Ten Tracks Today – A Bernard Herrmann Special #2 – 27th June 2011

01 – “Trailer” – The Wrong Man

Usually the track heard on compilations from this movie is the upbeat music for the Stork Club but I much prefer Herrmann’s underscore with the sparse orchestration of clarinets, horns, brass and bass. It is a bit disjointed, moving back and forth between scenes for the trailer. Apparently Herrmann wrote the music for the first and third segments of the trailer.

02 – “Track 01” – The Twilight Zone: Where Is Everybody?

Typical Herrmann. Only 45 seconds or so, but he takes a simple repeating device and moves it through various parts of the orchestra.

03 – “The Forest” – The Kentuckian

Pastoral, open, optimistic! A lovely thematic track this one that definitely is bright and sings of open spaces. One from Herrmann’s England-influenced “romantic” period?

04 – “The Necklace, The Return and Finale” – Vertigo

Seven minutes of excellent film scoring. Watching this sequence the other day it’s a resumé of all that’s gone before. The habanera of Carlotta, Scotty’s vertigo motif, the love theme, all brought together for the narrative for a brilliant finale.

05 – “The Plea” – The Twilight Zone: Eye of The Beholder

Another short, repeating track with insistent muted brass, harp and vibraphone. Otherworldly.

06 – “Overture / Bagdad” – The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

It was great to see this finally released in complete form and it’s a great companion piece to the re-recording. This opening track is from the original album release. Definitely a mysterious feeling to the score but with an alluring romantic slant to the whole thing. Listening to “Bagdad” now there are reminders somehow to Kilar’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula somewhere in there.

07 – “Track 04” – The Twilight Zone: The Hitchhiker

No such otherworldliness here, it’s very much grounded in the here and now. And that’s purely down to the orchestrations. Descending patterns everywhere, low winds and tolling bells: whatever is happening, it’s not good!

08 – “The Bird” – Mysterious Island

The TFC re-recording this: it’s wondrous that these guys have captured the whole feel of the era. Sometimes re-recordings can be faithful to the music but lose the feeling. Not here.

09 – “The Bedroom” – Psycho (1998)

One of the lesser-known tracks from this score but I love the plodding nature of the score and the low strings.

10 – “Hydra’s Teeth / Skeletons / Attack” – Jason and The Argonauts

Bruce Broughton’s re-recording of this score is outstanding. I love the Dies Irae references and the use of the percussion for the skeletons. Seeing this film the other week, although the children were not impressed (too much exposure to current SFX), I was marvelling on Herrmann’s score.



  1. I absolutely love “Where Is Everybody,” a classic Herrmann with a chamber orchestra.

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