Bernard Herrmann (born Maximillian Herman; June 29, 1911 – December 24, 1975) was an American composer and conductor best known for his work in composing for films. As a conductor, he championed the music of lesser-known composers. He is widely regarded in many circles as one of the most influential and innovative composers of all time.
- Radio Scores
- Concert Works
- Related Pages
- Other Websites
These works are for a speaker and a full orchestra. These were written to be played over the radio because a human voice would not be able to be heard over the full volume of an orchestra. The 1935 works were written before June 1935. 1. La Belle Dame Sans Merci(September 1934) 2. The City of Brass(December 1934) 3. Annabel Lee(1934-1935) 4. Poem Cycle (1935): 4.1. The Willow Leaf 4.2. Weep No More, Sad Fountains 4.3. Something Tells 5. A Shropshire Lad(1935) 6. Cynara (1935)
Music for radio shows and dramas
1. Palmolive Beauty Box(1935?) (2 existing cues) 2. Dauber(October 1936) 3. Rhythm of the Jute Mill(December 1936) 4. Gods of the Mountain(1937) 5. Brave New World(1956)The Forest: Tone poemfor Large Orchestra (1929)November Dusk: Tone Poem for Large Orchestra (1929)Tempest and Storm: Furies Shrieking!: for Piano (1929)The Dancing Faun and The Bells: Two Songs for Medium Voice and Small Chamber Orchestra (1929)
- Early Life and Career
- Collaboration with Orson Welles
- Collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock
- Later Life and Death
- Other Works
- Compositional Style and Philosophy
- Legacy and Recording
- in Popular Culture
- Television Scores
Herrmann, the son of a Jewish middle-class family of Russian origin, was born in New York City as Max Herman. He was the son of Ida (Gorenstein) and Abram Dardik, who was from Ukraine and had changed the family name. Herrmann attended high school at DeWitt Clinton High School, an all-boys public school at that time on 10th Avenue and 59th Street in New York City. His father encouraged music activity, taking him to the opera, and encouraging him to learn the violin. After winning a composition prize at the age of thirteen, he decided to concentrate on music, and went to New York University, where he studied with Percy Grainger and Philip James. He also studied at the Juilliard Schooland, at the age of twenty, formed his own orchestra, the New Chamber Orchestra of New York. In 1934, he joined the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) as a staff conductor. Within two years he was appointed music director of the Columbia Workshop, an e...
While at CBS, Herrmann met Orson Welles, and wrote or arranged scores for radio shows in which Welles appeared or wrote, such as the Columbia Workshop, Welles's Mercury Theatre on the Air and Campbell Playhouse series (1938–1940), which were radio adaptations of literature and film. He conducted the live performances, including Welles's famous adaptation of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds broadcast on October 30, 1938, which consisted entirely of pre-existing music.[A] Herrmann used large sections of his score for the inaugural broadcast of The Campbell Playhouse, an adaptation of Rebecca, for the feature film Jane Eyre(1943), the third film in which Welles starred. When Welles gained his RKO Pictures contract, Herrmann worked for him. He wrote his first film score for Citizen Kane (1941) and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Score of a Dramatic Picture. He composed the score for Welles's second film, The Magnif...
Herrmann is closely associated with the director Alfred Hitchcock. He wrote the scores for seven Hitchcock films, from The Trouble with Harry (1955) to Marnie (1964), a period that included Vertigo, North by Northwest, and Psycho. He was also credited as sound consultant on The Birds(1963), as there was no actual music in the film as such, only electronically made bird sounds. The film score for the remake of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) was composed by Herrmann, but two of the most significant pieces of music in the film — the song, "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)", and the Storm Clouds Cantata played in the Royal Albert Hall — are not by Herrmann (although he did re-orchestrate the cantata by Australian-born composer Arthur Benjamin written for the earlier Hitchcock film of the same name). However, this film did give Herrmann the opportunity for an on-screen appearance: he is the conductor of the London Symphony...
From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, Herrmann scored a series of notable mythically-themed fantasy films, including Journey to the Center of the Earth and the Ray Harryhausen Dynamation epics The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, Mysterious Island and The Three Worlds of Gulliver. His score for The 7th Voyage was particularly highly acclaimed by admirers of that genre of film and was praised by Harryhausen as Herrmann's best score of the four. During the same period, Herrmann turned his talents to writing scores for television shows. He wrote the scores for several well-known episodes of the original Twilight Zone series, including the lesser known theme used during the series' first season, as well as the opening theme to Have Gun–Will Travel. In the mid-1960s he composed the highly regarded music score for François Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451. Scored for strings, two harps, vibraphone, xylophone...
As well as his many film scores, Herrmann wrote several concert pieces, including his Symphony in 1941; the opera Wuthering Heights; the cantata Moby Dick (1938), dedicated to Charles Ives; and For the Fallen, a tribute to the soldiers who died in battle in World War II, among others. He recorded all these compositions, and several others, for the Unicorn label during his last years in London. A work written late in his life, Souvenir de Voyages, showed his ability to write non-programmatic pieces.
Herrmann's music is typified by frequent use of ostinati (short repeating patterns), novel orchestrationand, in his film scores, an ability to portray character traits not altogether obvious from other elements of the film. Early in his life, Herrmann committed himself to a creed of personal integrity at the price of unpopularity: the quintessential artist. His philosophy is summarized by a favorite Tolstoy quote: 'Eagles fly alone and sparrows fly in flocks.' Thus, Herrmann would only compose music for films when he was allowed the artistic liberty to compose what he wished without the director getting in the way: the cause of the split with Hitchcock after over a decade of composing scores for the director's films. His philosophy of orchestrating film was based on the assumption that the musicians were selected and hired for the recording session — that this music was not constrained to the musical forces o...
Herrmann is still a prominent figure in the world of film music today, despite his death in 1975. As such, his career has been studied extensively by biographers and documentarians. His string-only score for Psycho, for example, set the standard when it became a new way to write music for thrillers (rather than big fully orchestrated pieces). In 1992 a documentary, Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann, was made about him. Also in 1992 a 21⁄2-hour-long National Public Radio documentary was produced on his life — Bernard Herrmann: a Celebration of his Life and Music (Bruce A. Crawford). In 1991, Steven C. Smith wrote a Herrmann biography titled A Heart at Fire's Center, a quotation from a favorite Stephen Spenderpoem of Herrmann's. His music continues to be used in films and recordings after his death. "Georgie's Theme" from Herrmann's score for the 1968 film Twisted Nerve is whistled by assassin Elle Driver in the hospital co...
These awards and nominations are recorded by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences: 1. 1941: Winner, Music Score of a Dramatic Picture, The Devil and Daniel Webster (later renamed All That Money Can Buy) 2. 1941: Nominee, Music Score of a Dramatic Motion Picture, Citizen Kane 3. 1946: Nominee, Music Score of a Dramatic Picture, Anna and the King of Siam 4. 1976: Nominee, Original Score, Obsession 5. 1976: Nominee, Original Score, Taxi Driver
American Film Institute
In 2005 the American Film Institute respectively ranked Herrmann's scores for Psycho and Vertigo #4 and #12 on their list of the 25 greatest film scores.His scores for the following films were also nominated for the list: 1. Citizen Kane(1941) 2. The Devil and Daniel Webster(1941) 3. Jane Eyre(1944) 4. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir(1947) 5. The Day the Earth Stood Still(1951) 6. North by Northwest(1959) 7. Taxi Driver(1976)
British Academy Film Awards
1. 1976: Winner, British Academy Film Award, Best Film Music, Taxi DriverPart of Herrmann's score for The Trouble with Harry was used in a 2010 U.S. television commercial for the Volkswagen CC.Music from the Vertigo soundtrack was used in BBC Four's Spitfire Womendocumentary, aired in the UK in September 2010.A 2011 TV commercial entitled "Snowpocalypse" for Dodge all-wheel drive vehicles uses Herrmann's main title theme for Cape Fear."Gimme Some More" by Busta Rhymes is based on a sample from Herrmann's score from Psycho.
Herrmann's work for television includes scores for such westerns as Cimarron Strip, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Have Gun - Will Travel, as well as the 1968 suspense TV movie, Companions in Nightmare. For The Twilight Zone: 1. Opening and closing themes (used only during the 1959-1960 season) 2. Where is Everybody? (first aired October 2, 1959) 3. Walking Distance (first aired October 30, 1959) 4. The Lonely (first aired November 13, 1959) 5. Eye of the Beholder (first aired November 11, 1960) 6. Little Girl Lost (first aired March 16, 1962) 7. Living Doll (first aired November 1, 1963) For the Alfred Hitchcock Hour: 1. A Home Away From Home (first aired September 27, 1963) 2. Terror at Northfield (first aired October 11, 1963 3. You'll Be The Death Of Me (first aired October 18, 1963) 4. Nothing Ever Happens in Linvale (first aired November 8, 1963) 5. The Jar (first aired February 14, 1964) 6. Behind the Locked Door (first aired March 27, 1964 7. Body in the B...
- Fantômas Remake of Cape Fear Soundtrack
- Section on Hitchcock Collaboration
- Melodrams vs. Melodramas
- Norma Shepherd's Death
- War of The Worlds
- External Link Suggestion
- Suggestions For Additional Material
- Calling Experts on Wuthering Heights
- The Other Bernard Herrmann
Something should also probably be put into the article about the fact that he was apparently an extremely unpleasant person to work with, and got along with practically nobody. Williamb22:28, 19 April 2006 (UTC) Doesn't belong in an encyclopedia.--126.96.36.19923:44, 14 August 2006 (UTC)Unopeneddoor Well his temper is notorious so maybe it should be included. --188.8.131.5213:19, 01 February 2007 (UTC) 1. 1.1. His abrasiveness is mentioned in the early life and career section as one of the reasons his future in-laws disliked him. Eudemis (talk) 03:54, 4 April 2010 (UTC) Given his... crankiness... it's certainly appropriate. One of the most-notorious stories concerns Herrmann having recommended David Raksin for an assignment (Laura, I think). When Raksin called to thank Herrmann, Herrmann practically screamed at him: "Well, I wouldn't have recommended you if you weren't any good!" WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 18:27, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I wrote in the Trivia section that Fantômas made a remake of the Cape Fear soundtrack... just wanted to let you people know... --Zouavman Le Zouave16:56, 21 October 2006 (UTC) --The list of works could use some editing - the first couple of works are definitely juvenalia, and several others are not listed. A bibliography would also be useful. kosboot21:45, 5 February 2007 (UTC) 1. The list is taken directly from the Smith biography listed in the article and is the most complete listing that I have of Herrmann's concert works. If you know of more, additions would be welcome. Gershwinrb (talk) 11:18, 1 February 2008 (UTC) 1. 1.1. I'll revise it when I get some time. kosboot (talk) 17:53, 28 February 2008 (UTC)
This is a disorganized section, and it conflates Herrmann's biography with Hitchcock. The particular Wikipedia problem is that the author declared the Torn Curtain score to be Herrmann's best. That appears to be a personal opinion and should not be in a Wikipedia article. -- kosboot (talk) 13:12, 4 March 2008 (UTC) 17:02, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
He called them Melodrams, and made a distinction between what he wanted and what a Melodrama is. So it's not Melodramas, but Melodrams. -- kosboot (talk) 03:04, 24 April 2008 (UTC)
Does anyone know why his wife died the same day he did?Jeanshirk (talk) 20:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC) That's incorrect. Norma is still alive. -- kosboot (talk) 04:38, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll have to check, but I recall that Herrmann said that no new music was composed for this show, that what little music it had was simply pop songs badly played by the orchestra. -- kosboot (talk) 17:51, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
There is an hour-long talk on 'Film Music: Hitchcock's Psycho', by British academic, Roger Parker, which analyses the music in Psycho: http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=45&EventId=789 I think that this would be an very good addition to this page. (I only don't put it up myself as there is a possible conflict-of-interest as I am connected with Gresham College, where the lecture was given). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jamesfranklingresham (talk • contribs) 13:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Sometime in the late 50s or early 60s, Herrmann composed many (possibly hundreds) of short cues for CBS. CBS used them in many programs, which is why some Perry Masonepisodes have Herrmann-ish sounding scores, yet his name doesn't appear in the credits. There's one little bit of Herrmann genius that I've never seen analyzed. In The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, there's a flashback in which Gregory Peck's character kills a German soldier. In Herrmann's music, you "hear" everything that's going through Peck's mind. It is the single greatest piece of film scoring I have ever heard. WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 18:35, 20 August 2010 (UTC)
I've just written an article on Wuthering Heights (Herrmann), and I'm having some difficulty confirming the statement, found in numerous google hits, that it was first staged in a concert version in London in 1966. Those hits never give any details of the singers etc, just the bare assertion that it was staged there. The long Music Web Internationalarticle goes into quite some detail about Herrmann's attempts to get a production going. It gives details about the 1966 recording on Pye that he funded. But it makes no mention of any concert version presented in 1966. Nor does the BH Society site make any mention of it. Other sites flatly deny that Herrmann ever saw the work presented on stage; yet he lived in England and would surely have at least attended (if he wasn't totally involved in) the supposed very first staging of the work most dear to his heart. I'm getting that someone has confused the 1966 recording with a non-existent concert staging, and that misinformation has been cop...
I'm glad the article mentions the confusion with the other Bernard Herrmann, whc conducted a BBC orchestra. He was quite well known in Britain in the 70s, and the confusion still occasionally crops up. When the same error was made in a newspaper article a few years ago, the son (or daughter) of the 'other' Bernard Herrmann commented: "... I would like to put the record straight. The conductor of the NDO was in fact Bernard Herrmann (note the real spelling). Quite a coincidence that the two men pursued musical careers. After conducting the NDO ,Bernard moved to the Midlands where he continued to play with, conduct and arrange for the Midlands Radio Orchestra. The two Bernards met only once and enjoyed some banter about the rightful recipient of royalty payments! During his career,the English Bernard was a highly respected musician and was best known for his leadership of the NDO and thirty years of conducting the orchestra on the 'Good Old Days'. Still enjoying retirement in the Midl...
Bernard Herrmann ( New York, 29 juni 1911 - Hollywood, 24 december 1975) was een Amerikaans componist. Hij wordt gerekend tot de grote filmcomponisten van de 20e eeuw. Herrmann is vooral bekend van zijn samenwerking met Alfred Hitchcock. Alhoewel hij voornamelijk bekend is van zijn werk voor de film, componeerde hij tevens de muziek voor radio ...
- 29 juni 1911
- Max Herman
- New York
Bernard Herrmann (født 29. juni 1911, død 24. desember 1975) var en amerikansk komponist kjent for sitt arbeid innen filmindustrien.
De Bernard Herrmann, gebuer den 29. Juni 1911 zu New York City a gestuerwen de 24. Dezember 1975 zu Los Angeles, war en US-amerikaneschen Dirigent a Komponist, deen duerch seng Filmkompositioune bekannt gouf.