Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 11:24 AM   
 By:   gsteven   (Member)

I'm very curious how much Herrmann's original conception of this score differs from what's heard in the film. Can I assume that the Mendelssohn "Wedding March" is still used in a minor thematic way?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   couvee   (Member)

Ah, finally I received a message that this will be delivered to my door on Monday 17th... This will be a looooong weekend.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   John Black   (Member)

Great news about ENDLESS NIGHT!

I'm still very much looking forward to hearing THE BRIDE WORE BLACK, but don't know when SAE will ship it.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 1:14 PM   
 By:   couvee   (Member)

The only composer that Herrmann held in esteem was Igor Stravinsky. Orson Welles was about the only director that he liked personally. He thought Hitchcock was a cold frog who would saw his own mother in pieces if it could raise 5 extra cents for his film. He hardly had any good word for Truffaut. On the contrary, he could scold effortlessly for a quarter of an hour without interruption about this crook who dared to change his music in the editing of The Bride Wore Black, put the music for the comical scenes to the tragic scenes and that kind of idiocy, as if Herrmann himself had never thought about what music was right for what scene in that film, let him take some idiot for the music in his next film, the deaf quail!

Oh, and he liked Charlie Ives of course!

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   Jerome Piroue   (Member)

I'm very curious how much Herrmann's original conception of this score differs from what's heard in the film. Can I assume that the Mendelssohn "Wedding March" is still used in a minor thematic way?

Not minor! The whole score depends on it! big grin

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 1:54 PM   
 By:   Jerome Piroue   (Member)

...Truffaut. On the contrary, he could scold effortlessly for a quarter of an hour without interruption about this crook who dared to change his music in the editing of The Bride Wore Black, put the music for the comical scenes to the tragic scenes and that kind of idiocy, ...


Huh, let's not forget that Truffaut is one of the greatest directors that ever lived, with at least a dozen great movies to back this up, from "400 Blows" to "F451", to "Day for Night" and "Bride" of course.

That he and BH didn't see eye too eye on a few things is... life, that's all.

They were both tremendous artists.

"let him take some idiot for the music in his next film, the deaf quail!": the idiot was Antoine Duhamel, a repeat collaborator. wink
He also employed Georges Delerue many times.

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 4:51 PM   
 By:   Guenther K   (Member)

The only composer that Herrmann held in esteem was Igor Stravinsky.

Rubbish.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 5:03 PM   
 By:   Jim Cleveland   (Member)

The only composer that Herrmann held in esteem was Igor Stravinsky.

Rubbish.


I second this!(The "Rubbish" part, that is!big grinbig grin)!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 5:56 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rll77ORAUso

And now? roll eyes


I actually found this video about 30 seconds after I posted that *shrug*

So yeah. Hype.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 8:20 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

The only composer that Herrmann held in esteem was Igor Stravinsky.

Rubbish.


I second this!(The "Rubbish" part, that is!big grinbig grin)!




Page Cook once told me Herrmann had a great respect for Alfred Newman.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 10:53 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

He held a lot of composers in high esteem, including Cyril Scott, Ives, Joachim Raff, and many others.

 
 Posted:   Dec 14, 2018 - 11:21 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

He held a lot of composers in high esteem, including Cyril Scott, Ives, Joachim Raff, and many others.

And the Beatles!

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 12:57 AM   
 By:   couvee   (Member)


That he and BH didn't see eye too eye on a few things is... life, that's all.

They were both tremendous artists.


This was typical Herrmann, very outspoken. He made many enemies that way, and I doubt he really meant everything he said. I merely quoted something he said in one of his outbursts.

There is a very interesting CD issued by The Film Music Society titled 'Conversation piece, an unvarnished chat with Bernard Herrmann', with 78:57 minutes of interview conducted September 26, 1970 by Leslie Zador and Gregory Rose in North Hollywood, CA. Very interesting stuff.

Herrmann had excellent instincts of what worked in a film, no doubt, just look at the films he did. That made him one of the greatest film composers. Truffaut had his own artistic ideas, how he wanted to use the music. But it didn't help his film I think, and Herrmann was insulted by this behavior. Godard is another director who would take a composers work and chop it up to bits and use it in any way he saw fit. It was a bit the Nouvelle Vague approach and a composer like Michel Legrand (who himself was in a way part of the Nouvelle Vague) didn't mind, but you could not do that to Herrmann.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   litefoot   (Member)

Just finished listening to the main section of the CD! It's all f*king PERFECTION !!!

And as I was reading the booklet, guess what? Quartet will be RELEASING ENDLESS NIGHT in 2019!!!

How cool is that?


Where did you hear/read hat - in the booklet or an announcement on social media?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 3:36 AM   
 By:   Stefan Schlegel   (Member)

Truffaut had his own artistic ideas, how he wanted to use the music. But it didn't help his film I think, and Herrmann was insulted by this behavior. Godard is another director who would take a composers work and chop it up to bits and use it in any way he saw fit. It was a bit the Nouvelle Vague approach and a composer like Michel Legrand (who himself was in a way part of the Nouvelle Vague) didn't mind, but you could not do that to Herrmann.

It is not quite as easy as you describe it and you to have to differentiate much more. Godard and Truffaut had totally different approaches on how to use music in their films. For example, Antoine Duhamel who scored Truffaut´s romantic drama LA SIRÈNE DU MISSISIPPI in 1969 - just like his previous BRIDE WORE BLACK an adaptation of a Cornell Woolrich (or here rather William Irish) novel - with a lot of conscious musical Herrmann references (the Messiaen pupil Duhamel himself admired Herrmann very much) made just the same experience with Truffaut as Herrmann and was very disappointed by this collaboration. In interviews Duhamel stated that Truffaut didn´t know at all what he wanted - at first he wanted almost no music in the movie, then Duhamel had to write an hour of music of which in the end only about 15 minutes remained in the movie. And Duhamel - in the same way as Herrmann - was also not at all satisfied with Truffaut´s often wrong placement of the tracks he had composed. Duhamel described Truffaut as someone who was not very much interested in the post-production, in the mixing and the recording of the music so that for him the score was more a tapestry of sound than a real musical work. This was also the reason why he soon ended his collaboration with Truffaut in 1970 after DOMICILE CONJUGAL.
On the other hand, Duhamel enjoyed very much his work with Godard on PIERROT LE FOU and WEEKEND, although Godard used only fragments of the music he had for the most part composed before the films were even finished. Duhamel always stated that Godard had very clear ideas about using the music like a modern painter and he was therefore more like an orchestra conductor who knew exactly how to use and place music in his films. Therefore in Duhamel´s words it was one of the most fruitful collaborations he had ever had with a director with often surprising and wonderful results.
Of course, it is clear that Herrmann would have certainly not enjoyed it working with Godard because he had a completely different and very strong personality.

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 4:58 AM   
 By:   Jerome Piroue   (Member)

Just finished listening to the main section of the CD! It's all f*king PERFECTION !!!

And as I was reading the booklet, guess what? Quartet will be RELEASING ENDLESS NIGHT in 2019!!!

How cool is that?


Where did you hear/read hat - in the booklet or an announcement on social media?


"And as I was reading the booklet..." In the booklet. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 5:53 AM   
 By:   couvee   (Member)

Godard and Truffaut had totally different approaches on how to use music in their films.

Exactly right. Thanks for pointing that out. Totally different filmmakers as well. Personally I think Godard is a more interesting director who did a lot of innovative stuff that is taken for granted now but was outrageous at the time. And he could be terribly funny. Not all his films are easy to digest (or any good at all) but he tried new things all the time. He was a keen listener to classical music too. I think Truffaut wasn't that interested in music really. Although he used pre-recorded music by Maurice Jaubert while shooting 'L'Histoire d'Adèle H', aiding Isabelle Adjani to let go of her tears at the flow of the music.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 5:59 AM   
 By:   patmos.beje   (Member)

The only composer that Herrmann held in esteem was Igor Stravinsky.

Rubbish.


Herrmann was something of an Anglophile. He was, among others, friends with Vaughan Williams. I am pretty sure I read, perhaps in the biography of him, that he admired Elgar. I cannot help thinking that a certain moment in the waltz music in Obsession is either consciously or unconsciously influenced by, or perhaps a tribute to, the third movement - Rondo: Presto - of Elgar's Second Symphony.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 6:36 AM   
 By:   Quartet Records   (Member)

Hi to everyone,

I have not posted on this board – or even announced our new releases here – for several months because, besides being very busy, I’m a shy man and don’t know what I can contribute. I always prefer that our albums speak for themselves. But now, I think it will be good to clarify certain things in a positive mood.

I expected this brand-new recording might generate some controversy (what release doesn’t these days?), but I honestly did not expect the discussion to go where it has gone. Some comments that have been posted elsewhere – on the Herrmann Facebook board and on our own Facebook page (and that we deleted, because it's our Facebook page after all) – have implied that we stole this project from Mr. William Stromberg. I want to assure everyone that this is absolutely not true.

I'm a huge admirer of Mr. Strombergy and his work; I have all his recordings on both Marco Polo and Tribute. I think his approach to Herrmann is first-rate, as is his interpretation of Steiner (“King Kong” is one of the best re-recordings I've heard), and I'm looking forward to “Dial M For Murder.” But I can’t get into anyone's head and know what they’re thinking. Mr. Stromberg recorded his last album for Tribute seven or eight years ago, and until last September he hadn’t announced his return to the podium with Intrada, or if he had announced it before, I certainly did not know about it. I deeply regret it if he feels disappointed, but I can’t feel guilty about anything.

The story behind “The Bride Wore Black” is as follows: We started thinking about this album in November 2016, the work started in September 2017, and it was recorded a year later, in September 2018. Getting the funds was not easy, and those who have followed Intrada’s and Tadlow's Kickstarter campaigns know how much money we're talking about. A project of this magnitude can’t be organized in a few weeks.

Before preparing the new recording of The Orphanage with Fernando and The Basque National Orchestra last year, we managed to combine a commitment from the orchestra with some financial aid in order to start a series of re-recordings. We had been trying to do this for several years and were excited to see the arrangements coming together. We were hoping to make one new recording a year, starting with "The Orphanage" (a personal desire of Fernando), and continuing with other titles. "The Bride Wore Black" immediately came to mind. It was one of the most popular unreleased scores of Bernard Herrmann, a famous film by François Truffaut, the 50th anniversary of the film would be in 2018, and, above all, I have always felt a personal fascination for this underrated but solid score.

Recording was initially planned for October 2018, but due to a conflict in the orchestra schedule the sessions were advanced to September 13, 14 and 15. The earlier date was not a problem since everything had been prepared by Fernando and his team before the summer.

We prepared an official announcement of this recording, with suitable fanfare, and even made a video about the project. We also planned videos of the sessions, that we had intended to post on Facebook every day of the recording.

But suddenly, on Saturday, September 11, a post announcing a Kickstarter program to finance a new recording of "Dial M for Murder" appeared on both the Intrada forum and on this board. It was a big surprise – and a coincidence. My first human reaction was sadness, but a few hours later I decided to cancel the whole promotion prepared for the recording of "The Bride Wore Black" so as not to steal any thunder away from Intrada’s exciting project. Can you imagine how unpleasant it would be if a label started a Kickstarter campaign to finance a project, in a legitimate and honest way, and another label announced just 48 hours later that they were starting a self-financed new Herrmann recording with others to come later? Honestly, as a professional and colleague, I could not have done this. So we shelved our promotion and continued discreetly with our album. Several people in the business can confirm that this happened exactly as I am saying.

It seems totally insane to read comments on our Facebook page that accuse us of having “stolen this project from Intrada and Stromberg!" Intrada knew about our “Bride” recording in August 2018, and expressed gratitude to us for canceling our promotion and leaving the Intrada announcement without “competition” so that it would have the greatest chance of success. So why are posters trying to create a problem between two labels when none exists?

Responding to some comments I have seen on the Herrmann board and other places:

– Someone took us to task for using trumpets instead of French horns in the cue “The Wedding,” but they are wrong! We used French horns just as Herrmann’s score indicated! There were no trumpets at our sessions. What more can I say?

– Someone pointed out that Herrmann used lots of quick notes in “The Wedding” to create an effect. If this refers to the film version … well, this cue was cut and edited in a rather abrupt manner. We have recorded every note that Herrmann wrote in a coherent way.

– Someone criticized us for only recording the music included in the film and none of the unused material. The film contains 34 minutes of music, our album 57. And if you read Frank K. DeWald’s booklet notes you can discover what was in the film, and what was not.

– “The violins are a disaster because they have little brightness”... In fact, there are no violins in this score. The string section consists of only violas, cellos and basses.

– Someone wondered why our track titles differed from those on file at UCSB ... After a thorough search, the publisher couldn’t find any registered cue titles for this score beyond M1, M2, M3 ... so we had their permission to include our own titles as long as in the mechanical license agreement these were in parentheses after the official film titles. That wasn't necessary in the album, only in the agreement (you can check it on our website), so we decided to create titles that better reflected what is happening in the film. After all, Herrmann's manuscript has no titles other than M1, M2, M3 ...

– "I prefer the synthesizer version that one guy is doing in YouTube instead of your trash recording" … I don’t have an answer to that.

Other posters seem disappointed because they would have preferred William Stromberg conducting. That’s OK, and I can understand that everyone has their preferences, but sorry, this is a recording of an unreleased score by Bernard Herrmann made by another team. No one could be sure that another version could happen. Do I have to apologize for producing this?

About the recording, everything in life can be done better, but something that makes this album special is the spirit that Fernando Velázquez has given it. A conductor is not simply a hand that waves a stick; his personality is also an important part of his job. That’s the art of live music: there are human beings playing, not machines. This and any other score would sound different with Velázquez or William Stromberg, with Nic Raine or Joel McNeely, or Elsa-Peka Salonen, Rumon Gamba, David Newman, Carl Davis, Allan Wilson, Dirk Brossé, John Debney, Bruce Broughton or any other talented conductor at the helm. And the same applies to the orchestras, the environment of any studio, or the mixing engineer. Some recordings are superb and others a disaster. Jerry Goldsmith was highly criticized for his recordings of Alex North and some of his own works, and even Bernard Herrmann was lambasted for taking some of his music too slowly on re-recordings. Many factors impact the final result, and every person has his or her own personal taste. Most of my friends prefer the James Conlon version of “Vertigo,” but I prefer the McNeely. And it's OK.

I would like to say that it is not wise to judge the music of “The Bride Wore Black” by the film recording. Some of the musicians who were at the recording session in Paris still remember how tense was the relationship between Herrmann and Truffaut, and the large number of changes that were improvised on the spot. The recording was not especially terrific; Herrmann conducted some parts but later ceded the work to Andre Girard. So, the choice we made with Fernando was to record the score as it was conceived by Herrmann, respecting the tempo and the intention of what was written. The sound is intentionally a bit raw and dry, due in part to the unusual orchestration but also to Fernando's preference (and our own), without any unreal or processed reverb. Some of the other film recordings from Herrmann’s last period were also beautifully raw and dry (“Sisters,” “It’s Alive,” “Taxi Driver”). This album is a declaration of love and respect for the composer and his music, bringing to life a score that nobody had cared about in 50 years. (Well, that's not entirely fair, since we and many other labels have made great efforts to find the original elements, albeit unsuccessfully.)

But the album is no longer ours, it’s yours, and everyone who spends their money to buy it has the full right to give their opinion, praise or criticize it. But, please, although I'm very used to the heat in the kitchen, it's not fair to say what has been said before even listening to it. This takes away the strength, the courage and the energy of those of us who are trying to save the music we love at a time when the music industry is totally in crisis. Are any of the major companies recording complete classic film scores with a symphony orchestra?

Whoever buys the CD and reads the liner notes will discover on page 21 that we are working (also with Fernando) on “Endless Night” for 2019. Yes, it's a fact. Initially, the intention was to record an album with “The Bride Wore Black” and “Endless Night” together. We mistakenly thought that the scores, about 35 minutes each, could be paired together. But when “Bride” grew to 57 minutes, we chose to focus solely on the Truffaut film.

“Endless Night” is booked with the orchestra for next spring, and the reconstruction work is almost finished, so we have already invested a lot of money. As I said before, "The Orphanage" started a new series with Fernando Velázquez and after these two Herrmanns others could follow. We have our own wish list, which includes “Vera Cruz,” “The Four Feathers,” an album pairing “The Soft Skin” and “Une femme est passé” (Delerue), another devoted to John Addison with “Guns for Batasi” and “Start the Revolution Without Me.” There was also “Murder by Death,” which doesn't make any sense now that Varese has given us the original tracks (at last!) All these are just wishes; nothing is confirmed yet. First, we need to see how our initial titles fare.

One recording every year, if finances and energies permit, and perhaps with the help of Kickstarter if necessary, would make this a beautiful long-term project, which together with the gems brought to us by Tadlow, Prometheus, Intrada and other brave souls, could preserve the legacy of film music. Personally, I’m very excited about this, and I don’t want to feel differently. At the end of the day, it's all about the music.

Jose

 
 Posted:   Dec 15, 2018 - 6:52 AM   
 By:   davefg   (Member)

Jose,

Honestly I think its outrageous that you have to come here to defend your position because of some malcontents. You've nothing to apologise for regarding this excellent recording, which in this day and age we should all be very grateful that this project happened at all. As for waiting around for Mr. Stromberg, your business shouldn't be dictated by the actions of others. I hope that those fools haven't put you off from recording anymore music and I look forward to seeing those videos one day. I will certainly be picking up this recording in the New Year. Keep up the great work. Best wishes, David

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2019 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.