Recorded in 1975, this is arguably my favourite track from this score and this version, the Unicorn-Kanchana release of the National Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the composer himself, is my favourite. The low, repetitive strings with the dramatic cellos coming in when they do…I remember many a time just spending a few minutes with the 45 second cue on repeat. Watching a Hermann documentary on DVD recently I think the muting of the strings is what comes out particularly strongly on this version that catches my ear.
The frenetic strings are what stick in the mind in this track, with the whole cue setting the scene for a rip-roaring movie. Unfortunately, from what I recall, the film doesn’t really live up to the exuberance of the track.
The TFC re-recording. This lovely, reflective track has strings and progressions that remind me of similar, more low-key tracks from Vertigo.
For me, one of the most heart-rending tracks that Herrmann composed. Ominous and funereal at the outset, the material for strings that enters soon after this sombre beginning is just so full of emotion. Shows that Herrmann was never “just” the composer who scored the Hitchcock films.
Along similar lines from the previous cue. Sombre and in a way a doomed piece that signposts what is to come.
The harmonica is toned down in this later release of this score. Dominated by Herrmann’s wonderful writing for strings, using them in all sorts of ways, evoking all sorts of emotions. This score seems to suit the longer suite-like form.
The brass fanfare heard about 35 seconds into this track is one that would stop anyone in their tracks. And then Herrmann tops that with the another fanfare at 2:35 that’s so powerful when seen along with the visuals. Maybe credit should go to Elmer Bernstein who adapted Herrmann’s music for this remake. I should really watch the original again and see what Herrmann did originally.
The TFC re-recording. Starts off quite relaxed before setting off on that frenetic theme on strings that can get a bit much if heard too much.
The Intrada re-recording. An excellent track to a score that I’d like to hear in its original form. Seeing this sequence on TV recently I am not sure the original score could improve on Broughton’s version.
Appropriately Herrmann’s music brings this selection of ten tracks to a close.
Happy Birthday, Bernard Herrmann!