Prince of Players/Garden of Evil

Prince of Players/Garden of Evil

by Bernard Herrmann
     
 

Although officially titled Garden of Evil, the first 11 minutes of this CD are given over to another Bernard Herrmann score, for the 1954 movie Prince of Players. The latter is an unexpected treat, showing Herrmann in an uncharacteristically light-textured, lighthearted mood in his underscoring of the various episodes in the film's depiction of actorSee more details below

Overview

Although officially titled Garden of Evil, the first 11 minutes of this CD are given over to another Bernard Herrmann score, for the 1954 movie Prince of Players. The latter is an unexpected treat, showing Herrmann in an uncharacteristically light-textured, lighthearted mood in his underscoring of the various episodes in the film's depiction of actor Edwin Booth and his career; starting with the blazing, extroverted fanfare, there are moments here that don't sound like much of anything else that Herrmann ever wrote for the screen, mostly -- in the estimation of scholar Steven C. Smith -- because he was essentially writing for the theater here, responding to the theatrical sequences and stimulus provided by the biography. Much of it is very low-key and quietly elegant, in a manner closer to Herrmann's concert work than to most of his movie work, and if there is a drawback to this opening, it's only that some of the movements in the suite last less than a minute. The music from Garden of Evil is some of the finest adventure scoring ever done by Herrmann, and in some ways it anticipates the music that he wrote for Journey to the Center of the Earth five years later at the same studio -- the shape and texture of the music is eerie, with masses of dissonant horn and brass parts, and ominous percussion stings depicting the menace of the movie's journey into a remote part of Mexico. The new recording by William T. Stromberg and the Moscow Symphony Orchestra captures the timbres of the original music perfectly, though one suspects that the original tracks conducted by Herrmann at Fox -- which, theoretically, could turn up at any time on the Film Score Monthly label -- are even tighter and brighter. If there is a drawback to any of the material on this CD, it's that it is sometimes played a little bit too elegantly, losing some tension even as it brings out the music materials more clearly. Some of the cues here -- especially one referred to as "The Quarrel" -- will also be familiar from their reuse, as part of the Fox library, in television shows such as Time Tunnel and other fantasy/adventure series (especially those produced by Irwin Allen) during the 1960s. The annotation is more than thorough, and the production is clean and sharp, although one also suspects that the original music tracks from 1954, if they've survived, might also be brighter and louder.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/06/1998
Label:
Marco Polo
UPC:
0730099384124
catalogNumber:
223841

Tracks

  1. Prelude  - Bernard Herrmann
  2. The Tour  - Bernard Herrmann
  3. The Dressing Room  - Bernard Herrmann
  4. Idyll  - Bernard Herrmann
  5. Hamley (Interlude)  - Bernard Herrmann
  6. The Traitor  - Bernard Herrmann
  7. Murder  - Bernard Herrmann
  8. Finale  - Bernard Herrmann
  9. Prelude  - Bernard Herrmann
  10. Siesta  - Bernard Herrmann
  11. The Start  - Bernard Herrmann
  12. The Cliffs  - Bernard Herrmann
  13. The Chasm and the Valley  - Bernard Herrmann
  14. Leah  - Bernard Herrmann
  15. The Stone Arrow  - Bernard Herrmann
  16. Hooker  - Bernard Herrmann
  17. The Mission  - Bernard Herrmann
  18. The Circle  - Bernard Herrmann
  19. The Church  - Bernard Herrmann
  20. Nocturne  - Bernard Herrmann
  21. The Quarrel  - Bernard Herrmann
  22. Aftermath  - Bernard Herrmann
  23. The Wooden Cross  - Bernard Herrmann
  24. The Mine  - Bernard Herrmann
  25. The Feather  - Bernard Herrmann
  26. Fuller  - Bernard Herrmann
  27. The Shrine  - Bernard Herrmann
  28. The Smoke Signals  - Bernard Herrmann
  29. The Revolver  - Bernard Herrmann
  30. The Wild Party  - Bernard Herrmann
  31. Leah's Vigil  - Bernard Herrmann
  32. Fuller's Devotion  - Bernard Herrmann
  33. The Departure  - Bernard Herrmann
  34. The Indian  - Bernard Herrmann
  35. Fuller's Plan  - Bernard Herrmann
  36. The Apache  - Bernard Herrmann
  37. Daly's Death  - Bernard Herrmann
  38. Fuller's Death  - Bernard Herrmann
  39. The Watchers  - Bernard Herrmann
  40. Night Scene  - Bernard Herrmann
  41. The High Rocks  - Bernard Herrmann
  42. The Chase  - Bernard Herrmann
  43. The Cards  - Bernard Herrmann
  44. The Ridge  - Bernard Herrmann
  45. The Return  - Bernard Herrmann
  46. The Sharpshooters  - Bernard Herrmann
  47. Finale  - Bernard Herrmann

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