This 2-CD set features carefully selected themes from 48 film
scores, Highlights include Twisted Nerve (Kill
Bill), Psycho, Vertigo and Taxi Driver...
reprinted the text on the press release (above) as my synopsis
for this CD collection. Why? Well, firstly I'm very lazy,
and secondly I have a number of issues with this collection
and the press release raised a couple more.
I was curious to know what "features carefully selected
themes from 48 film scores" actually meant. I'm guessing
that it really means that Herrmann composed music for 48 movies,
and that 15 of those films have been chosen for this compilation
- because there certainly isn't music from 48 movies on this
collection. And secondly I was surprised to see that Psycho
and Vertigo were listed as "highlights".
Yes, I know these are great scores, but I've lost count of
the number of compilation soundtracks I own with these two
themes on them.
I don't want to come over all cynical - but I'm going to.
Look at the cover for a minute and ask yourself what Silva
Screen where trying to do. We have the composer's name at
the top of the cover and then some images of New York taxi
cabs and "Taxi Driver" in black text on a
yellow background. The real title of this CD "The
Essential Film Music Collection" is neatly hidden
(well "The Essential" is really difficult
to spot at a quick glance). Could it be that knowing that
students buy soundtracks to their favourite films, and that
one of the all time favourite student movies is Taxi Driver,
Silva Screen were hoping that people would pick this up thinking
it was: "Bernard Herrmann's.... Film Music
Collection... for Taxi Driver?"
we only get eight minutes of music from Taxi Driver
I am surprised that it's being marketed so heavily. This is
made even more bizarre when you consider that it is probably
Herrmann's weakest score in this collection.
In truth a lot of these scores have been reproduced on countless
"classic" movie compilations but there are some
gems here to get excited about.
tracks from The Snows of Kilamanjaro are interesting
as are those from The Ghost and Mrs Muir. And, even
though I've heard the Cape Fear theme a thousand times
it still sends shivers down my spine. Marnie and North
By Northwest are also compilation oldies, but still excellent.
The music for Mysterious Island was a nice surprise,
as was On Dangerous Ground.
of Herrmann's music will already own much of this collection,
so will not get any real benefit from buying this. This is
aimed more at the casual soundtrack lover who has only a vague
awareness of who Herrmann is. As an introduction to his music
this collection can't be faulted. But, for poor presentation
and marketing, Silva Screen should bow their head in shame.
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