When Martin Scorsese decided to remake "Cape Fear", he paid tribute to the original by featuring original stars Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, and Martin Balsam in cameos. Scorsese also recognized the contribution of the first film's composer Bernard Herrmann. Thus, Elmer Bernstein, himself a legendary musician (and recent Oscar nominee for "Far from Heaven"), adapted, arranged, and conducted Herrmann's original score for the newer film. This is a marriage of two giants in the business. A score that is as haunting and chilling as the more recognizable works "Psycho" and "Marnie", "Cape Fear" is true Herrmann with its ominous cues and screeching strings. Fans of Herrmann, Bernstein, or Scorsese must have this one!
This is the movie that gave us the phrase "Klaatu barada nikto!" As befits the film that kicked off the Atomic Age's obsession with flying saucers and giant robots, Bernard Herrmann's score is the last word in 1950s sci-fi. Although many of its elements have become cliches over the years, the original has lost none of its power. Thanks to the many eerie, theremin-drenched passages, it's almost impossible to hear that instrument without thinking about guys in space suits. Other great moments: tinkling space pianos, ominous robot monster chords, and weird, plangent orchestrations. One of Herrmann's most visionary and influential scores.
This 2-disc release of Herrmann's first score for Harryhausen is a lavish delight. Firstly, both discs are presented in full stereophonic sound - the full-bodied monaural descriptor being entirely wrong for the disc-1 complete score. This presentation utilizes the same remastered music stems that the Sony blu-ray disc offers, and is sonically splendid. The second disc is the original soundtrack album re-recording, all stereo except one track, and it's the familiar version that's been a collector's item for many years. The soundtrack album was conducted by Muir Mathieson, and contrary to Herrmann's opinion of it, it's a robust presentation of the original score. A masterpiece, right up there with the likes of Moross' THE BIG COUNTRY, North's SPARTACUS, Rosza's EL CID, and Jarre's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.
They say that good things come in small packages, and this CD would seem to be the musical proof of that statement – certainly there are few more unassuming releases in Bernard Herrmann's output. Joy in the Morning is one of the more obscure movies ever scored by Herrmann and, as is pointed out in the notes by Christopher Husted, it was also the composer's last successfully completed major studio project, coming just ahead of the calamity that attended his work for Alfred Hitchcock on Torn Curtain. It has fallen between the cracks across the years, principally because the movie itself was a good deal less stellar than most of the Hitchcock projects (or, for that matter, the Ray Harryhausen projects) with which Herrmann distinguished himself in the early/mid-'60s. This CD is astonishingly good, however, being not only a close cousin to Herrmann's music for Hitchcock's Marnie (1964) but also containing thematic material in common with his clarinet quintet Souvenirs du Voyage, and string writing that also recalls his work for Vertigo and even Psycho, as well as writing for the reeds and winds that have echoes as far back as Beneath the 12-Mile Reef and The Day the Earth Stood Still.
In collaboration with Litto Enterprises Inc., Music Box Records is very proud to present one of its most ambitious releases yet - a classic Bernard Herrmann score from one of his last efforts and an important milestone in his immense career for Brian De Palma´s classic melodrama Obsession (1976) written by Paul Schrader and starring Geneviève Bujold, Cliff Robertson and John Lithgow. In a career often spent paying tribute to Alfred Hitchcock with the likes of Dressed to Kill, Blow Out and Body Double, Obsession even today stands as De Palma’s ultimate fever dream homage to the director who’d made Bernard Herrmann a household name as the romantic master of musical suspense during an eight film collaboration, no more so than with 1958s Vertigo. Yet Obsession’s reincarnation of that masterpiece showed just how devious De Palma always was in his admiration, cloaking a truly seditious plot twist that would’ve given even Hitchcock pause within sleek, star-filtered visuals. Obsession remains his most fervently romantic, and dare one say innocent attempt to recreate the studio gloss of a time when outright violence and sex were left to the mind’s eye, its rage and sensuality truly made explicit in its music. It’s a powerful, stylistic subtlety that increasingly made Obsession into the filmmaker’s most discerning cult film.