Bernard Herrmann

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Bernard Herrmann
Born June 29, 1911(1911-06-29)
New York City, New York, United States
Died December 24, 1975(1975-12-24) (aged 64)
North Hollywood, California, United States
Cause of death Heart failure
Years active 1941 - 1975
Spouse Lucille Fletcher (2 October 1939-1948)
Lucy Anderson (1949-1964)
Norma Shepherd (27 November 196724 December 1975)

Bernard Herrmann (June 29, 1911December 24, 1975) was an American composer known for writing music for movies.

He won the Academy Award for the movie The Devil and Daniel Webster made in 1941. Herrmann often worked with director Alfred Hitchcock, including Psycho, North by Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and Vertigo. He also wrote music for many other movies, including Citizen Kane, Cape Fear and Taxi Driver. He also wrote music for radio drama including works for Orson Welles. He wrote for several fantasy movies by Ray Harryhausen, and many television programs.

Movie scores[change | edit source]

Note: This is by the date of release, not when they were written

Year Title Director Notes
1941 Citizen Kane Orson Welles Oscar nominee
The Devil and Daniel Webster
also known as All That Money Can Buy
William Dieterle Oscar winner
1942 The Magnificent Ambersons Orson Welles Uncredited
1944 Jane Eyre Robert Stephenson
1945 Hangover Square John Brahm
1946 Anna and the King of Siam John Cromwell Oscar nominee
1947 The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Joseph L. Mankiewicz
1948 Portrait of Jennie William Dieterle Theme
1951 The Day the Earth Stood Still Robert Wise Golden Globe nominee
On Dangerous Ground Nicholas Ray
1952 5 Fingers Joseph L. Mankiewicz
The Snows of Kilimanjaro Henry King
1953 White Witch Doctor Henry Hathaway
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef Robert Webb
King of the Khyber Rifles Henry King
1954 Garden of Evil Henry Hathaway
The Egyptian Michael Curtiz Co-composer: Alfred Newman
Prince of Players Philip Dunne
1955 The Trouble with Harry Alfred Hitchcock
The Kentuckian Burt Lancaster
1956 The Man Who Knew Too Much Alfred Hitchcock
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Nunnally Johnson
The Wrong Man Alfred Hitchcock
Williamsburg: the Story of a Patriot George Seaton Short subject
1957 A Hatful of Rain Fred Zinnemann
1958 Vertigo Alfred Hitchcock
The Naked and the Dead Raoul Walsh
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad Nathan Juran
1959 North by Northwest Alfred Hitchcock
Blue Denim Philip Dunne
Journey to the Center of the Earth Henry Levin
1960 Psycho Alfred Hitchcock
The Three Worlds of Gulliver Jack Sher
1961 Mysterious Island Cy Endfield
1962 Tender Is the Night Henry King
Cape Fear J. Lee Thompson
1963 Jason and the Argonauts Don Chaffey
The Birds Alfred Hitchcock
1964 Marnie Alfred Hitchcock
1965 Joy in the Morning Alex Segal
1966 Torn Curtain Alfred Hitchcock unused score
Fahrenheit 451 François Truffaut
1968 The Bride Wore Black François Truffaut
Twisted Nerve Roy Boulting main theme featured in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003)
1969 The Battle of Neretva Veljko Bulajic
1971 The Night Digger Alastair Reid
The Battle of Neretva Veljko Bulajic
Endless Night Sidney Gilliatt
1973 Sisters Brian De Palma
1974 It's Alive Larry Cohen
1976 Obsession Brian De Palma Oscar nominee
Taxi Driver Martin Scorsese Oscar and Grammy nominee; BAFTA winner

Radio scores[change | edit source]

Melodramas[change | edit source]

These works are for a speaker and a full orchestra. These were written to be played over the radio because a human voice would not be able to be heard over the full volume of an orchestra. The 1935 works were written before June 1935.

  • La Belle Dame Sans Merci (September 1934)
  • The City of Brass (December 1934)
  • Annabel Lee (1934-1935)
  • Poem Cycle (1935):
    • The Willow Leaf
    • Weep No More, Sad Fountains
    • Something Tells
  • A Shropshire Lad (1935)
  • Cynara (1935)

Music for radio shows and dramas[change | edit source]

  • Palmolive Beauty Box (1935?) (2 existing cues)
  • Dauber (October 1936)
  • Rhythm of the Jute Mill (December 1936)
  • Gods of the Mountain (1937)
  • Brave New World (1956)

Concert works[change | edit source]

  • The Forest: Tone poem for Large Orchestra (1929)
  • November Dusk: Tone Poem for Large Orchestra (1929)
  • Tempest and Storm: Furies Shrieking!: for Piano (1929)
  • The Dancing Faun and The Bells: Two Songs for Medium Voice and Small Chamber Orchestra (1929)
  • Requiescat: Violin and Piano (1929)
  • Twilight: Violin and Piano (1929)
  • March Militaire (1932), ballet music for Americana Revue (1932)
  • Aria for Flute and Harp (1932)
  • Variations on "Deep River" and "Water Boy" (1933)
  • Prelude to Anathema: for Fifteen Instruments (1933)
  • Silent Noon: for Fourteen Instruments (1933)
  • The Body Beautiful (1935), music from the Broadway play
  • Nocturne and Scherzo (1935)
  • Sinfonietta for Strings (1935)
  • Currier and Ives Suite (1935)
  • Violin Concerto: Unfinished (1937)
  • Moby Dick: Cantata (1937)
  • Johnny Appleseed: Unfinished Cantata (1940)
  • Symphony (1941)
  • The Fantasticks (1942)
  • The Devil and Daniel Webster Suite (1942)
  • For the Fallen (1943)
  • Welles Raises Kane (1943)
  • Wuthering Heights: Opera (1951)
  • Echoes: String Quartet (1965)
  • Souvenirs de Voyage (1967)
  • The King of Schnorrers (1968) Musical comedy

Other pages[change | edit source]

  • Columbia Workshop - a radio series for which Herrmann was music director and wrote music for many episodes.
  • High Anxiety— a comedy that makes fun of many Hitchcock movies and Herrmann's music.
  • Hitchcock & Herrmann— a stage play about the relationship between Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock.

Books[change | edit source]

  • Smith, Steven C. (1991). A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann. US: University of California Press. ISBN 0520071239.
  • Cooper, David (2001). Bernard Herrmann's Vertigo: A Film Score Handbook. US: Greenwood Press. ISBN 031331490X.
  • Cooper, David (2005). Bernard Herrmann's The Ghost and Mrs Muir: A Film Score Guide. US: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0810856794.
  • Johnson, Edward (1977). Bernard Herrmann - Hollywood's Music-Dramatist - Foreword by Miklos Rozsa. Rickmansworth, UK: Triad Press - Bibliographical Series No. 6.

Other websites[change | edit source]

References[change | edit source]