It is appropriate that the premiere of our new Daily Trivia Contest: Name That Score coincides with the 100th Birthday of Bernard Herrmann, arguably the greatest film composer of all-time. Starting his career with the score for Citizen Kane, Herrmann has composed some of the most iconic movie scores and has been an inspiration for many of today’s great film musicians. Among his filmography can be found such brilliant films as The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, Farenheit 451, and Taxi Driver. He has composed for master filmmakers Orson Welles, Robert Wise, Francois Truffaut, and Martin Scorcese, and he can be credited for adding a lot of suspense to the films by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.
Like so many great artist, Herrmann got his start with Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre, composing music for many of their radio productions. Herrmann’s best and most well-known work, however, came in his collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock. In each film that the pair made together that both Hitchcock and Herrmann had mutual respect for each other as artists. Hitchcock’s films were so epic in scope, yet so intimate in characters that they were perfectly suited for Herrmann’s music, which could have stood on its own, but found perfect harmony with Hitchcock’s films. Apart from being memorable and suspenseful, Herrmann’s music was moody and could perfectly establish any setting, which is why it was often used to open a film.
In honor of this film legend’s birthday, I thought it would be fitting to post five scores of his that I find particularly inspiring. Enjoy each of them below and be sure to share your favorite Herrmann score in the comments!
Taxi Driver (1976)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)