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Herrmann: Prince of Players / Garden of Evil
William Stromberg
Herrmann: Prince of Players / Garden of Evil
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
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HERRMANN: Garden of Evil by William Stromberg


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CD Details

All Artists: William Stromberg
Title: Herrmann: Prince of Players / Garden of Evil
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Marco-Polo
Original Release Date: 7/9/1954
Re-Release Date: 7/24/2009
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
Styles: Easy Listening, Symphonies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 730099384124


Album Description
HERRMANN: Garden of Evil by William Stromberg

CD Reviews

Herrmann: Maestro of Musical Atmospheres
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A Herrmann score may not necessarily reflect a catchy tune or uplifting song. No, a Herrmann score will transport the listener to another world where ghosts, monsters and unearthly aliens rule. His music will slice into your soul manipulating your thoughts and feelings. His music is more a palette of colorful orchestra ensembles than mere melodic lines layered as they are with rich patterns and phrases creating an oft-world malevolent atmosphere. Garden of Evil is no exception. It is an excursion into a landscape frought with dark valleys and unseen enemies leading down a deadly trail of pathos and doom! Listeners will then recognize that they have been here before associating this eeriely beautiful score with the familiar music of the Twilight Zone, several reputable Hitchcock films as well as the fantasy and science-fiction genre. If your taste is overtly contemporary this may not be you brand of butter, but if you appreciate innovation and atmosphere, you've reached the gates!"
Impressive Digital Recording for GARDEN OF EVIL
gobirds2 | New England | 11/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"1954's "GARDEN OF EVIL" is Bernard Herrmann's only true Western score and it is an interesting and important one. 1955's "THE KENTUCKIAN" also scored by Herrmann is set in the 1820s and is a true American "frontier adventure." This digital recording of "GARDEN OF EVIL" by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by William T. Stromberg is extraordinary. The original 20th Century Fox recording conducted by Bernard Herrmann that was issued is an equally excellent achievement. This new digital recording gives us the technological ability to hear this score as perhaps it was meant to be heard. I say this because this recording is very faithful to the original capturing every nuance and subtlety that Herrmann put into it. Both recordings stand on their own to what I believe to be esthetically equal footing. Only the technology of the masters is different. That difference allows us to appreciate "digitally" the power and fidelity of the orchestrations, which the original "analog" recordings could not capture. This Bernard Herrmann score is very low-key, yet it remains full of emotion and that is what makes its so interesting and important. The film for which the score was written is very underrated. "GARDEN OF EVIL" directed by Henry Hathaway is a western rich with characterization that seems stereotypical on the surface, but on analysis, runs much deeper. Henry Hathaway is a director known for atmosphere, character and authentic locations. He combines mood and action. This film has all those elements. It is beautifully photographed, yet the picturesque landscapes are juxtaposed with disturbingly photographed death scenes, menacing ever-lurking Indians (always photographed from a distance) and even mysterious looking set designs. The church bell tower sprouting up from the dried lava is all that remains of the town outside the mine and is symbolically ominous in appearance. Frank Fenton's screenplay is filled with vague dialog and only adds to the total feeling of uneasiness that permeates this film. Bernard Herrmann's score accentuates the moodiness of this haunting adventure tale, itself also vague and non-specific always subconsciously playing on our fears and emotions. It is very untypical of the Hollywood western. Only a few minor cues play to our intellect of the Western genre, the rest is pure emotion. Herrmann achieved a recurrent sense of ominous fate throughout this entire film without the score ever tapping into the intellect of the viewer's familiarity of the psychological realm. It appeals to the emotional subconscious. This is a major score by Bernard Herrmann and I rank this as one of his greatest. This CD also contains selections from Herrmann's score for "PRINCE OF PLAYERS." I have not seen this film for many years now. I did however, enjoy the selections from "PRINCE OF PLAYERS" very much. Some fit very much into Herrmann's Americana repartee while others have a tranquil uneasiness about them. These pieces are very interesting and remind me of some of Herrmann's concert work that was recently recorded by James Sedares. These are welcome additions for Bernard Herrmann enthusiasts. If you enjoy Herrmann's music you usually seek out every recording you can find. I highly recommend this CD because it is one of the best and ranks right next to the recent digital recording of Bernard Herrmann's and Alfred Newman's collaborative score for 1954's "THE EGYPTIAN." Also, I find it very paradoxical that the title alone "GARDEN OF EVIL" alludes it was meant for a Herrmann score given his popularity and renown for a certain genre. However, "GARDEN OF EVIL" is something of a conundrum of settings, atmospheres and most importantly human emotions and behavior. If you love Bernard Herrmann's music "GARDEN OF EVIL" is a MUST-HAVE recording. You have to hear it to believe it! I wish "GARDEN OF EVIL" will someday be released on DVD, in widescreen and stereo like it was originally released so we can all witness this remarkable film and score."
Majestic and Impressive Score from Bernard Herrmann
hille2000 | USA | 01/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"William T. Stromberg conducting the Moscow Symphony Orchestra delivers a tour de force performance of Bernard Herrmann's esoteric score for the composer's only Western film GARDEN OF EVIL. This score is strangely moody and mysterious throughout yet contains outbreaks of pure power, which are clearly and technically reproduced by this unbelievable digital recording. The closest film to the Western genre that Herrmann ever composed was THE KENTUCKIAN yet both scores could not be more diametrically apart. THE KENTUCKIAN score contains many lyrical and melodic passages. Here with GARDEN OF EVIL Herrmann gives us mostly fragments or hints of a melody and continually keeps the flow off balance which is very unsettling. The entire film was unsettling. Director Henry Hathaway took a very minimal plot and twisted a tale of emotion driven by greed and ultimately survival. Every day the sun sets and it takes another lost soul each time. Bernard Herrmann's score brilliantly captures this sentiment. Selections from PRINCE OF PLAYERS are also on this CD. These have a much more tranquil and soothing quality than THE GARDEN OF EVIL and not having seen PRINCE OF PLAYERS I really want to see that film. However make no mistake about the fact that the star of this CD is the score to GARDEN OF EVIL. It is a brilliantly conceived composition and is one of Herrmann's most important and penetrating scores."