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Herrmann - The Film Scores

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Audio CD, December 29, 2009
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Composer: Bernard Herrmann
  • Audio CD (December 29, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B0000029TH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,211 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Man Who Knew Too Much: Prelude
2. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: Prelude
3. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The City
4. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Rainstorm
5. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Madhouse
6. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Murder
7. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Water
8. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Swamp
9. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Stairs
10. The Knife
11. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: The Cellar
12. Psycho: A Suite For Strings: Finale
13. Marnie: Suite: Prelude
14. Marnie: Suite: The Hunt
15. North By Northwest: Overture - B. HERRMANN
16. Vertigo: Suite: Prelude
17. Vertigo: Suite: The Nightmare
18. Vertigo: Suite: Scene D'Amour
19. Torn Curtain: Prelude
20. Torn Curtain: Gromek
See all 37 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic performHerrmann's classic film compositions including thescores to Taxi Driver, Psycho, North By Northwest,The Man Who Knew Too Much, and others. [Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand]


One of the more laudable side effects of the "crossover" craze affecting (or afflicting, depending on your perspective) the classical music business has been the reclamation of film music as part of the mainstream symphonic repertoire. It's always belonged there. Before there were movies, composers wrote music for plays, and this so-called "incidental" music has given us some of out most popular classics, including Grieg's Peer Gynt, Beethoven's Egmont, Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Bizet's L'Arlesienne. Hermann was one of the great film music composers of all time, and his scores fit naturally into a great and illustrious tradition, nowhere more so than in this award-winning recording. --David Hurwitz

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John L. Anderson on April 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This album of Bernard Herrmann film scores, performed by Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Philharmonic, is truly astounding in the SACD format. Selections range from The Man Who Knew Too Much, to Psycho, from Marnie to Vertigo and from Fahrenheit 451 to Taxi Driver. Listening to this music you discover a power that few composers have been able to inject into their compositions. If you've seen any of the films from which these selections are taken, close your eyes, the movie plays in your mind and you'll realize the extent to which Herrmann was a cinematic musical genius. His music perfectly captured the mood, ambience, story and characters of the movies he scored. This recording is a true delight. Highly Recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Farrington on March 16, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have known Bernard Hermann's music since my father took me to see 'Mysterious Island' at the age of nine at the local fleapit. I took memories of the score home rather than the flawed movie, witb its tacky special effects. This magnificent CD gives us some of the best of Hermann, played in the enormous orchestral gestures that he demands from his orchestras and fabulously recorded for all fans. Play 'Psycho' and you realise those enormous tensions that had you squirming in your seat were as much Hermann as Hitchcock, Leigh or Perkins. The depiction of the brooding house, the sad shape standing alone, the famous stabbing strokes and those huge jarring chords, falling back in terror, make watching the film almost an optional extra. I read somewhere that Hermann composed orchestrally in his head at first instance, not needing to sort things out on instruments, etc. after he had composed something on piano like most composers. Hearing 'Marnie' with its yearning theme depicting her psychological strain you can believe this. Hermann's music is the biggest sound you can get with the modern symphony orchestra. He composed for 120 pieces, 8 horns, triple woodwind, large battery of percussion, divided massed strings...the whole works and his coloration with this large body is unique. My personal favorie is his use of the brass which he does with more versatility to my mind than any other composer. His melodic gift is of the highest order and his large structures create immense blocks of sound which transport the listener into a mood that is totally different to where they started out at.Read more ›
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Tohline on February 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The CD that I really want does not exist. The best way, in my humble opinion, to hear the masterfully-composed film scores of Bernard Herrmann, short of watching the magnificent films in which they appear, is to hear the original soundtrack recordings. If somebody would get around to taking the best excerpts from all the films represented on this disc, plus Citizen Kane (of course!) and The Twilight Zone, and rerelease their original versions, now THAT would be the CD to get.
But here is our predicament. You'd have to buy 10 or so CDs to get the original recordings of all this wonderful music. When that is considered, this CD sounds like a great bargain, and in that respect, it is.
The excerpts represented on this disc are the best excerpts, and the playing is accurate and precise. The engineering also receives high marks for having completely clear sound and firmness of bass where the original recordings would not.
The Vertigo represented here is wonderful in its range and the depth of its tenderness, something the original soundtrack aspired to but did not achieve. It reminds me in the best way of Tristan and Isolde, but that's another conversation. The excerpts of Fahrenheit 451 and Taxi Driver are also very well played, especially the latter. The interpretations are in the spirit of the originals, and Salonen is to be commended.
Unfortunately, sometimes he just takes the wrong tempo. The overture to North by Northwest may sound better played faster, louder, and more obstreperously, but the original was smaller, quirkier, full of understated irascible ticks and obsessive weaving. I'm not sure which I like better. The rerecording is not bad, just different. (At high volume, though, it's better!)
The suite that really hit me the wrong way was Psycho.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jsarcher@aol.com on November 12, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This is interesting, even gripping, music that stands on its own very well. It's atmospheric, without being necessarily programmatic. You don't have to have liked or even to have seen any of these films to be enthralled. Salonen and the Los Angeles peform it with verve and intelligence. After repeated listenings, I'm convinced that Hermann was a major composer, on the edge of but never in thrall to some of the leading movements in 20th century music. He was not a "film composer," a term that still reeks of condescension, despite the fact that Prokofiev, Copland and Shostakovich all worked in the genre; he was an original and important composer who happened to write music for films. If Salonen brings Hermann's music some of the recognition it deserves, then he's performed a valuable service.
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