Review: Examining the lesser-known side of Bernard Herrmann

Posted on: April 27, 2016

“A significant number of [Bernard] Herrmann aficionados feel … that much of this composer’s music is not just neglected but sorely underappreciated,” writes David Mermelstein in Tuesday’s (4/26) Wall Street Journal. “Recently, at Georgetown University and the National Gallery of Art … a series of programs … examined … the radio dramas he scored during his 16-year association with the CBS Symphony Orchestra and the still largely ignored music he wrote for the concert hall. Joseph Horowitz … was the moving force behind this gathering, which convened from April 15 through 17 under the banner ‘Bernard Herrmann: Screen, Stage, and Radio.’ … The gathering’s highlight [was a] live re-creation of a [Norman] Corwin-Herrmann radio drama, this one titled ‘Whitman’ (1944).… The live music was provided by PostClassical Ensemble, a local group conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez and run by Mr. Horowitz.… Corwin repurposed portions of Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’ as anti-Axis propaganda…. Herrmann produced great scores not just for Hitchcock, but also for other gifted directors … William Dieterle’s ‘The Devil and Daniel Webster’ (1941), Joseph Mankiewicz’s ‘The Ghost and Mrs. Muir’ (1947), Nicholas Ray’s ‘On Dangerous Ground” (1951) … Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976).”

Posted April 27, 2016