Author Topic: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots  (Read 18907 times)

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Offline Lethevich

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Wikipedia entry for Bernard Herrmann (1911–75)

It would be nice to have a thread on this fellow to centralise any discussion. I have had the cantata Moby Dick on my radar for some time due to several mentions by GMG members (Vandermolen in particular, I believe), but so far the only full piece by him that I have heard is the opera Wuthering Heights.

It's a fine, moody piece with some enjoyable Peter Grimes-esque orchestral interludes, and less razzle-dazzle than I had been expecting. With a suitably atmospheric staging, this could make a sumptuous DVD. A promising start! I'll investigate more of his music in the next few days, and hopefully we have some more fans on board!
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

karlhenning

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2009, 07:48:47 AM »
Wikipedia entry for Bernard Herrmann (1911–75)

It would be nice to have a thread on this fellow to centralise any discussion. I have had the cantata Moby Dick on my radar for some time due to several mentions by GMG members (Vandermolen in particular, I believe), but so far the only full piece by him that I have heard is the opera Wuthering Heights.

It's a fine, moody piece with some enjoyable Peter Grimes-esque orchestral interludes, and less razzle-dazzle than I had been expecting. With a suitably atmospheric staging, this could make a sumptuous DVD. A promising start! I'll investigate more of his music in the next few days, and hopefully we have some more fans on board!

Well done, Sara!

His scoring for Psycho and North By Northwest (which may be all I know of his music) is expert, and value-added to the films.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 07:54:25 AM »
The Symphony is superb :) I have it on an old Koch cd(Phoenix Symphony Orchestra/James Sedares) coupled with Schuman's New England Triptych. Should still be available.

Pity he didn't write more orchestral music.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2009, 08:11:35 AM »
Of the few Herrmann pieces I've heard so far, I've not heard any that I didn't like.  The CD below, with Salonen and the LA Phil, is not only a favorite Herrmann recording, but a fave recording, period.

(And thread title du jour, for sure.  ;D)

--Bruce
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karlhenning

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2009, 08:16:47 AM »
Argh, Bruce;  I don't know that I realized before that he'd scored Taxi Driver.  I'm not really keen to watch that flick again, but at some point I should, for purposes of paying attention to the score . . . .

Dr. Dread

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2009, 08:25:38 AM »
I am about to display my massive Herrmann collection:



You are welcome...  0:)

karlhenning

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2009, 08:28:51 AM »
Of course, I must see Vertigo . . . which is the one briefly excerpted in Twelve Monkeys, I think.

Offline Brewski

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2009, 08:58:50 AM »
Of course, I must see Vertigo . . . which is the one briefly excerpted in Twelve Monkeys, I think.

Have you not seen Vertigo, Karl?  It is arguably my favorite Hitchcock film, and the score contributes a great deal to its power.

--Bruce
"Do you realize that we're meteorites; almost as soon as we're born, we have to disappear?"

~Iannis Xenakis

Twitter: @BruceHodgesNY

karlhenning

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2009, 10:48:54 AM »
Have you not seen Vertigo, Karl?  It is arguably my favorite Hitchcock film, and the score contributes a great deal to its power.

Never in toto, Bruce . . . I've certainly seen the odd bit . . . .

Offline tjguitar

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2009, 09:09:34 AM »
just ordered this one...


Offline Marc

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2009, 10:47:08 AM »
Have you not seen Vertigo, Karl? It is arguably my favorite Hitchcock film, and the score contributes a great deal to its power.

Count me in!

Although the end is a bit ....
.... hush, maybe Karl doesn't want to know.

The nightmare section with James Stewart is really awesome, and so is Hermann's mesmerizing music!
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karlhenning

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2009, 10:49:17 AM »
Count me in!

Although the end is a bit ....
.... hush, maybe Karl doesn't want to know.

No spoilers, dude!

Offline Marc

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2009, 11:07:20 AM »
No spoilers, dude!

Dude = inexperienced European or Asian citizen who moved to the Wild West without actually knowing what he was doing.
Synonyms: greenhorn, tenderfoot.


Of course, this is common knowledge to each and everyone. :)

Well Karl, surely you're a dude yourself, when Hitchcock's Vertigo is concerned! It's a classic, for heaven's sake!

Still, the end of this classic is a bit ..........

;D
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 11:27:10 AM »
Just listened to Moby Dick - wow, hehe, very blood and thunder. It reminds me a little of Prokofiev's Seven, They Are Seven at times. It has that mid-century impact to it. Also rather massively scored and with a huge sweep. I certainly don't expect something like this from the usually modest form of the cantata - it is rather more like a choral symphony. Gonna be listening to this one a lot more in future :)
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Bogey

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2009, 12:36:07 PM »
Recently picked up some Herrmann on vinyl (as posted in the film music section):

   
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline Catison

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2009, 01:04:23 PM »
Reading the title of this thread, I got vertigo until I looked north by northwest and saw the taxi driver with the sisters's torn curtains.  My temperature went to Fahrenheit 451, because the Egyptian is always letting the birds into the garden of evil.  That is the trouble with Harry, giving me a twisted nerve and no joy in the morning.  You couldn't say he was man who knew too much, but he was always the man in the gray flannel suit.  He told me the day the earth stood still we were on dangerous ground.  I thought he was psycho, because he is always talking about the naked and the dead for endless nights.  Perhaps that is why he likes his blue denim cape. Fear the wrong man, and it's alive.  Any citizen kane tell you that.
-Brett

Offline Guido

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2009, 03:22:53 PM »
Just listened to Moby Dick - wow, hehe, very blood and thunder. It reminds me a little of Prokofiev's Seven, They Are Seven at times. It has that mid-century impact to it. Also rather massively scored and with a huge sweep. I certainly don't expect something like this from the usually modest form of the cantata - it is rather more like a choral symphony. Gonna be listening to this one a lot more in future :)

Where are you finding these CDs? Are you paying the extortionate prices that Amazon sellers seem to be charging?
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2009, 03:48:42 PM »
At the risk of repeating myself(which I am doing ;D) Bernard Herrmann would have wanted you to have listened to his only Symphony as well as the admittedly excellent film music.

The Symphony was written in 1941 on commission from the New York Philharmonic and CBS-a prestigious commission for a 30 year old composer. The CBS Symphony Orchestra gave the first performance two hours before Herrmann's wife gave birth to a daughter :)

Herrmann tried to get Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform the splendidly neo-romantic piece but Ormandy wanted to slash 15 minutes out of the score...the great conductor had an unfortunate tendency to want such cuts in other works too.

Some reviews-

http://www.amazon.com/Herrmann-Symphony-Schuman-England-Triptych/dp/B000001SF8

Herrmann was a very fine conductor as well, a great anglophile and supporter of British composers like Richard Arnell(whilst the young
Arnell was living and working in New Yourk during the war).

karlhenning

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2009, 03:57:22 PM »
At the risk of repeating myself(which I am doing ;D)

Oh, it's past risk, then  ;D

Offline Guido

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Re: Herrmann's Humdinging House of (Hardly Haphazard) Harmonic Hoots
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2009, 04:03:35 PM »
At the risk of repeating myself(which I am doing ;D) Bernard Herrmann would have wanted you to have listened to his only Symphony as well as the admittedly excellent film music.

The Symphony was written in 1941 on commission from the New York Philharmonic and CBS-a prestigious commission for a 30 year old composer. The CBS Symphony Orchestra gave the first performance two hours before Herrmann's wife gave birth to a daughter :)

Herrmann tried to get Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra to perform the splendidly neo-romantic piece but Ormandy wanted to slash 15 minutes out of the score...the great conductor had an unfortunate tendency to want such cuts in other works too.

Some reviews-

http://www.amazon.com/Herrmann-Symphony-Schuman-England-Triptych/dp/B000001SF8

Herrmann was a very fine conductor as well, a great anglophile and supporter of British composers like Richard Arnell(whilst the young
Arnell was living and working in New Yourk during the war).

I can only see it on Amazon where it is ridiculously expensive...
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away