Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Bernard Hermann

When I wrote about music for crime films recently, I didn’t mention Bernard Hermann. This was quite an omission, as watching Twisted Nerve reminded me. The eerie theme from that film was used by Tarantino in Kill Bill (a film I haven't seen), and Hermann’s music crops up in many hugely popular movies.

Most people associate Hermann with Alfred Hitchcock, and there’s no doubt that Herrmann’s characteristically ominous music contributed significantly to the suspense that Hitch loved to create. Hermann scored Psycho (including the screechy accompaniment to the famous shower scene) and the marvellous North by North West, but to my mind the music from Vertigo is at least as good.

His other work was varied – he wrote the music for Citizen Kane, Fahrenheit 451 and Jason and the Argonauts – but included some excellent work for crime movies such as Obsession, The Bride Wore Black, and Taxi Driver. And it’s said that his work was an inspiration for the use of violins in the Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’, the song which gave me the title for my very first novel, All the Lonely People.

1 comment:

Juliet said...

The Vertigo soundtrack is sublime in every way - I've often wondered what the film would be without it. Answer: only half the film it is (with apologies to Hitchcock). I often listen to the music without the film, though!