Bernard Herrmann Centenary Celebration, Part III: Fantasy, Adventure and Sci-Fi

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 29th marks the 100th anniversary of the birth, here in New York City, of composer Bernard Herrmann. Each Saturday during June, David Garland presents aspects of Herrmann's work on Movies on the Radio. Herrmann wrote his first film score for "Citizen Kane" in 1941, and went on to collaborate with directors Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, Martin Scorsese, and others.

Bernard Herrmann's flair for colorful instrumentation enhanced several mid-century special effects spectaculars. The sight of stop-action animator Ray Harryhausen's giant cyclops ("The 7th Voyage of Sinbad"), or sword-fighting skeletons ("Jason and the Argonauts") were quite convincing and thrilling with Herrmann's music giving them power and panache. And Herrmann's use of otherworldly, keening theremins in "The Day the Earth Stood Still" helped make that movie a science fiction classic. Host David Garland presents music from these and other films, including "Journey to the Center of the Earth," "Mysterious Island," "Fahrenheit 451," "Beneath the 12-Mile Reef," plus a look at Herrmann's music for the television show "The Twilight Zone."

Bernard Herrmann: 100th Birthday Celebration in the Greene Space, June 29

Join WQXR's David Garland and Elliott Forrest to celebrate Bernard Herrmann, with music, film clips, and conversation. Special guests include Bernard Herrmann's daughter, writer Dorothy Herrmann; Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conductor John Mauceri; musician Rob Schwimmer; writer/musician Royal S. Brown; and Josh Waletzky, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann;" with a special appearance by Academy Award-winning film composer Michael Giacchino (Super 8, UP, The Incredibles).

Comments [4]

Martin Bronson from New York City

How come the third Bernard Herrmann program is not available as a podcast?
Most of the time I am unable to listen when the program is originally broadcast. Also, the two previous programs had no stereo content. I suspect that some of the scores were not recorded in stereo, but some were. I look forward to a reply.

Jun. 21 2011 02:20 AM
David Garland

@James L. Freeman, Those London recordings of Herrmann conducting his music are wonderful, but there are many other sources for his music, including the excellent Salonen recording mentioned by Dillon (in the comments here), and many original soundtrack recordings and re-recordings. I don't know your preferred music format, but recently I was interested to see the bounty of Herrmann music available on iTunes, for example.

Jun. 18 2011 10:19 PM
James L. Freeman from Tuxedo, N. Y.

I have long enjoyed Bernard Herrmann's music, having the Herrmann CD, on London. Question: are some of the other works available as well, and on what labels?; conducted by whom? His orchestrations were
unique, and extremely colorful and expressive.

Jun. 18 2011 09:19 PM
Dillon from Olympia, WA

I liked the program on Hitchcock and Herrmann so much last week that right after it was over, I went and bought a recording of Esa-Pekka Salonen and the LA Phil playing music from eight films that Herrmann scored, six of them Hitchcock films. I knew who he was before, but now I am simply obsessed with his music.

Jun. 17 2011 11:11 PM

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