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En dehors de quelques lignes, considérations musicales techniques, ce livre qui ne sera jamais traduit reste accessible au plus modeste des anglophones. Il constitue dés lors l'ouvrage rêvé pour toute personne désireuse d'en apprendre autant que possible sur cet homme. Son cheminement musical, personnel et professionnel. Qualité de documentation exceptionnelle jusqu'aux correspondances personnelles, Smith ayant acquis la confiance successive des trois femmes qui jalonnèrent la vie du maître. Et de sa fille. Fruit d'un travail passionné, d'une richesse et d'une accessibilité remarquable (se dévore comme un roman, Herrmann étant un personnage éminemment romanesque), cette biographie constitue La référence définitive.
For a long time I've had the pleasure of enjoying many of the films which Bernard Herrmann elevated with his signature musical style. The complete story of his life was no less interesting. He shared many characteristics of artists who I feel a similar affinity with, like Scriabin and Hitchcock, while remaining a unique personality. This biography, the only one I'm familiar with was well-written and thorough, allowing a multifaceted perspective on his life and work. It also provided some insights which I'm keen to use for my Music History paper this semester. For one, I feel like he best summed up music's role in sound film, as one aspect of a collaborative art. After the main body of the book, there is a complete transcript of remarks on film music that he made at a university film class. One is also provided with a complete filmography and recording discography for further watching and listening. If you in any way enjoy movies and/or music, this book is for you. Highly recommended.
Bernard "Benny" Hermann--one of, if not *the* greatest composer ever to write music for films--was an enfant terrible. He lived on long enough to become un vieil homme, as well. This revealing book celebrates the genius of the man as a musician and collaborator, but pulls no punches when it comes to depicting his many misadventures and mishaps as a man. Hermann burned almost every bridge he crossed, offended the very people who might have helped him, and so insulted his orchestra players that whenever he made a conducting mistake, as he often did, they followed him to ultimate disaster, causing Benny to lose the many symphony engagements he so coveted. Tail between his legs, he went to London to live and work. The next generation of filmmakers rediscovered him, and, in old age, he ended working for "the kids," as he labeled them. Even then he could not restrain his serpent tongue. When Spielberg heard he had returned to Hollywood, the then young director came to his scoring stage, and literally knelt before him--there were no chairs--to pay him homage. Benny said, "If you think I'm so great how come you keep using Johnny Williams?" An impossible man, but also a very great musician whose scores are now almost all available to us on CDs, proving once again and for all that a very infantile man can also be a supremely mature artist
An insightful look into the life of a legend of the silver screen. Bernard Herrmann was a genius who is primarily remembered for his outstanding film scores for Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane", Robert Wise's "The Day the Earth Stood Still", several Alfred Hitchcock classics including his haunting "Vertigo", a handful of Harryhausen films including the fanciful "7th Voyage of Sinbad", Francois Truffaut's poetic "Fahrenheit 451" and "Brian de Palma's mysterious "Obsession".
Smith does an outstanding job of presenting Herrmann's life and times and music. Herrmann's acerbic, oft-times mercuric temperment would suffer no fools. His gift for remarkable orchestration, as one reviewer put it, would make reading a phone book sound great. Herrmann's as composer and conductor spanned radio presentations, concert halls, opera, classical music and the cinema.
Quite simply, Smith's biography of Herrmann a must-read for anyone interested in film scores, behind-the-scenes film-making, brilliant music and the genius that was Bernard Herrmann.
One of filmdom's most innovative and influential composers was the late Bernard Herrmann. Remembered mostly for the six films that he scored for director Alfred Hitchcock, the composer had successes with other filmmakers, along with a long tenure as lead conductor of the CBS Orchestra on radio. During his time at CBS, he wrote many compositions for the medium, and finished an opera based on Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights".
Author Smith has compiled a fascinating look at Herrmann, exposing the man's genius that went hand-and-hand with his tempetuosity. The book also reveals how Herrmann suited his music for the characters that were to be seen onscreen, crafting each note to the storyline and the director's wishes.
"A Heart at Fire's Center" is a must-read for those that admire the man, as well as for those that have an interest in the nuances and mandates of scoring for the movies.
Steven Smith's study of the life of Bernard Herrmann thoroughly traces the development of Herrmann's career with all of it's frustrations and many of it's achievements. The author takes great care to portray Herrmann's complex personality frequently given to outbursts of anger and frustration to even his closest supports and friends. Herrmann's disappointments in his less than successful conducting career, struggles to achieve acceptance as a composer of serious music, and blow ups with major directors including Hitchcock , with whom some of his greatest film scores were achieved, are well documented by Smith. Herrmann's early work to promote the music of Charles Ives, including recordings of movements of two of Ive's symphonies are described. Quoting the composer's views of music for film and the aesthetics of film, the author has written a throughly documented and enjoyable book for those interested in an important composer of 20th century American film scores.