William Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra have recorded several albums for Tribute Film Classics, offering a handful devoted to the film music of Bernard Herrmann. A prolific composer, Herrmann was most famous for his scores for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo, yet his work in other films of the same period, such as the stop-motion animation films of Ray Harryhausen, is also noteworthy. One of these latter films was Mysterious Island (1961), based on the Jules Verne novel, for which Herrmann provided more than 71 minutes of dramatic music. This album re-creates the full score, including all the parts that were cut in the final edit, and the sequence of tracks follows Herrmann's original conception. Stromberg is among a small number of dedicated film music restorers, and he takes pains in getting the music as close to the composer's intentions because of his lifelong enthusiasm for the music; in the case of Mysterious Island, Stromberg claims its vivid music inspired his musical career. (He credits "The Giant Crab" and "The Bird" as having left the greatest impressions on him as a child.) With his artistic commitment and the rigorous playing of the Moscow musicians, Stromberg has produced a powerful re-creation of one of Herrmann's most dynamic scores, and the exceptional sound of the recording gives their efforts an extraordinary payoff.
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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
feat: Bernard Herrmann
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