, entry in Gerhardt's pioneering Classic Film Scores series, dating from 1974 although it sounds as if recorded yesterday; this is state-of-the-art recordmaking that recalls RCA's glory years of Living Stereo and stupendous feats of analog engineering. Gerhardt's recording cannily avoids the essential Hitchcock scores entirely (for these, check out Elmer Bernstein on Milan and Salonen on Sony) and the scifi/fantasy scores (where Herrmann's own Decca recordings still remain authoritative and sonically thrilling).

Gerhardt's program rousingly commences with the Death Hunt from Nicholas Ray's superb noir ON DANGEROUS GROUND, and this track alone will convince skeptics that Herrmann was a master orchestrator and unafraid of quirky time signatures and rhythms. The CITIZEN KANE score has never sounded so good, and Kiri Te Kanawa, then only 30 and in fresh voice, tackles poor Susan's "impossible" SALAMMBO aria, a masterpiece of pure kitsch Herrmann surely cackled sardonically over devising. The effect, with the high notes squarely hit and on pitch, is excruciating and quite exquisite (the RCA engineers may have helped her along). The HANGOVER SQUARE concerto pastiche is the weakest work here, more pseudoclassical frumpery, but virtuosically played in glittering sonics.

WHITE WITCH DOCTOR (routine, for Herrmann, jungle drums exotica, with Susan Hayward coping with that man Mitchum, and killer spiders over her cot) and BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF are minor scores, for very pedestrian films, but the overkill of no less than nine (9) harpists in the latter at least kept London's underemployed studio harp pluckers in their breakfast kippers for years afterward. Again, the aural effect is spectacular.
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By D. Floyd on March 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Folks seem really slow in figuring out this is in SURROUND and sounds great. The new versions of this series or not. What fools these mortals be....
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By gary pickler on May 31, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What can I say, this was a great recording in the 70's and equally great into the present. I believe a dozen in the series and all equally as good. If ever my house catches fire I would rescue these discs before my wife!
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