David Cooper
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A dance to the music of Herrmann
A figurative dance suite
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This chapter argues that Herrmann’s Echoes owes much to Herrmann’s film work, and in particular has resonances with his scores for Vertigo, Psycho and Marnie. Taking a musicological approach to Herrmann’s concert and film score work, it finds in Herrmann’s music a potent ability to subtly support Vertigo’s narrative development and sonically make manifest its underlying psychological thrust without the need to resort to slavish and literal translation and therefore reduplication of the visual into the aural and musical. In addition, it sets Herrmann’s work within the context of Hitchcock’s oeuvre, examining firstly the musical relationship between Herrmann and Lyn Murray, and the stylistic agreement between them: Murray’s score for To Catch a Thief is more heterogeneous than that of his sometime friend, and a significant proportion is diegetic, drawing strongly on jazz and popular music, while at the same time looking to influences such as early Britten and Prokofiev.

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Partners in suspense

Critical essays on Bernard Herrmann and Alfred Hitchcock


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