Roger Hecht replies to me:
>Anyone interested in the music to Hitchcock's films would find the
>biography of Bernard Herrmann very interesting--A Heart at Fire's Center
>by Steven Smith.
I can second Roger's recommendation. A fine book, but one that requires
you to read music, if you want the full effect.
>Among the usual Hitchcock soundtracks, one I'd recommend checking out
>is Herrmann's score to Torn Curtain. Hitchcock was stunned when he saw
>the orchestra Herrmann had assembled, vetoed the whole thing, and at the
>last minute brought in John Addison, who wrote what I found to be an
>insipid score. I believe that this incident spelled the end of the
It did, although Herrmann went out of his way to excuse Hitchcock's (to
me) shocking behavior (he fired Herrmann in front of the studio orchestra).
There was a recording of Herrmann's soundtrack available on Elmer
Bernstein's FilmMusic label. I think this is partly, at any rate,
available on Varese/Sarabande and at Amazon's web site.
>(Interestingly, I think Herrmann had a lot
>of influence on Hitchcock's use of silence. I also think it was Herrmann
>who suggested Hitch not use music for The Birds.)
Hitchcock was interested in dramatic silence well before he worked
with Herrmann, although Herrmann did suggest some spots that Hitchcock
accepted. On the other hand, Hitchcock originally wanted no music for
Psycho's shower murder. Herrmann secretly composed the famous cue and
recorded it. Hitchcock that time agreed with Herrmann. As for The
Birds, it's a little murky who suggested the electronic score. Hitchcock
we know ordered music by Stockhausen and Boulez in the years before the
preparation, and Herrmann worked with the electronic-music guys on the
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