Amazon.com essential recording
Over the years, and thanks to the CD revolution, film music has come into its own. Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) has given us some of the most distinct film scores of any composer. As the lists of titles show, Herrmann did a number of Alfred Hitchcock movies–Psycho, Marnie, North by Northwest, Vertigo, and Torn Curtain. What is remarkable is how these works cohere as atmospheric tone poems. Fahrenheit 451: Suite for Strings, Harps, and Percussion has the same kind of atmospherics as some of Arnold Bax's tone poems of the 1930s. This music does not need a visual medium. It's that good. –Paul Cook
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
… If you are sold on the SACD format and own a high end system, then by all means grab this disc in its latest incarnation. If you already own it and enjoy it in normal stereo, there's no need to rush out and replace it. But either way, you should own it: you'll find the best available recordings of the music from Psycho, Torn Curtain, and above all, a truly shimmering and mesmerizing account of the suite from Farhenheit 451. I guess the lesson here is simple: great performances and great sound manifest themselves in any format. Period.
Citizen Kane: The Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann is probably the best of the entire series by conductor Charles Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Every track is worthwhile and memorably played, especially Beneath the 12-Mile Reef and the suite from Citizen Kane, the latter highlighted by Kiri Te Kanawa's performance of the Strauss-like aria from Salammbo.
This programme features concert music by composers who also wrote film scores for Hollywood. While this was just one string to the considerable bows of Gershwin and Copland, Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman are best known for their music for Hitchcock films (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Marnie and Psycho for Herrmann; and Rebecca and The Paradine Case for Waxman). Centre stage is Gershwin’s Song-book, arranged by the composer for solo piano in order to present the songs ‘as George Gershwin plays them himself’.
This is the movie that gave us the phrase "Klaatu barada nikto!" As befits the film that kicked off the Atomic Age's obsession with flying saucers and giant robots, Bernard Herrmann's score is the last word in 1950s sci-fi. Although many of its elements have become cliches over the years, the original has lost none of its power. Thanks to the many eerie, theremin-drenched passages, it's almost impossible to hear that instrument without thinking about guys in space suits. Other great moments: tinkling space pianos, ominous robot monster chords, and weird, plangent orchestrations. One of Herrmann's most visionary and influential scores.
Bernard Herrmann conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in music from film scores he composed for Alfred Hitchcock. 1969 Studio recording in Phase 4 Stereo, ADD mastering 1996.