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 Posted:   May 30, 2024 - 7:40 AM   
 By:   JB Fan   (Member)

That's probably main crime in industry, that Herrmann wasn't allowed to record whole score.

He probably had same feelings as Mancini with Frenzy. But at least Hank recorded his in full form (thanks again for it, Quartet!)

 
 Posted:   Jun 13, 2024 - 8:40 PM   
 By:   SchiffyM   (Member)

The Addison score is definitely not my cup of tea. I find it hard to believe this is the "pop/jazz" score that Hitchcock was searching for.

Having now listened to this new release, which I am very grateful to have, I have to agree. In general, I respect Addison's scores, but I lose patience with his music pretty quickly. For my taste, it's too light, too frothy, often too wacky. It generally lacks weight and bite to me. I know many will disagree.

In this particular case, he had his marching orders, of course. The main title theme is okay, but to me, it's play-suspense. Nothing about it feels like there's any real danger. Ditto the love theme, which is pretty but sounds like the idea of love without any actual passion. Of course, Addison can't help it that the stars have no chemistry together. Addison adorns it all with overemphatic arrangements that try way too hard, and often sound like a Broadway overture.

I don't mean to be too hard on Addison. I was just hoping to hear something here that made me reconsider this score, and that didn't happen.

As for what there is of the Herrmann score, I don't think it can hold a candle to the best Herrmann/Hitchcock collaborations. But that's unfair, considering three of those are, to me, three of the best film scores ever created.

Hearing Herrmann's original performances, I do hear it somewhat differently from the Bernstein and McNeely recordings, each of which has its strengths and weaknesses. Herrmann is definitely trying to get underneath the material, whereas Addison seems to be applying his music on top of the movie, if that makes sense. He couldn't save the film, but he's trying his best. It's terrific to hear this music as Herrmann intended it, in very nice sound.

So despite my ambivalence about the Addison score that occupies the majority of this release, I'm still very happy to have this! It's a fascinating glimpse into what film music can and can't do to help a film that's desperately confused.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 12:51 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Good points regarding the Addison score, Schiffy. I don't have the new release, so I'm going on old memories of watching the film, but whereas I agree with you about the frothy music (the Broadway sound, the superficial "love" theme, and I'd add the outdated - even by 1966 - "travelogue music"), I do like the way the Main Theme is used throughout. It may be "play-suspense" as you say, but I thought that Hitchcock was almost always play-suspense anyway. So it was a good match. And there's a parallel between Hitchcock's overgrown schoolboy sense of humour and the work of Roald Dahl. Curiously, Addison's music reminds me of Ron Grainer's theme for TV's "Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected". Both are actually quite maddening, but in a way that's appropriate too.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 8:10 AM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Curiously, Addison's music reminds me of Ron Grainer's theme for TV's "Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected".

Very perceptive. Good call.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 8:20 AM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

I recently compared both versions of HIGH POINT, one scored by John Addison and the other by Christopher Young. The contrast is striking.

Addison never missed a chance to underline the very broad comedic - the film wasn't very funny BTW - elements of the film. The result borders on the farcical, whereas Mr. Young scored it straight. Tellingly, Mr. Young left the most absurd scene un-scored.

John Addison was a very talented composer, no doubt about it, but I've always wondered about his dramatic instincts. His music is very well suited for light-hearted movies, almost like a soufflée, but he generally misses the mark otherwise unless one wants to have the Murder She Wrote approach to film music.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 10:38 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

....It may be "play-suspense" as you say, but I thought that Hitchcock was almost always play-suspense anyway. So it was a good match....

I think of play-suspense in things more like Charade and Arabesque from the same period. Or for Paul Newman, The Prize. Or for Hitchcock earlier and later films - The Trouble with Harry, Family Plot, even reaching way back to The Lady Vanishes.

But this movie feels like it should be (mostly) g-d serious, and Hitchcock, the actors, and the Addison are just off.

On the other hand I don't see how Herrmann's score could have worked better for the movie, as so many other elements just don't mesh.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

....It may be "play-suspense" as you say, but I thought that Hitchcock was almost always play-suspense anyway. So it was a good match....

I think of play-suspense in things more like Charade and Arabesque from the same period. Or for Paul Newman, The Prize. Or for Hitchcock earlier and later films - The Trouble with Harry, Family Plot, even reaching way back to The Lady Vanishes.

But this movie feels like it should be g-d serious, and Hitchcock, the actors, and the Addison are just off.

On the other hand I don't see how Herrmann's score could have worked better for the movie, as so many other elements just don't mesh.


The Herrmann score would have at least set the tone. There is a real attempt at treating the subject seriously and identifying the stakes. Some cues would have added a raw energy and oomph that was sadly lacking from the script, the actors - Newman in particular - and even Hitchcock,s rather limp direction.

Even though Charade and Arabesque are light-hearted films, Mancini still shifted gears and was able to perfectly underscore the more suspense oriented sequences. In the Addison scored Torn Curtain, one never feels that the characters are facing either danger or conflict. It falls completely flat.

At least Mr. Herrmann smote - and very effectively so - us with trombones.

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 11:02 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

Oh, I adore the score - it was my first Herrmann album (the Bernstein in the 70's). It's just that by the time I got to the movie 20 years later, it didn't feel like that magnificent music would have lined up well with everything else on screen. It would have been working too hard, certainly harder than anyone else was!

Yes, of course agree on the Mancini scores changing as needed. And I know this isn't Addison's best mode. For me his archetypal scores are Tom Jones and Swashbuckler - that's what he does best.

Though I have to say I was impressed by his score to the lesser known Carol Reed film The Man Between - I thought he gave this early-career film just the right kind of mid-century gravitas it needed. Glad that Gamba and company recorded the theme on the Chandos collection.

I wish more of that had gone into this one....

 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 11:20 AM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)

Yes, of course agree on the Mancini scores changing as needed. And I know this isn't Addison's best mode. For me his archetypal scores are Tom Jones and Swashbuckler - that's what he does best.

Indeed. These scores are awesome and they fit the films like a glove.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 11:27 AM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

Being unsatisfied with both BH & JA, I've pondered upon how Torn Curtain would feel with a Euro-Spy sound.
Lew Wasserman & Hitch wanted music with more 'rhythm' ... that is, a score with band music vibes such as the James Bond soundtracks and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. RCA album.
Herrmann's stance on this studio directive veered in the opposite with its orchestral ostinatos (one does not expect Herrmann to provide 'shake' or 'surf' tunes smile).

My mind speculates on a Torn Curtain score by Ortolani, Trovajoli or Umiliani.
And for those familiar with the 1962 Five Miles to Midnight soundtrack by Theodorakis & Loussier, don't overlook what a musical pi Mikis T. could've had baked in the gas oven. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 14, 2024 - 8:14 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I've been quite impressed by the widespread positivity and celebration of this exciting release! Even people who don't care for the Addison score (and I know there are a decent number of those, for whatever reason) are being fairly positive and respectful, grateful for the Herrmann finally being released.

Yavar


Trying to make a point of picking up any Golden or Silver Age scores that come down the pike. Glad also to see that there seems to be a bit of interest from the younger members. Just about everyone here (except for Howard) counts in that category, alas!


Why I oughta…

 
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