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CD Review

The Great Movie Thrillers

Dutton Vocalion 4178
  • Ernest Gold:
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
  • The Young Philadelphians
  • Judgement at Nuremberg
  • The Last Sunset
  • Inherit the Wind
  • Pressure Point
  • A Child is Waiting
  • On the Beach
  • Saddle Pals
  • Exodus
  • Too Much, Too Soon
  • Bernard Herrmann:
  • Pyscho (A Narrative for Orchestra)
  • Marnie
  • North by Northwest
  • Vertigo: Prelude, The Nightmare, Scene d'amour
  • A Portrait of Hitch from 'The Trouble with Harry'
London Festival Orchestra/Ernest Gold
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Herrmann
Dutton Vocalion CDLK4178 87m ADD Rec 1963/69

Having studied Alfred Hitchcock's great films, I was waiting in earnest for the reissue of this fabulous Phase 4 LP featuring some of his most important film scores, particularly the hair-raising 'Pyscho' and the doomed 'Vertigo.

'A Narrative for Orchestra' features the most important themes from 'Pyscho' which include the terrifying staccato sequences and the dreamlike adagios that create such a palpable sense of terror and suspense.

'Marnie' is not a particular favourite of mine but the ten minute excerpt comes across as quite intriguing. My particular favourite remains 'Vertigo' with the doomed beauty of Kim Novak and James Stewart particularly irresistible. The opening sequence matched with that famous eye close-up is one of the finest marriages of music and vision.

I must confess that I did not find much pleasure in the Ernest Gold items which are sturdy rather than memorable. The famous 'Exodus' is truly beautiful but the pieces recorded here are too short for gestation yet I enjoyed 'Inherit the Wind' and the justly somber 'Judgment at Nuremberg'.

However, film aficionados will most definitely want this disc for the Hermann items, most of which have been unavailable on CD for many years.

Copyright © 2003, Gerald Fenech

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