NORTH BY NORTHWEST
Special Collection Volume ISC 207
Film Date: 1959
Oft-recorded Bernard Herrmann masterpiece finally gets complete release in dynamic stereo from new masters!
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Doug's Tech Talk
At long last! Oft-recorded Bernard Herrmann masterpiece finally gets complete release in dynamic stereo from new masters! Previous release on Rhino label was spectacular album, albeit several major set pieces (including main title & climactic Mount Rushmore sequence) were transferred from damaged elements, all that was then available. Thanks to Warner Bros., new stereo mixes have been made available for first time ever, revealing spectacular sonics (for 1959) and illuminating new details of magnificent score never before captured. While score has also been digitally re-recorded twice under different conductors, neither version can match crisp, exciting performance of MGM Studio musicians under baton of Herrmann himself. Hear harp arpeggios, castenets, wood blocks, snare drums like never before. Get entire climax with punch of bass trombone, thrilling trumpets amidst swirling variety of tempos that keep tension, excitement of Hitchcock's incredible action set-piece moving at fierce pace. Alfred Hitchcock's brilliant film stars Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, young Martin Landau and is regarded as one of director's greatest achievements. Crop-dusting scene, Mount Rushmore climax are movie icons. Romance between Grant, Saint is heartfelt, all the more so with Herrmann's tender love theme for strings. Composer is also major part of excitement, suspense of wild tale. Under loving guidance of Neil Bulk & Lukas Kendall, Herrmann's score comes home at last not only with best sound possible but also with first-ever reproduction of original MGM artwork campaign, color stills, informative notes by Frank De Wald, complete cue assembly details plus musician's list. The final word on North By Northwest! Bernard Herrmann conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remains.
Tech Talk From The Producer…
Feature film scores
at M-G-M from 1953–1968 were recorded, for the most part , onto
three-track 35mm magnetic film. Protection copies of the master (or “print” or
“circle”) takes were vaulted for posterity, and transferred in the 1990s by Turner
Entertainment Co. and Warner Bros. (corporate successors-in-interest to the
film library) to DA-88, a multi-track digital format. These masters survived the
years in excellent condition and have been used for hundreds of CDs, primarily
by Rhino Entertainment Co. and Film Score Monthly.
As collectors know from the 1995 Rhino CD of North by Northwest, the
cues containing Bernard Herrmann’s magnificent “Overture—Main Title” and
related action pieces suffered some deterioration. The 35mm masters were retransferred
by Chace Productions Inc. in 1999 for a Warner Home Video DVD
For this Intrada CD, both the 1995 and 1999 transfers have been used to create
the best-possible presentation of Herrmann’s masterpiece. Non-Herrmann
source music is placed in a bonus section, rather than playing in film sequence.
Every implement of modern technology has been used to improve the sound
quality—but without over-processing the tracks, which would detract from the
naturalness of the orchestra. Although not very scientific, the most important
quality to apply in a restoration of this sort is good taste—which is fortunately
possessed in abundance by mastering engineer Doug Schwartz.
Composed and Conducted by Bernard Herrmann.
Recorded on April 23 and 24, May 14 and 15, 1959, at MGM Studios Scoring Stage, Culver City, California.
This soundtrack was produced in cooperation with the
American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.
Samuel Freed Jr.
Arthur Maebe Sr.
Richard F. Kelley
James C. Zito
D. V. Seber
Catherine Johnk (Gotthoffer)