Discussion:
Bernard Herrmann
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ansermetniac
2007-09-13 16:40:28 UTC
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I saw North by Northwest on DVF last night. There was no credit for
orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?


Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.

This is the first movie I have ever seen with Cary Grant. I assume he
is always this good. I do not think that saying that the auction house
scene is one of the best ever filmed, is out of line

Abbedd
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-13 17:15:03 UTC
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I saw North by Northwest on DVD last night. There was no
credit for orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?
Probably. Herrmann's scoring tends to be highly idiosyncratic -- he often
selected particular instruments for a particular film, rather than falling
back on a standard symphonic orchestra. For example, "On Dangerous Ground"
uses four horns and at least one anvil; "Torn Curtain" uses 12 flutes; "The
Day the Earth Stood Still" uses four theremins; and "Psycho" is
strings-only, while "Jason and the Argonauts" uses no strings.
Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.
Oh, I'd disagree. Both Hitchock and Herrmann are very "stylish", and draw a
lot of attention to themselves. Herrmann was notorious for sitting in on
mixing sessions and raising the music level against the mixer's wishes! He
wanted his music to be heard. Of course, he was justified -- he wrote truly
great music.

Modern film scoring rarely rises above the mediocre. (Which isn't to say it
was particularly good 60 years ago, either.) This is particularly strange,
as composers have Herrmann and Waxman and Bernstein (to name a few) to use
as standards of quality (if not style). Twenty years ago, Danny Elfman
looked to be the composer to bring back the Truly Great Score -- and did it
with "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure", "Beetlejuice" (one of the greatest scores
ever written), and "Batman", but he's fallen into a rut, and largely repeats
himself. And the stuff he repeats isn't that good.

It's interesting to note that the Oscar-winning score for "Brokeback
Mountain" isn't much of a score at all. It achieves its effects largely by
stepping out of the way and letting the story, direction, and acting speak
for themselves. Odd.
This is the first movie I have ever seen with Cary Grant. I assume
he is always this good. I do not think that saying that the auction
house scene is one of the best ever filmed, is out of line.
"NBNW" hardly shows Grant at his best. Try "Notorious" (also Hitchcock) or
"Bringing Up Baby".

Some people consider Grant the best sound-era actor. I'd disagree, but he
_was_ one of the most-versatile -- he played comedy and drama equally
well -- and _very_ well.

The auction scene is a wonderful piece of Hitchcock tension. It certainly
ranks highly among the classic film scenes.
ansermetniac
2007-09-13 17:42:57 UTC
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On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 10:15:03 -0700, "William Sommerwerck"
Post by William Sommerwerck
Oh, I'd disagree. Both Hitchock and Herrmann are very "stylish", and draw a
lot of attention to themselves
Maybe I should have been more clear. Today's directors seem to point
the camera without intergrating it into the action. Almost
purposeless. Slick Slick Slick. They break planes without realizing
it. They give me a headache. Same with the Music.

Since it was Hitchcock, I wanted to watch the camera work. After
awhile It seemed that it ws not neccesary aseth action and the cameras
were integrated making the camera work transparent. Same with the
Music.

Pee Wee's Big adventure ws a gret movie all around.

For superb camera work chek out "Duel"

Abbedd
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-13 17:43:52 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Probably. Herrmann's scoring tends to be highly idiosyncratic -- he often
selected particular instruments for a particular film, rather than falling
back on a standard symphonic orchestra. For example ... "Torn Curtain" uses
12 flutes
Don't forget the nine trombones, with which Herrmann achieves some truly
bizarre effects! I can't describe it; you have to hear them. Try to find
Elmer Bernstein's recording of this amazing "lost" score; barring that, some
of the cues are on the Salonen/L.A. Phil Sony disc of Herrmann's film music.
Post by William Sommerwerck
"NBNW" hardly shows Grant at his best. Try "Notorious" (also Hitchcock)
or "Bringing Up Baby".
I'd also put in a word for Hitchcock's "Suspicion." He played ambiguity
perfectly in the film, which is only let down by its sappy ending. (I've
always felt that after the final shot, Johnnie pushes Lina out of the car.)
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-13 19:17:17 UTC
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Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by William Sommerwerck
Probably. Herrmann's scoring tends to be highly idiosyncratic -- he often
selected particular instruments for a particular film, rather than falling
back on a standard symphonic orchestra. For example ... "Torn Curtain"
uses 12 flutes
Don't forget the nine trombones, with which Herrmann achieves some truly
bizarre effects! I can't describe it; you have to hear them. Try to find
Elmer Bernstein's recording of this amazing "lost" score; barring that, some
of the cues are on the Salonen/L.A. Phil Sony disc of Herrmann's film music.
There is a newer recording of the complete score. Don't remember the
conductor. Probably someone Finnish or Scottish.
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by William Sommerwerck
"NBNW" hardly shows Grant at his best. Try "Notorious" (also Hitchcock)
or "Bringing Up Baby".
I'd also put in a word for Hitchcock's "Suspicion." He played ambiguity
perfectly in the film, which is only let down by its sappy ending. (I've
always felt that after the final shot, Johnnie pushes Lina out of the car.)
In the novel ("Before the Fact"), Johnnie is indeed guilty of everything.
The studio felt that the audience would not accept Cary Grant as a murderer,
so the ending was changed.

While we're on Cary Grant... After you see "Bringing Up Baby", watch "Monkey
Business". The first was a major box-office flop (though now considered a
classic, with one of Katherine Hepburn's best performances), and I suspect
the latter was made so that Howard Hawks could "get even" for the failure of
the first. In both, Cary Grant plays dizzy scientists -- but he plays them
so differently. In the early scenes of the latter, there's real chemistry
between Ginger Rogers and Grant -- her character obviously adores her
husband, despite his failings.
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-13 19:44:12 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by William Sommerwerck
Probably. Herrmann's scoring tends to be highly idiosyncratic -- he
often selected particular instruments for a particular film, rather
than falling back on a standard symphonic orchestra. For example ...
"Torn Curtain" uses 12 flutes
Don't forget the nine trombones, with which Herrmann achieves some truly
bizarre effects! I can't describe it; you have to hear them. Try to find
Elmer Bernstein's recording of this amazing "lost" score; barring that,
some of the cues are on the Salonen/L.A. Phil Sony disc of Herrmann's film
music.
There is a newer recording of the complete score. Don't remember the
conductor. Probably someone Finnish or Scottish.
I guess "McNeely" isn't a sufficiently Finnish name, then.
Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Post by William Sommerwerck
"NBNW" hardly shows Grant at his best. Try "Notorious" (also Hitchcock)
or "Bringing Up Baby".
I'd also put in a word for Hitchcock's "Suspicion." He played ambiguity
perfectly in the film, which is only let down by its sappy ending. (I've
always felt that after the final shot, Johnnie pushes Lina out of the car.)
In the novel ("Before the Fact"), Johnnie is indeed guilty of everything.
The studio felt that the audience would not accept Cary Grant as a
murderer, so the ending was changed.
Oh, of course, and I have read the novel. The ending Hitchcock supposedly
*really* wanted was of Lina writing a letter detailing all the police would
need to know about Johnnie's crimes, and adding that she could not live with
the thought of bringing his child into the world. She asks him to mail the
letter, drinks the poisoned milk, and expires. The final shot was to be of
Johnnie cheerfully popping the letter into a pillar box.
Post by William Sommerwerck
While we're on Cary Grant... After you see "Bringing Up Baby", watch
"Monkey Business". The first was a major box-office flop (though now
considered a classic, with one of Katherine Hepburn's best performances),
and I suspect the latter was made so that Howard Hawks could "get even" for
the failure of the first. In both, Cary Grant plays dizzy scientists -- but
he plays them so differently. In the early scenes of the latter, there's
real chemistry between Ginger Rogers and Grant -- her character obviously
adores her husband, despite his failings.
Yes, but having the potential "other woman" played by Marilyn Monroe does not
help his case very much. ;--) Two hilarious movies indeed, neither of which
I had seen until a couple of years ago. I also finally had a chance to see
"Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," just as much a classic as those.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
david gideon
2007-09-13 19:23:11 UTC
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Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Don't forget the nine trombones, with which Herrmann achieves some truly
bizarre effects! I can't describe it; you have to hear them. Try to find
Elmer Bernstein's recording of this amazing "lost" score; barring that, some
of the cues are on the Salonen/L.A. Phil Sony disc of Herrmann's film music.
Bernstein's was good for its time, but Joel McNeely's recording on
Varese Sarabande is more complete and closer to Herrmann's intent. Not
to mention better sound. I don't think it's still in print but I
imagine it can still be found.

http://tinyurl.com/bjz6h

dg
--
CD issues of long-unavailable classic performances from Scherchen, Stokowski,
Paray, Steinberg, and more, exclusively from: http://www.rediscovery.us
Free downloads and podcast: http://www.rediscoverypodcast.us
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-13 19:44:11 UTC
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Post by Matthew B. Tepper
Don't forget the nine trombones, with which Herrmann achieves some truly
bizarre effects! I can't describe it; you have to hear them. Try to find
Elmer Bernstein's recording of this amazing "lost" score; barring that,
some of the cues are on the Salonen/L.A. Phil Sony disc of Herrmann's film
music.
Bernstein's was good for its time, but Joel McNeely's recording on Varese
Sarabande is more complete and closer to Herrmann's intent. Not to mention
better sound. I don't think it's still in print but I imagine it can still
be found.
http://tinyurl.com/bjz6h
For some reason I had thought that I had a CD issue of the Bernstein, but I
don't. Perhaps there was one that was issued in Japan and which goes for
$30+ at cinemaphile conventions. (You should see the prices commanded by CDs
of scores for crappy science fiction movies at science fiction conventions.)
But yes, McNeely has 48 minutes of music to (I think) Bernstein's half hour
or so. At least the six-minute snippets by Salonen and also by Paul Bateman
on Silva Treasury give a flavor of this inimitable score.

You know, the use of all of those low instruments with the piccolos on top
reminds me of Gordon Jacob's "Variations on Annie Laurie" from one of the
Hoffnung Festivals. It's scored for two piccolos, heckelphone, two
contrabass clarinets, two contrabassoons, serpent, contrabass serpent,
harmonium, hurdy-gurdy, and subcontrabass tuba.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
Thornhill
2007-09-13 18:20:18 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
I saw North by Northwest on DVD last night. There was no
credit for orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?
Probably. Herrmann's scoring tends to be highly idiosyncratic -- he often
selected particular instruments for a particular film, rather than falling
back on a standard symphonic orchestra. For example, "On Dangerous Ground"
uses four horns and at least one anvil; "Torn Curtain" uses 12 flutes; "The
Day the Earth Stood Still" uses four theremins; and "Psycho" is
strings-only, while "Jason and the Argonauts" uses no strings.
Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.
Oh, I'd disagree. Both Hitchock and Herrmann are very "stylish", and draw a
lot of attention to themselves. Herrmann was notorious for sitting in on
mixing sessions and raising the music level against the mixer's wishes! He
wanted his music to be heard. Of course, he was justified -- he wrote truly
great music.
Not to mention that the drunk car chase in NxNw goes on for way to
long just so to give Hermann's score more screen time.

But I would say that Hitchcock was highly stylistic, but quite subtle
about it.
Post by William Sommerwerck
Modern film scoring rarely rises above the mediocre. (Which isn't to say it
was particularly good 60 years ago, either.) This is particularly strange,
as composers have Herrmann and Waxman and Bernstein (to name a few) to use
as standards of quality (if not style). Twenty years ago, Danny Elfman
looked to be the composer to bring back the Truly Great Score -- and did it
with "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure", "Beetlejuice" (one of the greatest scores
ever written), and "Batman", but he's fallen into a rut, and largely repeats
himself. And the stuff he repeats isn't that good.
I think that Goldsmith was the best. Despite the film, just about
every film composers scores sound stylistically the same, even
Hermann. I'm sure few people realize that it was the same person who
wrote the music to: "Chinatown," "Alien," "Total Recall" and "Planet
of the Apes" (he disliked his own score for "Alien," but it's a great
example of how a minimalist score can enhance the visual atmosphere of
the film).
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-13 19:44:10 UTC
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I think that Goldsmith was the best. Despite the film, just about every
film composers scores sound stylistically the same, even Hermann. I'm sure
"Chinatown," "Alien," "Total Recall" and "Planet of the Apes" (he disliked
his own score for "Alien," but it's a great example of how a minimalist
score can enhance the visual atmosphere of the film).
Ya think? I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a chunk of
Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in the film.

Goldsmith wrote an interesting cantata, "Christus Apollo," to a text by Ray
Bradbury, which was given its premiere back in 1969 by the California Chamber
Symphony conducted by Henri Temianka, Charlton Heston narrating. It wasn't
until a few years ago that this was finally recorded for Telarc by the
composer with the LSO and Anthony Hopkins.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
david gideon
2007-09-13 20:55:25 UTC
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Post by Matthew B. Tepper
I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a chunk of
Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in the film.
No, the director fell in love with the temp track (recorded music used
as placeholders until the composer writes the score). He liked the
Hanson so much he kept it in the film and didn't use Goldsmith's music
in that scene (though I believe it has been recorded by someone). Sort
of like a small scale version of what happened to 2001: A Space
Odyssey.

dg
--
CD issues of long-unavailable classic performances from Scherchen, Stokowski,
Paray, Steinberg, and more, exclusively from: http://www.rediscovery.us
Free downloads and podcast: http://www.rediscoverypodcast.us
Thornhill
2007-09-13 21:14:27 UTC
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Post by david gideon
Post by Matthew B. Tepper
I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a chunk of
Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in the film.
No, the director fell in love with the temp track (recorded music used
as placeholders until the composer writes the score). He liked the
Hanson so much he kept it in the film and didn't use Goldsmith's music
in that scene (though I believe it has been recorded by someone). Sort
of like a small scale version of what happened to 2001: A Space
Odyssey.
Goldsmith also wanted to do a much bigger sounding score, but
thankfully, Scott nixed that idea.
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-14 01:16:48 UTC
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I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a chunk of Howard
Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in the film.
No, the director fell in love with the temp track (recorded music used as
placeholders until the composer writes the score). He liked the Hanson so
much he kept it in the film and didn't use Goldsmith's music in that scene
(though I believe it has been recorded by someone). Sort of like a small
scale version of what happened to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sounds likely. Now I wish somebody could tell me what the holy hand grenade
of Antioch happened with "The Right Stuff," which (as I recall from the time)
was originally to have had a score by John Williams, but wound up with one by
Bill Conti ... who cribbed heavily from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and
that's not even counting what has to have been a remaining scratch track of
Holst's "Mars." For these efforts Conti won an Oscar, which I've always
found grossly unfair, much as the award that Marvin Hamlisch got for simply
orchestrating Scott Joplin rags.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
Steve de Mena
2007-09-14 02:23:17 UTC
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Post by Matthew B. Tepper
I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a chunk of Howard
Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in the film.
No, the director fell in love with the temp track (recorded music used as
placeholders until the composer writes the score). He liked the Hanson so
much he kept it in the film and didn't use Goldsmith's music in that scene
(though I believe it has been recorded by someone). Sort of like a small
scale version of what happened to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sounds likely. Now I wish somebody could tell me what the holy hand grenade
of Antioch happened with "The Right Stuff," which (as I recall from the time)
was originally to have had a score by John Williams, but wound up with one by
Bill Conti ... who cribbed heavily from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and
that's not even counting what has to have been a remaining scratch track of
Holst's "Mars." For these efforts Conti won an Oscar, which I've always
found grossly unfair,
Didn't Conti used to conduct the pit orchestra at the Oscars? He
probably has a lot of friends in the branch of the Academy who vote
for that Oscar.

Steve
Sacqueboutier
2007-09-14 17:09:41 UTC
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Post by Matthew B. Tepper
I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a chunk of Howard
Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in the film.
No, the director fell in love with the temp track (recorded music used as
placeholders until the composer writes the score). He liked the Hanson so
much he kept it in the film and didn't use Goldsmith's music in that scene
(though I believe it has been recorded by someone). Sort of like a small
scale version of what happened to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Sounds likely. Now I wish somebody could tell me what the holy hand grenade
of Antioch happened with "The Right Stuff," which (as I recall from the time)
was originally to have had a score by John Williams, but wound up with one by
Bill Conti ... who cribbed heavily from Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto, and
that's not even counting what has to have been a remaining scratch track of
Holst's "Mars." For these efforts Conti won an Oscar, which I've always
found grossly unfair, much as the award that Marvin Hamlisch got for simply
orchestrating Scott Joplin rags.
Although, the best film composers steal, I agree that Hamlisch didn't
really do much here.

I think the best film composers steal because it's their job
to support the film, not write great art. How do they support
the film? They produce the right aural atmosphere for any
given scene at any given time...timed perfectly with the
action on screen. To do this, they need to use established
sound pictures that already educe certain feelings in our
brains...things that we have imprinted on whether we
know it or not. The great ones have a good instinct for
this. That's why I think John Williams is one of the best.
He knows just where to steal from. :-)
--
--
Kindest regards,
Don
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 17:49:53 UTC
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Post by Sacqueboutier
I think the best film composers steal because it's their job
to support the film, not write great art. How do they support
the film? They produce the right aural atmosphere for any
given scene at any given time...timed perfectly with the
action on screen. To do this, they need to use established
sound pictures that already educe certain feelings in our
brains...things that we have imprinted on whether we
know it or not. The great ones have a good instinct for
this. That's why I think John Williams is one of the best.
He knows just where to steal from. :-)
Williams's best scores are decades behind him.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-13 22:35:18 UTC
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Ya think? I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a
chunk of Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in [Alien].
Film composers steal when they can -- though this particular theft is
embarrassingly obvious. (I don't remember whether the film credits list
Hanson.)

Bernard Herrmann stole a few themes from Bartok, most notably the "Mad
House" theme from "Psycho". And the "hunting" theme from "Marnie" is stolen
from a British composer. (I don't remember his name, but somebody at KING FM
plays the work several times a year -- I heard it again few days ago.)

Korngold was under such pressure to complete "Captain Blood" that he swiped
a bit of Liszt, then insisted that the film credits read "Musical
Arrangements by EWK", rather than "Musical Score by EWK".
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-14 01:16:48 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Ya think? I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a
chunk of Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in [Alien].
Film composers steal when they can -- though this particular theft is
embarrassingly obvious. (I don't remember whether the film credits list
Hanson.)
Bernard Herrmann stole a few themes from Bartok, most notably the "Mad
House" theme from "Psycho". And the "hunting" theme from "Marnie" is
stolen from a British composer. (I don't remember his name, but somebody
at KING FM plays the work several times a year -- I heard it again few
days ago.)
Korngold was under such pressure to complete "Captain Blood" that he
swiped a bit of Liszt, then insisted that the film credits read "Musical
Arrangements by EWK", rather than "Musical Score by EWK".
And bits of Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Mussorgsky creep uncredited into the
score of "The Wizard of Oz" (1939). (Not "Dark Side of the Moon," please.)
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
El Klauso
2007-09-14 02:14:37 UTC
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To quote something as well-known as the items employed by Herbert
Stothart in the incidental music for "Wizard of Oz" is hardly theft -
It's more akin to drinking from the public well.
number_six
2007-09-14 02:27:23 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
To quote something as well-known as the items employed by Herbert
Stothart in the incidental music for "Wizard of Oz" is hardly theft -
It's more akin to drinking from the public well.
Didn't Stravinsky say "a good composer borrows; a great composer
steals"?
Allen
2007-09-14 13:46:07 UTC
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Post by number_six
Post by El Klauso
To quote something as well-known as the items employed by Herbert
Stothart in the incidental music for "Wizard of Oz" is hardly theft -
It's more akin to drinking from the public well.
Didn't Stravinsky say "a good composer borrows; a great composer
steals"?
And as PDQ Bach said, "If you're going to steal from a composer, steal
from a deaf one".
Allen
Beaver Lad
2007-09-14 11:32:02 UTC
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In article <***@comcast.com>, William
Sommerwerck <***@comcast.net> wrote:

[snip]
Post by William Sommerwerck
Korngold was under such pressure to complete "Captain Blood" that he swiped
a bit of Liszt, then insisted that the film credits read "Musical
Arrangements by EWK", rather than "Musical Score by EWK".
================================

More than a bit of Liszt! Tons of Liszt, actually. Multiple big chunks
of two symphonic poems - MAZEPPA and PROMETHEUS (the latter
accompanying the sword fight on the beach).
El Klauso
2007-09-14 13:55:47 UTC
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Ah, but it works!
boombox
2007-09-14 15:23:59 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Bernard Herrmann stole a few themes from Bartok, most notably the "Mad
House" theme from "Psycho". And the "hunting" theme from "Marnie" is stolen
from a British composer. (I don't remember his name, but somebody at KING FM
plays the work several times a year -- I heard it again few days ago.)
Please cite specifics here. What Bartok is stolen? The underscore of
that scene sounds a little like Music for Strings, Percussion and
Celesta (heck, half the movie sounds like Honegger's Second Symphony)
but I do not hear any actual quotation or anything that rises to the
level of theft.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 15:32:15 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Bernard Herrmann stole a few themes from Bartok, most notably the "Mad
House" theme from "Psycho". And the "hunting" theme from "Marnie" is stolen
from a British composer. (I don't remember his name, but somebody at KING FM
plays the work several times a year -- I heard it again few days ago.)
Please cite specifics here. What Bartok is stolen? The underscore of
that scene sounds a little like Music for Strings, Percussion and
Celesta (heck, half the movie sounds like Honegger's Second Symphony)
but I do not hear any actual quotation or anything that rises to the
level of theft.
MSPC is the work. It's the theme that goes "dah dah DAH dah, dah dah DAH DAH
DAH". (It's so obvious when you see it written out, isn't it?)

"Journey to the Center of the Earth" borrows from one of the Bartok violin
concertos.
El Klauso
2007-09-14 16:44:25 UTC
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WS: MSPC is the work. It's the theme that goes "dah dah DAH dah, dah
dah DAH DAH DAH". (It's so obvious when you see it written out, isn't
it?)

EK: What movement? Where is the Bartok used within the film?

WS: "Journey to the Center of the Earth" borrows from one of the
Bartok violin
concertos.

EK: Same question as above, with possible score reference points if
possible.
Steve de Mena
2007-09-14 16:52:22 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
WS: MSPC is the work. It's the theme that goes "dah dah DAH dah, dah
dah DAH DAH DAH". (It's so obvious when you see it written out, isn't
it?)
EK: What movement? Where is the Bartok used within the film?
WS: "Journey to the Center of the Earth" borrows from one of the
Bartok violin
concertos.
EK: Same question as above, with possible score reference points if
possible.
Hi, don't you know how to properly quote in the newsgroups?

Steve
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 17:48:54 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
WS: MSPC is the work. It's the theme that goes "dah dah DAH dah, dah
dah DAH DAH DAH". (It's so obvious when you see it written out, isn't
it?)
EK: What movement? Where is the Bartok used within the film?
In the scene we were just talking about!
Post by El Klauso
WS: "Journey to the Center of the Earth" borrows from one of the
Bartok violin concertos.
EK: Same question as above, with possible score reference points
if possible.
I'm only going by what I remember. I don't have time to listen to the film
and research this.
boombox
2007-09-14 18:27:43 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by El Klauso
WS: MSPC is the work. It's the theme that goes "dah dah DAH dah, dah
dah DAH DAH DAH". (It's so obvious when you see it written out, isn't
it?)
I'm only going by what I remember. I don't have time to listen to the film
and research this.
FWIW, I just listened to the cue in question from Psycho (named
Finale) and it was just as I said, a similar instrumentation and mood,
both feature falling minor 2nds and a kind of call and response
pattern, but there is no quotation or anything that is close enough to
be considered borrowing, much less theft. The MSPC motto (rising m2,
m3, falling m2, m2) is quite distinctive. In the Psycho cue there are
a lot of falling minor seconds in two registers and then the score's
principal motto, which is a rising minor 7th followed by a falling
major 7th. MSPC was likely an inspiration to Herrmann, but if you
want to look for a piece that sounds even more like a possible model
for the Psycho score, try Honegger's Symphony for Strings and Trumpet.
El Klauso
2007-09-15 04:23:46 UTC
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Permalink
BB: FWIW, I just listened to the cue in question from Psycho (named
Finale) and it was just as I said, a similar instrumentation and
mood,
both feature falling minor 2nds and a kind of call and response
pattern, but there is no quotation or anything that is close enough
to
be considered borrowing, much less theft. The MSPC motto (rising m2,
m3, falling m2, m2) is quite distinctive. In the Psycho cue there
are
a lot of falling minor seconds in two registers and then the score's
principal motto, which is a rising minor 7th followed by a falling
major 7th. MSPC was likely an inspiration to Herrmann, but if you
want to look for a piece that sounds even more like a possible model
for the Psycho score, try Honegger's Symphony for Strings and
Trumpet.

EK: Or, look to Herrmann's own earlier concert output for his
inspiration.

His 1935 Sinfonietta for Strings, a work that dabbles in atonality,
was the source several pieces in "Psycho," including the final motive
that he re-used in his last score, "Taxi Driver." Need it be pointed
out that Bartok's MSPC was composed in 1936, and that Honegger's
Second is a product of the 1940's ?
boombox
2007-09-15 04:37:38 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
EK: Or, look to Herrmann's own earlier concert output for his
inspiration.
His 1935 Sinfonietta for Strings, a work that dabbles in atonality,
was the source several pieces in "Psycho," including the final motive
that he re-used in his last score, "Taxi Driver." Need it be pointed
out that Bartok's MSPC was composed in 1936, and that Honegger's
Second is a product of the 1940's ?
Fair enough, but the Bartok and Honegger similarities occur in
different sections and, as far as I'm concerned those similarities are
conjectural anyhow. I think Herrmann absorbed a lot and digested it
into his own, very distinctive style. Of course he sounds more like
himself than anyone else, though I'd say the Psycho score is a great
improvement on the Sinfonietta.

The return of the Psycho death motif in Taxi Driver is very
interesting, as it suggests the idea of Travis' Taxi as a coffin. The
last time we hear the motif in Psycho is as Marian's car (which has
become her coffin) is hauled out of the swamp.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-15 20:02:57 UTC
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Post by boombox
The return of the Psycho death motif in Taxi Driver is very
interesting, as it suggests the idea of Travis' Taxi as a coffin.
The last time we hear the motif in Psycho is as Marian's car
(which has become her coffin) is hauled out of the swamp.
I hear that three-note motive as the "crazy" theme. In "Taxi Driver",
Herrmann is reminding the viewer that Travis Bickle is, regardless of how we
might think of his behavior, nuts.
boombox
2007-09-15 20:38:37 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
I hear that three-note motive as the "crazy" theme. In "Taxi Driver",
Herrmann is reminding the viewer that Travis Bickle is, regardless of how we
might think of his behavior, nuts.
Yeah, I'll buy that. Perhaps we should just call it the "Psycho"
theme!
number_six
2007-09-16 22:18:20 UTC
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Post by boombox
Post by William Sommerwerck
I hear that three-note motive as the "crazy" theme. In "Taxi Driver",
Herrmann is reminding the viewer that Travis Bickle is, regardless of how we
might think of his behavior, nuts.
Yeah, I'll buy that. Perhaps we should just call it the "Psycho"
theme!
Another great "crazy theme" is Morricone's "Harmonica Man" theme from
Once Upon A Time in the West.

Of the three main elements, the harmonica seems to represent Bronson's
memories; the slow, measured walking theme seems to represent his
patient, deliberate quest for vengeance; and when the electric guitar
joins the other themes it appears to signal the final realization of
Bronson's killing rage. I think it's a spectacular achievement in
scoring.
Adam Matlock
2007-09-14 19:30:48 UTC
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Sort of on topic-
Is Hangover Square ever going to be released on DVD? This is a film
that I really want to see based on the strength of the Concerto
Macabre (I've heard two recordings), since apparently the film
develops those musical motifs expertly throughout.

Speaking of Herrmann quoting other composers, have any of you heard of
the Italian/Czech art-rock project known as Devil Doll? The main
vocalist/composer/arranger behind this group has directly and
blatantly quoted some very recognizable chunks of Herrmann's music,
(most obviously that I can tell, from the finale of Journey to the
Center of the Earth and the Vertigo theme), recontextualizing them to
interesting effect. Herrmann would probably have been horrified.
boombox
2007-09-14 19:50:04 UTC
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Post by Adam Matlock
Speaking of Herrmann quoting other composers, have any of you heard of
the Italian/Czech art-rock project known as Devil Doll? The main
vocalist/composer/arranger behind this group has directly and
blatantly quoted some very recognizable chunks of Herrmann's music,
(most obviously that I can tell, from the finale of Journey to the
Center of the Earth and the Vertigo theme),
There's a Busta Rhymes track, "Gimme Some More," that makes very good
use of a sample from the Psycho opening credits music.
El Klauso
2007-09-15 04:27:33 UTC
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Yes, there is good news for Herrmann fans, as well as aficionados of
actor Laird Cregar and director John Brahm. Both "The Lodger" and,
more to the point for Herrmann fans, "Hangover Square" are being
released in a set, along with another Brahm film.
boombox
2007-09-14 17:11:05 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
MSPC is the work. It's the theme that goes "dah dah DAH dah, dah dah DAH DAH
DAH". (It's so obvious when you see it written out, isn't it?)
Yes, I know both works well, but the Psycho music (Norman wrapped in a
blanket hearing his own mother voice) does not seem to be an exact
quote of the opening fugue theme of MSPC. Close, but for me at least,
not deserving of the cigar.

On a similar note, I recently read that Elgar's Second was a favorite
of Herrmann's. Listen to the scherzo of the E2 and think of Vertigo
or Marnie. Derivative in part perhaps, but somehow still unmistakably
Herrmann. Superior digestion he had.
Aaron Z Snyder
2007-09-14 17:03:52 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Film composers steal when they can -- though this particular theft is
embarrassingly obvious. (I don't remember whether the film credits
list Hanson.)
They do!
Post by William Sommerwerck
Korngold was under such pressure to complete "Captain Blood" that he
swiped a bit of Liszt, then insisted that the film credits read
"Musical Arrangements by EWK", rather than "Musical Score by EWK".
However, Korngold later borrowed from "Captain Blood" the music used for
the third movement of his own Symphony in F. I'm no expert on Korngold's
movie scores, so I don't know what other borrowings went into the symphony
(can someone else comment knowledgeably?). However, I can say with
certainty that the symphony does *not* sound like a pastiche of movie
music. Rather, it's a coherent, symphonically-argued work, and a lot of fun
to listen to!

Aaron Z
Allen
2007-09-14 20:07:27 UTC
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Ya think? I wonder if he ran out of time scoring it, which is why a
chunk of Howard Hanson's "Romantic" Symphony is used in [Alien].
Film composers steal when they can -- though this particular theft is
embarrassingly obvious. (I don't remember whether the film credits list
Hanson.)
Bernard Herrmann stole a few themes from Bartok, most notably the "Mad
House" theme from "Psycho". And the "hunting" theme from "Marnie" is stolen
from a British composer. (I don't remember his name, but somebody at KING FM
plays the work several times a year -- I heard it again few days ago.)
Korngold was under such pressure to complete "Captain Blood" that he swiped
a bit of Liszt, then insisted that the film credits read "Musical
Arrangements by EWK", rather than "Musical Score by EWK".
We all need to remember Dmitri Tiomkin, who acknowledged his borrowings
by thanking various composers at an Academy Award presentation, as has
been discussed in this ng previously.
Allen
boombox
2007-09-14 20:35:21 UTC
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Post by Allen
We all need to remember Dmitri Tiomkin, who acknowledged his borrowings
by thanking various composers at an Academy Award presentation, as has
been discussed in this ng previously.
I think there is a big difference with Herrmann, though. To be
influenced by Debussy, Bartok, Elgar, Honegger, etc is one thing. I
would never call his music derivative, much less accuse him of
borrowing. He had a distinctive style which I can recognize
instantly. Cannot say the same of Tiomkin. John Williams, for all
his decent soundtracks, I would accuse of stealing Korngold's wallet.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 21:07:34 UTC
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Post by Allen
We all need to remember Dmitri Tiomkin, who acknowledged his
borrowings by thanking various composers at an Academy Award
presentation, as has been discussed in this newsgroup previously.
But Tiomkin borrowed stylistically. I don't remember ever hearing a direct
quote in his music.
boombox
2007-09-14 23:37:20 UTC
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William Sommerwerck wrote:
ussed in this newsgroup previously.
Post by William Sommerwerck
But Tiomkin borrowed stylistically. I don't remember ever hearing a direct
quote in his music.
Nor have you heard any in Herrmann's.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-15 01:16:06 UTC
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Post by Allen
ussed in this newsgroup previously.
Post by William Sommerwerck
But Tiomkin borrowed stylistically. I don't remember ever hearing a direct
quote in his music.
Nor have you heard any in Herrmann's.
Hmmm...

You've forced my hand. I'll have to check on it.
j***@hotmail.com
2007-09-15 21:52:04 UTC
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Post by Allen
ussed in this newsgroup previously.
Post by William Sommerwerck
But Tiomkin borrowed stylistically. I don't remember ever hearing a direct
quote in his music.
Nor have you heard any in Herrmann's.
Herrmann comes pretty close to direct quotation in his score for "The
Day The Earth Stood Still" (1950). The opening trumpet theme certainly
seems to be patterned after the opening of Richard Strauss's "Also
Sprach Zarathusta" (though, to my ears, it also sounds much like an
inverted version of the opening theme of Bruckner's Third Symphony).
In the film's cue titled "Rebirth" (track 15 of the film soundtrack on
Fox 07822-1100-2, about 50 seconds into the track), Herrmann
transposes (for theremins) a brief passage from the end of the first
section (Largo: Happy Memories of Childhood) of Strauss's "Death and
Transfiguration." If you have Rodzinski's recording of the latter on
EMI, the referenced passage is heard at about 4:38. In the film, the
lead character Klaatu has just been "reborn" (or transfigured, if you
will), so the musical quotation strikes me as particularly apt.
However, Herrmann's scores generally evoke the mood and spirit of
other composers' works without usng direct quotation (e.g., Wagner's
Tristan & Isolde in Vertigo, Bartok in Psycho, the Mahler 4th last
mvt. in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad). Perhaps needless to say,
Herrmann is one of my very favorite film composers.

Cordially,

Jeff Lipscomb
El Klauso
2007-09-14 00:37:01 UTC
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T: Despite the film, just about every film composers scores sound
stylistically the same, even
Hermann.

EK: Time out. Not quite true of several "Golden Age" film composers,
and possibly least rue of Herrmann. Please compare the style of
Herrmann's by turns modern dramatic/ Victoriana-drenched scores to
"Citizen Kane""The Magnificent Ambersons" with his music for "The Day
the Earth Stood Still.'

T: I'm sure few people realize that it was the same person who
wrote the music to: "Chinatown," "Alien," "Total Recall" and "Planet
of the Apes."
EK: There's a group at rec.music.movies that might have possession of
a few similar insights.

T: (Goldsmith) disliked his own score for "Alien," but it's a great
example of how a minimalist score can enhance the visual atmosphere
of
the film.

EK: When I chanced to interview Goldsmith about 15 years ago, he
commented that "Alien" director Ridley Scott had recut the film
substantially, and had edited his music, re-ordered it, and choose the
Howard Hanson for the end of the film. His dis-satisfaction was not so
much over the score as it was over the manner in which his music had
been treated, and he certainly had a point. Perhaps Scott might have
felt a bit guilty about what he did to Goldsmith's score, as he went
out of his way in his commentary track on the "Alien" DVD to praise
Goldsmith's work on the film.

And, yes, Herrmann definitely did his own orchestrations, apart from
specialized and rare circumstances like Conrad Salinger's semi-pop
style reworking of the "It's Charlie Kane" song for the end credits of
"Citizen Kane."
El Klauso
2007-09-14 00:41:19 UTC
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Permalink
T: Despite the film, just about every film composers scores sound
stylistically the same, even Hermann.

EK: Whoa.

Time out.

Not quite true of several "Golden Age" film composers,
and possibly least true of Herrmann of all of 'em.

Please compare the style of Herrmann's by turns modern dramatic/
Victoriana-drenched scores to "Citizen Kane""The Magnificent
Ambersons" with his music for "The Day the Earth Stood Still." There
are many other examples.

T: I'm sure few people realize that it was the same person who
wrote the music to: "Chinatown," "Alien," "Total Recall" and "Planet
of the Apes."

EK: There's a group at rec.music.movies that might have possession of
a few similar insights.

T: (Goldsmith) disliked his own score for "Alien," but it's a great
example of how a minimalist score can enhance the visual atmosphere
of the film.

EK: When I chanced to interview Goldsmith about 15 years ago, he
commented that "Alien" director Ridley Scott had recut the film
substantially and very late in the game, just before the release.
R.S. edited Goldsmith's music, re-ordered it, and choose the Howard
Hanson for the end of the film. J.G.'s dis-satisfaction was not so
much over the score as it was over the manner in which his music had
been treated, and he certainly had a point. Perhaps Scott might have
felt a bit guilty about what he did to Goldsmith, as he later went
out of his way in his commentary track on the "Alien" DVD to praise
J.G.'s work on the film.

And, yes, Herrmann definitely did his own orchestrations, apart from
specialized and rare circumstances like Conrad Salinger's semi-pop
style reworking of the "It's Charlie Kane" song for the end credits
of
"Citizen Kane."
El Klauso
2007-09-14 01:15:53 UTC
Reply
Permalink
T: Despite the film, just about every film composers scores sound
stylistically the same, even Hermann.

EK: Whoa.

Time out.

Not quite true of several "Golden Age" film composers,
and possibly least true of Herrmann of all of 'em.

Please compare the style of Herrmann's by turns modern dramatic/
Victoriana-drenched scores to "Citizen Kane""The Magnificent
Ambersons" with his music for "The Day the Earth Stood Still." There
are many other examples.

T: I'm sure few people realize that it was the same person who
wrote the music to: "Chinatown," "Alien," "Total Recall" and "Planet
of the Apes."

EK: There's a group at rec.music.movies that might have possession
of
a few similar insights.

T: (Goldsmith) disliked his own score for "Alien," but it's a great
example of how a minimalist score can enhance the visual atmosphere
of the film.

EK: When I chanced to interview Goldsmith about 15 years ago, he
commented that "Alien" director Ridley Scott had recut the film
substantially and very late in the game, just before the release.
R.S. edited Goldsmith's music, re-ordered it, and chose the Howard
Hanson for the end of the film. J.G.'s dis-satisfaction was not so
much over the score as it was over the manner in which his music had
been treated, and he certainly had a point. Perhaps Scott might have
felt a bit guilty about what he did to Goldsmith, as he later went
out of his way in his commentary track on the "Alien" DVD to praise
J.G.'s work on the film.

And, yes, Herrmann definitely did his own orchestrations, apart from
specialized and rare circumstances like Conrad Salinger's semi-pop
style reworking of the "It's Charlie Kane" song for the end credits
of "Citizen Kane."
Steve de Mena
2007-09-14 01:00:31 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by El Klauso
T: Despite the film, just about every film composers scores sound
stylistically the same, even
Hermann.
EK: Time out. Not quite true of several "Golden Age" film composers,
and possibly least rue of Herrmann. Please compare the style of
Herrmann's by turns modern dramatic/ Victoriana-drenched scores to
"Citizen Kane""The Magnificent Ambersons" with his music for "The Day
the Earth Stood Still.'
Who are these "T" and "EK" you are quoting. What is the source?

Steve
El Klauso
2007-09-14 01:12:58 UTC
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Permalink
Thornhill and El Klauso. (See above.)

Unfortunately, Google Groups sometimes does not place posts where one
indicates.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 03:16:49 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
T: Despite the film, just about every film composers scores sound
stylistically the same, even Hermann.
EK: Time out. Not quite true of several Golden Age film composers,
and possibly least true of Herrmann. Please compare the style of
Herrmann's by turns modern dramatic/Victoriana-drenched scores to
"Citizen Kane" & "The Magnificent Ambersons" with his music for
"The Day the Earth Stood Still".
It depends on how you define the word "style". A Herrmann score is instantly
recognizable, regardless of the film it was written for.
El Klauso
2007-09-14 13:21:42 UTC
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Permalink
WS: It depends on how you define the word "style". A Herrmann score is
instantly
recognizable, regardless of the film it was written for.

EK: No argument here about recognizability; but the Herrmann of "Three
Worlds of Gulliver" obviously wears a different composing style -
thematic materials, period orientation, orchestration, etc. - than the
Herrmann of, let's say "Obsession."
Sacqueboutier
2007-09-13 20:46:16 UTC
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Post by ansermetniac
I saw North by Northwest on DVF last night. There was no credit for
orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?
Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.
This is the first movie I have ever seen with Cary Grant. I assume he
is always this good. I do not think that saying that the auction house
scene is one of the best ever filmed, is out of line
Abbedd
I believe Herrmann did his own orchestrations.
--
--
Kindest regards,
Don
Matt
2007-09-13 21:08:55 UTC
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Post by Sacqueboutier
I believe Herrmann did his own orchestrations.
--
--
He certainly conducts them, or at least he did (on-camera) in The Man Who
Knew Too Much.

Regards,
Matt
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-13 22:29:56 UTC
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Post by Matt
Post by Sacqueboutier
I believe Herrmann did his own orchestrations.
He certainly conducts them, or at least he did (on-camera)
in The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Actually, what's he's conducting is the "Storm Cloud Cantata", written for
the film by Arthur Benjamin. In "The Manchurian Candidate", which has a
similar plot device, the Presidential candidate is Benjamin Arthur. I doubt
this is a coincidence.

Herrmann was not a particularly skilled conductor, and did not always
conduct his scores.
Matt
2007-09-13 23:08:43 UTC
Reply
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Post by William Sommerwerck
Post by Matt
Post by Sacqueboutier
I believe Herrmann did his own orchestrations.
He certainly conducts them, or at least he did (on-camera)
in The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Oops: wrong verb tense in my original post...
Post by William Sommerwerck
Actually, what's he's conducting is the "Storm Cloud Cantata", written for
the film by Arthur Benjamin.
Yes I know (since I re-watched it last weekend along with Vertigo). I got a
kick out of the publicity poster on the London streets announcing (in large
print) that Herrmann was going to conduct the Cantata (as if he were a huge
draw in the classical world of 1956). According to Wikipedia (so who knows
if it's true), Herrmann did re-orchestrate the piece for the movie (and who
knows how extensively).
Post by William Sommerwerck
In "The Manchurian Candidate", which has a
similar plot device, the Presidential candidate is Benjamin Arthur. I doubt
this is a coincidence.
Herrmann was not a particularly skilled conductor, and did not always
conduct his scores.
This I did not know. I hadn't seen the movie in so long I wasn't really
paying attention to Herrmann (I was so caught up in what Doris Day and James
Stewart were going to do about the assassination attempt-- which is as it
should be). In any case, I'm not sure there was enough footage of Herrmann
in the movie to tell one way or the other (not that I am particularly
qualified to make such a determination by sight). I do seem to recall him
looking a little stiff on the podium.

I had remembered not particularly caring for the movie, but I really enjoyed
it this time.

Regards,
Matt
El Klauso
2007-09-14 00:51:11 UTC
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Herrmann's re-writing of the Arthur Benjamin "Storm Clouds" cantata
from "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is fairly extensive. BH also recycled
Benjamin's music from the Prelude of the first film in his own score.
The 1956 Herrmann-edited Cantata is nearly twice as long as the 1934
original, plus there are text changes. There's a fair amount of debate
as to which film - and which version of the Cantata - is superior.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 03:19:08 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
Herrmann's re-writing of the Arthur Benjamin "Storm Clouds" cantata
from "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is fairly extensive. BH also recycled
Benjamin's music from the Prelude of the first film in his own score.
The 1956 Herrmann-edited Cantata is nearly twice as long as the 1934
original, plus there are text changes. There's a fair amount of debate
as to which film - and which version of the Cantata - is superior.
I saw the re-make long before I saw the original. I'm inclined to prefer the
remake, simply because it's better-structured.
El Klauso
2007-09-14 13:30:15 UTC
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Hitchcock himself went on record supporting the later, saying
something along the line of 'The original was made by a talented
amateur - The remake is the work of a professional.'

I've a split opinion. Although I admire the polish and gloss of the
second version, it has a rather lumbering pace compared to the punchy
original. Lorre in the 30's flick is a memorable villain, the remake
has no comparable presence on the negative side. Although I enjoy
Herrmann's work, there's too little of it - the picture might have
benefited by a more intensive brand of scoring to ease that sense of
laggardly pace.

The retrograde progress of women is also interesting to chart, as Edna
Best is the genuine heroine of the earlier piece, while Doris Day
comes off as a husband-dominated, sedative-addled jukebox on legs in
the remake.
Sacqueboutier
2007-09-14 17:05:32 UTC
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Permalink
Post by El Klauso
Hitchcock himself went on record supporting the later, saying
something along the line of 'The original was made by a talented
amateur - The remake is the work of a professional.'
I've a split opinion. Although I admire the polish and gloss of the
second version, it has a rather lumbering pace compared to the punchy
original. Lorre in the 30's flick is a memorable villain, the remake
has no comparable presence on the negative side. Although I enjoy
Herrmann's work, there's too little of it - the picture might have
benefited by a more intensive brand of scoring to ease that sense of
laggardly pace.
The retrograde progress of women is also interesting to chart, as Edna
Best is the genuine heroine of the earlier piece, while Doris Day
comes off as a husband-dominated, sedative-addled jukebox on legs in
the remake.
Herrmann penned some great music for film.

For which film did he win his only Oscar for best score?
(No fair googling.)
--
--
Kindest regards,
Don
Adam Matlock
2007-09-14 17:33:25 UTC
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Post by Sacqueboutier
Herrmann penned some great music for film.
For which film did he win his only Oscar for best score?
(No fair googling.)
--
--
Kindest regards,
Don
The Devil and Daniel Webster, of course. The overdubbing is pretty
spectacular in that dance scene. I believe he competed against himself
for Citizen Kane that year, his first two film scores.

Of course, a shame that any composer with such a distinctive sense of
aural structure could only be recognized for those fairly traditional/
romantic scores, as ultimately intriguing as they are.
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-14 17:47:32 UTC
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Post by Adam Matlock
Of course, a shame that any composer with such a distinctive sense
of aural structure could only be recognized for those fairly traditional/
romantic scores, as ultimately intriguing as they are.
Herrmann should have won at least one more Oscar (for Vertigo or Psycho),
but he was personally disliked by almost everyone in Hollywood. He knew what
he was doing, and would never let anyone else forget it.
El Klauso
2007-09-14 00:46:13 UTC
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WS: Herrmann was not a particularly skilled conductor, and did not
always
conduct his scores.

EK: Herrmann thought of himself as a skilled conductor, however, and
he was a very practiced one. His late career conducting in England had
some detractors, but in his defense he was leading a good deal of less
familiar music - in much the same way he did while conductor of the
CBS Orchestra in the 1940's and '50's.

B.H. also usually conducted his own film scores, with just a very few
exceptions.
---MIKE---
2007-09-16 23:29:43 UTC
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I used to have an LP of Herrmann conducting a performance of Raff's
"Lenore" symphony (No. 5). As I remember, it was a very good
performance.


---MIKE---
In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
(44=B0 15' N - Elevation 1580')
TareeDawg
2007-09-17 00:02:15 UTC
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Post by El Klauso
WS: Herrmann was not a particularly skilled conductor, and did not
always
conduct his scores.
EK: Herrmann thought of himself as a skilled conductor, however, and
he was a very practiced one. His late career conducting in England had
some detractors, but in his defense he was leading a good deal of less
familiar music - in much the same way he did while conductor of the
CBS Orchestra in the 1940's and '50's.
B.H. also usually conducted his own film scores, with just a very few
exceptions.
There have been several reports (from posters here I forget who now),
that Hermann was a particularly nasty piece of work on the podium, and
possessed a dog which he insisted be with him, and which according to
what I read, often farted.

PS: I often wonder about this. Always easy to blame the dog isn't it?
<g>

Ray (Dawg) Hall, Taree
William Sommerwerck
2007-09-17 10:27:52 UTC
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Post by TareeDawg
There have been several reports (from posters here I forget who now),
that Hermann was a particularly nasty piece of work on the podium,
and possessed a dog which he insisted be with him, and which
according to what I read, often farted.
Herrmann was certainly a cranky, even rude, person who never let people
forget how talented he was, but it seems hard to believe he was any more
abusive than the average conductor (ie, moderately abusive). I don't
remember it from the Herrmann biography I read a few years back. There's
also the story that, when he was conducting the score for "Torn Curtain",
the orchestra spontaneously applauded after performing the title music. Had
they deeply detested him, it's unlikely they'd have complimented his music.
a***@hotmail.com
2007-09-13 23:54:51 UTC
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Post by ansermetniac
I saw North by Northwest on DVF last night. There was no credit for
orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?
Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.
This is the first movie I have ever seen with Cary Grant. I assume he
is always this good. I do not think that saying that the auction house
scene is one of the best ever filmed, is out of line
Abbedd
Beginning on Saturday(?), AMC will be televising a few Hitchcock films
each day.
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-14 01:16:48 UTC
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Post by a***@hotmail.com
Post by ansermetniac
I saw North by Northwest on DVF last night. There was no credit for
orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?
Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.
This is the first movie I have ever seen with Cary Grant. I assume he
is always this good. I do not think that saying that the auction house
scene is one of the best ever filmed, is out of line
Beginning on Saturday(?), AMC will be televising a few Hitchcock films
each day.
And a good selection, too (although I'm not very fond of "Torn Curtain,"
notwithstanding some impressive scenes, such as the disturbing, drawn-out
killing of Gromek). But someday, I really would like to see "Waltzes from
Vienna," which features Edmund Gwenn as Johann Strauss I. This is a missed
opportunity, since Gwenn's 100th birthday is in a couple of weeks. At least
they're including "The Trouble With Harry" (with a Herrmann score).
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
Matthew B. Tepper
2007-09-14 01:21:03 UTC
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This is a missed opportunity, since Gwenn's 100th birthday is in a
couple of weeks.
130th. (Bach) Sheesh.
--
Matthew B. Tepper: WWW, science fiction, classical music, ducks!
My personal home page -- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/index.html
My main music page --- http://home.earthlink.net/~oy/berlioz.html
To write to me, do for my address what Androcles did for the lion
Tom Deacon is a liar and a scoundrel who cannot hold on to a job.
g***@gmail.com
2019-09-05 09:17:40 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by ansermetniac
I saw North by Northwest on DVF last night. There was no credit for
orchestrator. Did Bernard Herrmann do his own?
Hitchock and Herrmann do their job effectively without calling
attention to themselves. I wish I could say that about today's
direction and film music.
This is the first movie I have ever seen with Cary Grant. I assume he
is always this good. I do not think that saying that the auction house
scene is one of the best ever filmed, is out of line
Abbedd
https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/the-sound-of-hitchcock-how-bernard-herrmanns-music-brought-his-films-to-life-20160104-glys29.html
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