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The Great Hitchcock Movie Thrillers [Soundtrack]

Bernard Herrmann , London Philharmonic Orchestra Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, 1996 --  
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Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Bernard Herrmann
  • Composer: Bernard Herrmann
  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • ASIN: B000004261
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,406 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Psycho (A narrative for orch)
2. Marine
3. North by Northwest
4. Vertigo: Prelude/The nightmare/Scene d'amour
5. A portrait of 'Hitch' (from The Trouble with Harry)

Editorial Reviews

London 443 895-2, with 8 page booklet of notes in English. Bernard Herrmann conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in music from film scores he composed for Alfred Hitchcock. 5 tracks: 1. Psycho (A narrative for Orchestra) 2. Marnie 3. North by Northwest 4. Vertigo: Prelude; The nightmare; Scene d'amour 5. A portrait of "Hitch" (from The Trouble with Harry). 1969 Studio recording in Phase 4 Stereo, ADD mastering 1996.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential Bernard Herrmann CD August 24, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Having this CD available again (used or otherwise) is salvation for Americans, who did without this for many years after the original Phase 4 disks departed. These 1969 recordings by the London Philharmonic, with the composer at the helm, are the definitive versions of the famous scores from "Psycho", "North By Northwest" and "Vertigo".

Everything about this CD is top notch. The sound was recorded in Decca's Phase 4 process, meaning as many as 20 microphones were used to mike every section of the orchestra. This sometimes led to music where all the instruments seemed to be as loud as all the others all the time. It also led to musical realization that cannot be matched through natural means.

If you read the trailer to this CD it might seem like there's not much here to like. True, the timing is not great at about 46 minutes. The "Psycho" section itself is more than 14 minutes in duration and includes music from all the famous scenes including the opening, the first viewing of the Bates Motel, the shower scene, the staircase stabbing and Norman Bates' demise.

The second best batch is the music from "Vertigo", which includes music from the prelude, nightmare section and love scene. The "North By Northwest" theme is the same music you heard in the theater when you saw the movie. Ditto "Marnie".

This is a keepsake for Herrmann fans that has worn its years well and never been equaled in later DDD recordings containing much more music. During intervening years, the version by Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic cames closest to capturing the creepy aura of Herrmann's Hitchocock scores. But they ultimatley failed to make the persuasive case modeled on the composers own work, now available for you on this disk.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bernard Herrmann is the King of all soundtrack composers November 13, 2008
By ellafan
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sure, there are a great many other soundtrack composers whose works are forever creative and evocative.
But,for my money,nobody touches Bernard Herrmann.
How many times in your life has someone started screeching "Eek,eek,eek,eek"while s/he was pretending to stab someone?? You don't get that sort of thing with other composers.And you shouldn't.That belongs to Herrmann.
The next time you are watching any Hitchcock movie B.H. has scored,pay attention to all of the nuances and thrills and romance his music portrays.You will see that it would be impossible to watch those movies without his music.Not sweet,not flowery,not boring and certainly not common.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Herrmann conducts Herrmann .... a classic! March 28, 2010
Format:Audio CD
Some better recorded versions of this music have come along since, but in only two cases I'm aware of (the complete recordings of the scores from "Psycho" and "North by Northwest" made available much later) are they in performances conducted by Herrmann. What's here, of course, are pretty much the jewels in the crown of Herrmann's scores for Hitchcock's films from the late 1950s and early 1960. (Frankly, over time I've come to think of the melodramatic "Marnie" score as less than Herrmann's best, but it's a matter of personal taste). It's hard to believe there were NO soundtrack albums of "Psycho" (one of the seminal film scores of all time) or "North by Northwest" at the times of the films' release! Of the five films represented here, only "Vertigo" (in a highly coveted Mercury release) had been made available to the public. Obviously the recordings are of great historic importance, in addition to being great music, and not only assisted in a re-evaluation of Herrmann's music but also a new appreciation of film music in general. The brilliance of the "Psycho," "North by Northwest" and "Vertigo" scores are well accepted now, but for me the pleasures of Herrmann's drolly bucolic score for "The Trouble With Harry" (renamed here "A Portrait of Hitch" can't be underestimated. Highly recommended.
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