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Bernard Herrmann: Great Film Music

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 14, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Captured on this one disc are the great film scores Bernard Herrmann did for several classic science fiction films of the '50s and '60s. Herrmann did not go in for simple atmospherics and cheap orchestral tricks with his music. He knew that the music would have to conjure a mental world all its own. This is especially true in "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad". It's a tone poem Rimsky-Korsakov could have written. The best here is "The Day the Earth Stood Still" with its use of the (then) revolutionary theremin. It's a clear masterpiece, all on its own. --Paul Cook

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: Mountain Top And Sunrise
  2. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: Prelude
  3. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: The Grotto
  4. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: Salt Slides
  5. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: Atlantis
  6. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: The Giant Chameleon And The Fight
  7. Journey To The Center Of The Earth: The Shaft And Finale
  8. The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad: Overture
  9. The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad: The Duel With The Skeleton
  10. The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad: Baghdad
  11. The Day The Earth Stood Still: Outer Space
  12. The Day The Earth Stood Still: Radar
  13. The Day The Earth Stood Still: Gort
  14. The Day The Earth Stood Still: The Robot
  15. The Day The Earth Stood Still: Space Control
  16. The Day The Earth Stood Still: Terror
  17. The Day The Earth Stood Still: Farewell And Finale
  18. Fahrenheit 451: Prelude
  19. Fahrenheit 451: Fire Engine
  20. Fahrenheit 451: The Bedroom
  21. Fahrenheit 451: Flowers Of Fire
  22. Fahrenheit 451: The Road And Finale
  23. Gulliver's Travels: Overture
  24. Gulliver's Travels: Minuetto-Wapping
  25. Gulliver's Travels: Hornpipe
  26. Gulliver's Travels: Lilliputians 1&2
  27. Gulliver's Travels: Victory 1&2
  28. Gulliver's Travels: Escape
  29. Gulliver's Travels: The King's March
  30. Gulliver's Travels: Trees
  31. Gulliver's Travels: The Tightrope
  32. Gulliver's Travels: Lovers
  33. Gulliver's Travels: The Chess Game
  34. Gulliver's Travels: Pursuit
  35. Gulliver's Travels: Finale


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 14, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000004265
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #168,387 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Larry VanDeSande VINE VOICE on August 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I like to think of this CD as being the "Forbidden Planet" of film scores CDs -- technically marvelous, consistently enthralling on an emotional and mental level, and way ahead of its time.

Unfortunately it is not available as I write this. Last time I visited this Amazon site, there was one CD for sale for almost $60. You'll have to make up your own mind if this music is worth that much to you. I made my choice long ago to own this and keep it in my library, conceivably forever.

With five film scores, 35 tracks and 72 minutes of the most high grade science fiction music, this CD should be considered the definitive source for Bernard Herrmann's non-Hitchcock film scores. Not only did he conduct the National Philharmonic Orchestra in these recordings, the composer approved of the Phase 4 recording and mixing. It is, as the notes say, a unique listening experience.

I have found this CD to be a constant source of imagination, vision and scope in film music that still has no peer 30 years after its production. The opening sequence to "Journey To The Center of the Earth" is better than it ever was in the theater, where the music was a hackneyed backdrop to an incredilbe film. In this CD, the music dwarfs the film action.

My favorite sequence in this issue is Herrmann's work for the Ray Bradbury novella "Fahrenheit 451", which was recast in some minds recently when "Fahrenheit 911" appeared in theaters throughout the country.

Every bit of the miracle of that little film is projected through this eerily wonderful music, which seems to comprise a world of its own. The sections help recall Sontag's first trip on the fire engine, the bedroom fire and the finale.
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Format: Audio CD
This Phase 4 Stereo recording is an expanded version of the 1974 LP, THE FANTASY FILM WORLD OF BERNARD HERRMANN. That LP had Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, The Day the Earth Stood Still and Fahrenheit 451. Gulliver's Travels (26 min.) had originally shared another LP with suites from Mysterious Island and Jason and the Argonauts.

I have owned this recording since 1974 and have listened to it dozens of times. I know of no other orchestral recording which sounds as good as this one does, combining an absolutely perfect recording technique with music of unparalleled brilliance and variety of color. When you hear the crescendo with the pipe organs in the Finale of Journey to the Center of the Earth, or the "dueling" percussion of Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, or the sweeping harps in "Flowers of Fire" and poignant strings in "The Road and Finale" of Fahrenheit 451, you'll agree. Herrman's several other LPs in the Phase 4 series were great, too, and I recommend those as well.

The Phase 4 sound is to my ears the absolute gold standard. That this stunning program was performed by the National Philharmonic Orchestra can only recommend it, too. This is the very ensemble which also in the 1970s, led by Charles Gerhardt, recorded for RCA the next best sounding series of film music recordings ever done. This group knew how to project and display maximum color! If you ever see this CD, BERNARD HERRMANN GREAT FILM MUSIC, available, get it. (That goes for the LP, also, for those of you with a turntable.) You will never regret it.
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Format: Audio CD
This collection of Bernard Hermann's sci-fi / fantasy film scores is simply a must - own for any fan of his music. All pieces conducted by Hermann himself. If you liked the movies, you'll love the scores. Missing from this disc, however, are selections from Mysterious Island. Hermann was a genius, and his genius was nowhere better displayed than in his decision to use an obsolete instrument, the serpent, to accompany the giant chameleon in Journey to the Center of the Earth.
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Not only is Bernard Herrmann a composer of some of the most memorable film music ever written, he is an interpreter with a unique sense of balance and timing. Even though most recognized for his large dramatic and suspense scores (Citizen Kane, North by Northwest), his fantasy scores (Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, Jorney to the Center of The Earth, Jason & The Argonauts, Mysterious Island) are still my favorites. In 'Seventh Voyage of Sinbad' Herrman's interpretation on this release (remastered from the original Phase 4 Stereo tapes) once again shows how much he had to sacrifice in tonal qualities and tempo to fit the 'cue' for the films. These recordings allowed him to let us all hear his vision of the scores, 'this is how it is supposed to sound'. Especially noticeable in 'Sinbad' the opening title seauence is much slower and has much more of a dramatic impact. Always unique in his orchestrations, this recording presents a primer in orchestration as a descriptive tool to underline and accetuate the action on screen. All together a worthwhile, exciting addition to any music library.
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Bernard Herrmann:Great Film Music is a compilation of Herrmann's film scores for fantastic cinema. Included are music selections from Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Fahrenheit 451, and Gulliver's Travels. The sound quality is excellent-it is full and rich. The disc is actually a reproduction by ArkivMusic. I was worried about this at first, but everything about this disc is top rate. Highly recommended for Bernard Herrmann fans.
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