One is grateful for the very notion that a 1990s recording was made of seven of Bernard Herrmann's scores for the Twilight Zone series from the early '60s. During the 1980s, anyone suggesting such an idea to most record labels would have been shown the door in a less than polite manner, but Herrmann's music seemed to sell as the 20th century drew to a close, and the continuing interest in The Twilight Zone didn't hurt. Of all the music here, Herrmann's score for the episode "Walking Distance" holds up the best, a sweetly elegiac ode to passing youth and passing time that stands on its own. Much of the rest, although often very interesting, is simply not that good as music -- Herrmann did as bidden and created very effective, surprising, even otherworldly scores for "Little Girl Lost" and "Living Doll," using instruments such as harps, guitars, and bassoon with great facility, but these still aren't remotely of the quality of his film scores of the same era. It is possible, listening to this material, to discern his further use of such works as Gustav Holst's "The Planets," whose influence could be felt in his music for Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, and it's easy to admire the man's inventiveness and creativity. The recording is excellent, and the performance perhaps a bit too serious, which is ironic since, as a substantial body of music, this lengthy set doesn't hold up. It is too long for its own good, except from the standpoint of Herrmann completists, who will love it.
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