Released under the auspices of the Museum of Modern Art, this soundtrack compilation CD assembles many of the most memorable musical moments from across Alfred Hitchcock's screen output. Obviously, Bernard Herrmann is well-represented as a composer (North by Northwest, Vertigo, Psycho), but so are Miklos Rozsa (Spellbound), Franz Waxman (Rebecca, Suspicion), Roy Webb (Notorious), John Williams (Family Plot), and Dimitri Tiomkin(Strangers on a Train); and even Louis Levy, who handled the music direction for many of Hitchcock's 1930s British thrillers, is given a nod or two for The 39 Steps and Young and Innocent. In many instances, the producers have used the original soundtrack recordings right off the film masters, licensed from the owners of the movies, which is why "No One Can Like the Drummer Man" (from Young and Innocent) sounds so good yet so strange; there are also re-records from the libraries of Varese Sarabande, Milan Entertainment, and Silva Screen represented, so the chances are good that any serious Hitchcock fan or film music devotee will already have most of the music that's here. This CD was packaged for the museum-goer with a new taste for the music, rather than the experienced movie music hand or Hitchcock scholar, but it does contain one non-musical highlight that will probably make it essential to all movie music buffs, a short audio interview with Bernard Herrmann from the early '70s in which he discusses the science and art of writing music for films. One only wishes that it ran longer, as it's one of the more enlightening bonus tracks that's ever shown up on a release of this type, and does reveal a bit of the man behind much of the best music here.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder