Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
North By Northwest: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
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Good Effort Limited by Bad Elements
Pat Harris | Maine | 04/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, Bernard Herrmann's contribution to Hitchcock's classic is one of the key reasons it IS a classic. This score represents Herrmann at his lightest and most flamboyant, leaping between ominous underscore and electrified action music, with a little romance sprinkled in. The climactic chase across Mount Rushmore is one of those relatively rare movie moments when you sense everything firing on all cylinders and that every artist involved is at the top of their game. Herrmann here is no exception; his climatic cues represent one of the all-time highs of film scoring, and are equally thrilling with or without the film. Unfortunately, that is where this album is a bit of a let-down...the source elements they had to work with here were just too deteriorated to get the point across, I'm afraid. If these tracks were the only surviving elements, then I would commend Rhino for at least making an effort, but as others have pointed out, the score on the DVD was obviously pulled from a better source and sounds splendid. However, Rhino deserves all credit for doing their best with what they had at the time, along with putting together their usual excellent package. And don't get me wrong, the majority of underscore on here sounds very nice indeed. But, if Mount Rushmore doesn't work, you don't get the payoff to all of that underscore and the whole seems bland, when it is in fact one of the best ever written. (I, for one, am hoping for a Joel McNeely re-recording somewhere down the line.)"
One of Herrmann's best scores for Hitchcock
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 09/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with "The Wrong Man", "North by Northwest" is among Bernard Herrmann's best scores for a Hitchcock film (I'm not listing "Psycho" because, while it's a brilliant score, it's probably not something most folks would listen to for pleasure). Hitch and Herrmann began their collaboration with "The Man Who Knew To Much" and continued on through 8 movies (ending with "Torn Curtain" which, while composed for the film, was never issued with it until the DVD). Herrmann was Hitch's perfect musical counterpoint; he thought cinematically like Hitchcock did and used music much like Hitchcock used all the elements of film to convey impact.
The opening for "North by Northwest" immediately captures your attention with its swirling theme and unusual use of the horn section of the orchestra makes the film both immediately distinctive (providing a perfect counter balance to what you see) but, more importantly, it stands up to listening without the film there and still conveys much of the tension of the film.
The remastering on this marvelous CD sounds quite good although it's clear that many of the mastertapes were somehow damaged (the liner notes make reference to this as well). While this isn't pristine, it's the only full orchetral version involving Herrmann that's available on CD. Rhino has done its usual thorough job in researching and restoring as much of this music as possible. Herrmann's scores need to have as much dynamic range as possible on CD as the quieter interludes are just as important as the busier, bustling fandango that opens the film and the CD. Highly recommended."