Bernard Hermann Film Scores / O.S.T. (Jpn)


aec.imt5021344.2 8/28/15 New

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    Bernard Hermann Film Scores / O.S.T. (Jpn)

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Review Text By the mid-'90s, 20 years after Bernard Herrmann's death, there were many collections of his film music in print, whether original soundtrack recordings, albums of re-recorded music conducted by the composer himself, or discs made by other musicians. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, added another well-performed, if redundant, entry with its 1996 album Bernard Herrmann: The Film Scores. Others may have begun to focus on some of Herrmann's lesser-known scores already, but Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic went for a version of his "greatest hits" here, re-creating suites arranged from the Alfred Hitchcock films Psycho, Marnie, and Vertigo, as well as the overture to North by Northwest, plus some excerpts from the unused score Herrmann prepared for Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, a suite from François Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451, and selections from Taxi Driver, Herrmann's final score. The music represented the composer's style well, including not only the famously terrifying strings-only accompaniments from Psycho, but also more lush efforts in the Vertigo and Fahrenheit 451 excerpts and, of course, the much more jazz-oriented Taxi Driver. The intention here was not to plumb the hidden corners of the repertoire of a composer whose reputation had shot straight up since his death, but rather to skim the cream of his most identifiable work. Herrmann aficionados might have found the result welcome but unnecessary, while more general classical music fans wanting a single Herrmann recording played by a first-class orchestra and conductor could be satisfied. ~ William Ruhlmann

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