Newly-recorded world premiere pair of Bernard Herrmann masterpieces!
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Newly-recorded world premiere pair of Bernard Herrmann masterpieces!Our third-in-a-row successful Kickstarter film score recording project yields two dynamic, powerful yet diverse 1950’s Bernard Herrmann scores, presented in their entirety! First up: Herrmann’s never-before-released score from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 suspense thriller, The Man Who Knew Too Much. James Stewart, Doris Day headline famed director’s own remake of his 1934 assassination tale, scripted by John Michael Hayes, filmed by Robert Burks in VistaVision and Technicolor. Married couple visiting Morocco with their young son in tow find intrigue, then witness murder followed by the kidnapping of their son as silencer in elaborate assassination plot that climaxes in Royal Albert Hall symphony concert, with Herrmann on screen as conductor. Nathan Van Cleave’s rousing “VistaVision Logo” leads directly into Herrmann’s massive “Prelude”, played by 3 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 4 clarinets, 3 bassoons, 8 French horns, 6 trumpets, 6 trombones, 2 tubas, 46 strings, piano, harp plus expanded percussion section including tympani, bass drum, suspended cymbals, tam tam, 2 vibraphones, 2 snare drums, 2 tenor drums, piatti, crash cymbals, glockenspiel and xylophone.Four quasi-source cues follow, featuring violin, clarinet and harp with signature Herrmann colors. Much of the subsequent score offers Herrmann’s highly unique woodwind writing. Several cues written for but not used in the finished film add contrast. Brief but terrific highlight is rousing, never-used “Finale” with coda drawn from famous Doris Day signature song that ends with fortissimo bravado! Also included here is film version which instead reprises final bars of the “Prelude”. Next up: Herrmann’s riveting score for Nicholas Ray’s 1951 snow-bound film noir, On Dangerous Ground, starring Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond. Opening with one of the composer’s most exciting “Prelude” sequences, the cue is marked Allegro Feroce and features full orchestra with spine-chilling steel plate hammering within the percussion section. Subsequent cues offer incredibly varied display of Herrmann gems. Vivid “Hunt Scherzo” is a major highlight, with powerful brass writing presaging the tour-de-force triplets of “The Death Hunt” itself, highlighted by 9 ferocious French horns yelping and yowling like hunting dogs pursuing a killer in the climactic chase up snowy peaks. In complete balance are haunting cues for Ida Lupino’s blind girl, featuring the rare viola d’amore, a difficult-to-play baroque instrument that suggests her loneliness, living with her brother in the middle of the snow country. Both melodically and harmonically, these are Herrmann at his most sensitive and beautiful. Both scores were recorded in January 2023 with our dear friends William T. Stromberg on the podium, Mike Ross-Trevor in the booth and the augmented Royal Scottish National Orchestra bringing all to glorious life. Herrmann scholar Steven Smith writes booklet notes, artist Stephane Coedel creates striking cover art, Kay Marshall designs handsome package. Douglass Fake produces, Roger Feigelson executive produces, Joe Sikoryak contributes session photography. Anna Stromberg reconstructs from Herrmann’s manuscripts, William T. Stromberg conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Kickstarter contributors treated to additional high-gloss slipcase not included with retail CD release.