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Cinema Journal (1982) - Herrmann, Hitchcock, and the Music of the Irrational





Notes & References

  1. Royal S. Brown, "An Interview with Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975)," High Fidelity, 26, no. 9 (September 1976), 65. Hereafter referred to as "Interview."
  2. Michael Grant, Myths of the Greeks and Romans (Cleveland and New York: World Publishing Co., 1962), pp. 222-23.
  3. This fact has been documented by James Naremore in his Filmguide to Psycho (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973), p. 22. It has also been brought up by John Russell Taylor in his Hitch: The Life and Times of Alfred Hitchcock (New York: Pantheon, 1978; rpt. New York: Berkeley, 1980), p. 264.
  4. William Fleming, Art and Ideas (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1955), pp. 33-34.
  5. See Brian De Palma, "Murder by Moog: Scoring the Chill," The Village Voice, 11 October 1973, p. 85; rpt. as "Remembering Herrmann," Take One, 5, no. 2 (May 1976), 40-41; 39.
  6. Oliver Daniel, "A Perspective of Herrmann," Saturday Review, 51, no. 28 (13 July 1968), 49.
  7. Oliver Goldsmith, from a letter dated 16 march 1977 and sent to Dr. Harry M. McCraw of the University of Southern Mississippi.
  8. See Herrmann's brief comments on the album jacket for "Music from the Great Movie Thrillers" (see Discography).
  9. Since the score for The Trouble with Harry was unavailable to me, I can only assume from listening to the recording and the film soundtrack that the keys and the notation in general are as I have mentioned. In all cases, however, I have used accidentals rather than giving a key signature, as this corresponds to Herrmann's practice. In this paper, examples 1-5, 7A, 7B, and 14 were all obtained by listening; other examples from Herrmann's music come from the scores themselves or from quotations of these scores in various articles and books.
  10. Willi Apel, Harvard Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. (Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press, 1969), p. 848.
  11. Roger Sessions, "The New Musical Horizon," Modern Music, 14, no. 2 (January/February 1937), 59-66; rpt. in Roger Sessions on Music, Collected Essays, ed. Edward T. Cone (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1979), p. 47.
  12. See my "Music and Vivre sa vie," Quarterly Review of Film Studies, 5, no. 3 (Summer 1980), 319-33.
  13. Claude Lévi-Strauss, The Raw and the Cooked, Introduction to a Science of Mythology: I, trans. John and Doreen Weightman (New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1975), p. 16.
  14. Whether by accident or design, the first name of the character played by James Stewart in this film that climaxes in the "Storm Cloud Cantata" is Benjamin.
  15. In 1962, Herrmann did the music for a third Henry King film, Tender Is the Night, eight years after his last King collaboration. François Truffaut later used the composer for two successive films, Fahrenheit 451 and The Bride Wore Black. It is quite probable that Herrmann would have become the official suspense-film composer for Brian De Palma who, after Sisters and Obsession (both Hitchcock tributes), would have involved the composer in Carrie; Herrmann's death in December 1975 cut short the fruition of that potential tandem.
  16. For purposes of royalties and copyright, the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (A.S.C.A.P.) keeps on file a complete breakdown, with precise timings, of every single musical cue heard in any manner in the final cut of a given film. Even Cary Grant's mumbled few seconds from the Lerner/Loewe "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" are listed on the North by Northwest cue sheet.
  17. Roy M. Prendergast, Film Music, A Neglected Art: A Critical Study of Music in Films (New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1977), p. 138.
  18. The tempo used in the film-quarter note = 160 -- is considerably faster than what one hears on the recording-quarter note = 132 -- although the composer conducts in all cases.
  19. Another interesting experiment in the limiting of instrumental color can be noted in the David Snell music for Robert Montgomery's 1942 mystery thriller, Lady in the Lake. Using a Christmas carol as a point of departure, Snell scored Lady in the Lake for a vocalizing, a cappella chorus, while Montgomery tried the unusual experiment of deploying an entirely subjective camera throughout the film.
  20. Fred Steiner, "Herrmann's 'Black and White' Music for Hitchcock's Psycho," Filmmusic Notebook, 1, no. 1 (Fall 1974), 28-36 (Part I), and 1, no. 2 (Winter 1974-75), 26-46 (Part II). The quotation is from Part I, p. 31.
  21. Ibid., Part I, p. 32. The interview quoted is Leslie Zador, "Movie Music's Man of the Moment," Coast FM and Fine Arts, June 1971, p. 31.
  22. The paradox here is that the J. C. Bach work was actually performed by the studio orchestra, conducted by Muir Mathieson, who takes it at a rather fast pace, and "laid in" on the soundtrack. It becomes source music only by association (with the phonograph) and not in fact.
  23. Like the J. C. Bach work in the initial Scottie-Midge sequence, the Mozart here is performed at rather too fast a tempo, leading one to wonder whether or not there was a deliberate intention on someone's part -- Hitchcock's, Herrmann's, or perhaps even conductor Muir Mathieson's -- to throw the audience slightly off center in this manner.
  24. Donald Spoto, The Art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty Years of His Motion Pictures (New York: Hopkinson and Blake, 1976), p. 299.
  25. See my "North by Northwest by Hitchcock by Herrmann," Fanfare, 3, no. 6 (July/August 1980), 12-15.
  26. Robin Wood, Hitchcock's Films (London/New York: A. Zwemmer/ A. S. Barnes, 1965), p. 74.
  27. Graham Bruce, who teaches at the College of Advanced Education in Queensland, Australia, is preparing a doctoral dissertation for New York University on the film music of Bernard Herrmann. The idea mentioned here is contained in a rough draft of his chapter on Psycho.
  28. From the libretto adapted from the Emily Bronte novel by Lucille Fletcher, included in the recording by Unicorn Records, UNB 400, p. 21.
  29. See Irwin Bazelon, Knowing the Score: Notes on Film Music (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1975), p. 234.
  30. Thomas Mann, Doctor Faustus, The Life of the German Composer Adrian Leverkuhn as Told by a Friend, trans. H. T. Lowe-Porter (New York: Vintage, 1971), p. 374.
  31. Royal S. Brown, "Considering De Palma," American Film, 2, no. 9 (July/August 1977), 58.