Bernard Herrmann was often described as being ‘temperamental’ and ‘explosive’
by nature. However, very few could ever criticize his approach and dedication
in regards to his work. His collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock are
today reflected upon as legendary; a clash of personalities which proved that both
fire and gasoline didn’t necessarily have to end in utter devastation.
tie in with Record Store Day UK 2018, Silva Screen Records have released a
strictly limited edition 7” EP showcasing the very best of this turbulent and
tremendous partnership. The Double A Side single (SIL71566) features two tracks
from Vertigo (Prelude / The Nightmare) with the flipside featuring Overture /
Main title from North by Northwest. The music is perfectly executed by the
highly respected City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Paul
crackles with tension as James Stewart’s character Scottie goes through an
emotional wringer. Herrmann blew away the lush melodies that dominated music in
films of previous decades and delivered harsh, stinging, repetitive themes overlaid
on a deceptive symphonic score. The sound is as experimental as the film, which
60 years from release remains one of the milestones of cinematic history. One
year on in North by Northwest, Cary Grant is the man in peril. This time it’s
not mentally but physically as he is pursued by a spy network and the police.
Herrmann ratchets up the tension with an orchestral tour-de-force which
highlighted the thrill of the chase. Herrmann described it as, “a kaleidoscopic
orchestral fandango designed to kick-off the exciting rout which follows."
Screen has produced just 1200 individually numbered copies of this attractively
designed 7” single. Pressed in a transparent Amber coloured vinyl and given the
continuously swelling number of Herrmann devotees, I very much doubt that this
will remain around for too long. So check in with your local participating
Record Store Day UK outlet to avoid any possible disappointment. You’ll find it
to be well worth it.
CLICK HERE TO FIND A RETAILER THAT WILL STOCK THIS ITEM ON RECORD DAY UK, 21 APRIL