The Classic Film Music of Bernard Herrmann - Torn Curtain Collection

The Classic Film Music of Bernard Herrmann - Torn Curtain Collection CD cover The name of this album might fool people because it is not the full rejected score for Torn Curtain nor the one by John Addison actually used in the film (both of which are available on CD). It is however a superb collection of soundtracks by Herrmann which happens to include a track consisting of a short suite of music from that unused score. A lot of other Herrmann favourites are also included to make a total of 75 minutes of new recordings by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Bateman. Most of the films like the title track are represented by suites of several tracks.

Those films include the James Stewart and Doris Day thriller "The Man who Knew Too Much", "Cape Fear" with Herrmann's unforgettable 4-note motto, the striding music from "Citizen Kane", the strange moods and fascination in "On Dangerous Ground" and the similarly moody pieces for the equally unusual storyline of "The Gost and Mrs Muir". As well as the classic tracks from Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" and "Vertigo", we also have one demonstrating director Brian de Palma following in Hitchcock's footsteps with "Obsession" and Martin Scorcese's "Taxi Driver". On top of this there is "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and a suite of themes from four movies Herrmann scored for the special effects adventures of Ray Harryhausen.

Although all the music is superbly put together to give a rich selection from that singular composer, one of the best parts of the album is the inclusion of a truly comprehensive 24-page booklet with photos, posters and commentary by David Wishart. David Wishart clearly has an interest in the subject, and shares with us the benefits of some detailed research into Herrmann himself, his musical style and the circumstances in which he came to score these particular films. This CD is highly recommended, with the only disappointment being that it is not more widely available. Try the following Amazon links where you can sometimes find copies on the second-hand market: and

Track listing:

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much - Prelude
  • Cape Fear - Prelude, The School, Panic, Finale
  • Citizen Kane - Overture
  • On Dangerous Ground - Prelude, Blindness, The Silence, The Hunt, Finale
  • Obsession - Valse Lente
  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro - Memory Waltz
  • Taxi Driver - A Night Piece for Saxophone and Orchestra
  • The Ghost and Mrs Muir - Main Title, Finale
  • Psycho - Suite
  • Vertigo - Prelude, The Nightmare, Scene d'Armour
  • Torn Curtain - Main Title, Gromek, The Killing
  • The Three Worlds of Gulliver
  • The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
  • Mysterious Island - Prelude, The Balloon
  • Jason and the Argonauts