Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

Reviews and occasional notes on classical music

For the past five years or so I've posted reviews of classical music CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, in various places on the web: Amazon.com, iTunes and other sites. I'll collect those earlier reviews, and add four or five new ones every month.

"Music, both vocall and instrumental, so good, so delectable, so rare, so admirable, so super excellent, that it did even ravish and stupifie all those strangers that never heard the like." - Thomas Coryat, after hearing 3 hours of music at the Scuola di San Rocco in Venice, 1608.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Great film music with some interesting premieres

From September 6, 2014:


I was pleased to see this new Toccata Classics disc of music from Alfred Hitchcock’s films with John Mauceri and the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. The director was more than normally attuned (no pun intended!) to the role that music could play in the total effect of a film, and his collaboration with Bernard Herrmann is perhaps the greatest of any director/composer pair in the movies. The disc is special for two reasons: the informative and insightful liner essays by Mauceri and John Riley, and the appearance of no fewer than four pieces that have never before been recorded. The most interesting of these is Herrmann’s Psycho: A Narrative for String Orchestra, which Herrmann put together in 1968 from nine cues from the 1960 film. Of the other composers included, Dimitri Tiomkin makes perhaps the biggest impression, with suites from Strangers on a Train and Dial M for Murder. But everything in the program is of interest, and it’s all performed at a high level by the Danish orchestra.

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