Bernard Herrmann

Psycho: Great Hitchcock Movie Thrillers

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Despite the rather gauche -- yet eye-catching -- cover art, Psycho is a well-chosen selection of compositions from some of Alfred Hitchcock's best-loved thrillers, mainly those written by his musical collaborator of some dozen years, Bernard Herrmann. Although Herrmann did fine work for other directors -- most notably Orson Welles, Robert Wise, and Martin Scorsese -- he remains best known for his Hitchcock scores. Highlights include the urgent, instantly recognizable "Psycho (A Narrative for Orchestra)," a clever compendium of the major cues from the Psycho soundtrack, and Miklos Rozsa's lush and romantic Oscar-winning "Spellbound Theme." It's also one of only two non-Herrmann selections. The other is "Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV Theme" (actually 19th century classical composer Charles Gounod's "Funeral March of a Marionette"), a delightfully mordant bit of whimsy to be sure, but it renders the subtitle "Great Hitchcock Movie Thrillers" somewhat misleading, as it isn't "movie" material in the literal sense of the word.

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