In my latest Wall Street Journal “Sightings” column, I discuss the many film scores that Bernard Herrmann wrote for directors other than Alfred Hitchcock. Here’s an excerpt.
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Bernard Herrmann is by common consent the greatest of all film composers—but one whose name is firmly attached to the work of a single director. Between 1955 and 1964, he scored seven films for Alfred Hitchcock, and it is those scores for which he is best known, in part because most of the films that they accompany are now regarded as cinematic masterpieces….
Yet Herrmann, proud though he was of his collaboration with Hitchcock, was quick to point out that there was more to him than “North by Northwest,” “Psycho” and “Vertigo.” He scored 40 feature films for other directors, including such masters of the art as Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Nicholas Ray, Martin Scorsese, François Truffaut, Robert Wise, Orson Welles and Fred Zinnemann, working on every kind of movie from science fiction to widescreen westerns. He also wrote music for hundreds of radio and TV shows, most notably Welles’s notorious radio version of “The War of the Worlds” and Rod Serling’s “Walking Distance,” the most moving of all “Twilight Zone” episodes. Nor did Herrmann save his best for Hitch…
* * *Read the whole thing here.
Bernard Herrmann records a cue from his score for François Truffaut’s Fahrenheit 451: