Bernard Herrmann plays a role, central or supportive in all three Eloquence 2CD film sets issued in November 2010 (Cinema Spectacular (see review) and Miklos Rozsa's Julius Caesar, Ben Hur and Quo Vadis being the other two). It√ïs been a long wait for these recordings to emerge although the Herrmann tracks appeared in limited circulation CDs from Decca during the 1980s. That they surface now √ê and at bargain price √ê is cause for celebration. While 2011 is the centenary of Herrmann√ïs birth these discs would have been hotly welcomed at any time.
Brace yourself for a faithful immersion in the wilder excesses of the Decca Phase 4 process. The balances are superhuman and the spatial effects richly directional. Is it any wonder that Stokowski delighted in this Decca elite series. This exuberant √îsound signature√ï will only be objected to by ascetics.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth (Mountain top and sunrise; Prelude; The grotto; Salt slides; Atlantis; The giant chameleon and the fight; The shaft and finale) (1959)
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (Overture; The duel with the skeleton; Baghdad) (1958)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Outer Space; Radar; Gort; The Robot; Space control; Terror; Farewell and finale) (1951)
Fahrenheit 451 (Prelude; Fire engine; The bedroom; Flowers of fire; The road and finale) (1966)
The Three Worlds of Gulliver (Overture; Minuetto √ê Wapping; Hornpipe; Lilliputians 1 & 2; Victory 1 & 2; Escape; The king's march; Trees; The tightrope; Lovers; The chess game; Pursuit; Finale) (1960)
Citizen Kane (Overture; Variations; Ragtime; Finale) (1941)
Jane Eyre (1944)
The Devil and Daniel Webster (Sleigh-ride; Swing your partners) (1941)
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Interlude; The memory waltz) (1952)
Mysterious Island (Prelude; The balloon; The giant crab; The giant bee; The giant bird) (1961)
Jason and the Argonauts (Prelude; Talos; Talos's death; Triton) (1963)
National Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Herrmann (Mysterious Island and Jason)
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Bernard Herrmann (all except Mysterious Island and Jason)
rec. Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, UK, February 1970 (Citizen Kane, Jane Eyre, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Snows of Kilimanjaro), November 1973 (Journey to the Centre of the Earth, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Fahrenheit 451); Kingsway Hall, London, UK, February 1975 (Gulliver√ïs Travels, Mysterious Island, Jason and the Argonauts)