Citizen Kane: The Essential Bernard Herrmann Film Music CollectionSilva America (SSD 1093)
Review: Torn Curtain
3.5 / 5 Stars
It was during that first scoring session that only a few cues were recorded - that was all that had existed. But Herrmann had finished writing the score, and now, 32 years after it was written, the complete unused score to TORN CURTAIN has been released on CD. The man who brought this to us is, of course, Joel McNeely. Renouned as one of the worlds leading interpreters of Herrmann's music, McNeely has brought us re-recordings of VERTIGO, PSYCHO, and the upcoming CITIZEN KANE.
The score to TORN CURTAIN is exactly as Herrmann wanted it - monotonous drab, and boring. Occasionally teasing us with large chords that build to nothing, and minimal use of the "full" orchestra, it is this reviewer's opinion that Hitchcock made mistake in removing Herrmann from the project. The tone is perfect for the film - however, it doesn't have any large action sequences worthy of, say, NORTH BY NORTHWEST. Unfortunately, while it may work in the film, this CD is probably one of the most boring CDs I've listened to in a while. There is nothing to "grab" me, and keep me wanting to listen. Sadly, this is a case where the score works better in the film than as music to listen to - but it wasn't used in the film, and as such is hard to listen to at all.
McNeely has impressed us all with his understanding of Herrmann's work, and TORN CURTAIN is no exception. It's just too bad that we will have to wait until October to hear another good Herrmann score: CITIZEN KANE.
[Editors Note: CITIZEN KANE has been delayed until January 1999]
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