Bernard Herrmann - Vertigo [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] (Original Soundtrack/Film Score) (Music CD)

Release Date: 10 December 2012
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In its own time, this album was one of the jewels of the Mercury Records catalog and of any soundtrack collection that it was part of. Muir Mathieson -- who also conducted the actual film tracks for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, owing to a musicians strike in Hollywood -- did a superb job leading the Sinfonia of London in what was essentially highlights from the complete Vertigo score (which totalled more than 60 minutes of music in the movie itself). The sound on the original LP was state-of-the-art and the CD reissue from the late '80s was its match, and is still impressive in the 21st century, not only in terms of sound but the thoroughness of the annotation. But in the 1990s, the complete -- or virtually complete -- original film tracks were retrieved from the vaults and assembled for commercial release, thus supplanting this recording's original raison d'etre; and Joel McNeely's modern re-recording of the complete score for the film, from 1996, also removed any remaining reason for anyone except a scholar or a Bernard Herrmann or Hitchcock completist to own this recording. That said, however, this was the first complete soundtrack album devoted to the music from an Alfred Hitchcock movie; additionally, on a purely artistic level there are also lots worse ways to discover the music than listening to this recording, which does represent the key portions of the score very well (Herrmann himself only ever got to record a suite that he arranged of the major thematic material, about a decade later, although had he lived longer it's virtually a certainty that he would have done a full re-recording of this score). And in whatever manner one does discover it, Herrmann's music for Vertigo is worth knowing; it wasn't his first score for Hitchcock, but it was the first given a commercial release at the time of the movie's issue, and it was the first in a trilogy of notably weird and threatening bodies of music -- the others were for North by Northwest and Psycho -- that Herrmann wrote for Hitchcock's movies. ~ Bruce Eder

More Detail

  • 1. Vertigo Prelude and Rooftop
  • 2. Madeleine and Carlotta's Portrait
  • 3. The Beach
  • 4. Farewell and the Tower
  • 5. The Nightmare and Dawn
  • 6. Love Music
  • 7. The Necklace and the Return and Finale
  • 8. Pyscho Suite: Prelude/The Murder/Finale
  • 9. The Man Who Knew Too Much: Cantala, the Storm Cloud
  • 10. Noth by Northwest (Prelude)
  • 11. The Wrong Man (Prelude)
Release Date: 10 December 2012
Catalogue No: 9903994462