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GREAT DIRECTORS AND THEIR COMPOSERS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK UND BERNARD HERRMANN

Alfred Hitchcock, quintessentially British with his dry humour and perfectionist approach to directing, worked with the US composer Bernard Herrmann, a well-educated Anglophile with a wide knowledge of British literature, on eight of his films. Many of the subjects Alfred Hitchcock addresses in his films must have chimed with Bernard Herrmann’s personality. The complex opposites of reality/imagination, attraction/repulsion and obsession/lack of attachment seemed to inspire the composer. Ranging from TROUBLE WITH HARRY (1955) to TORN CURTAIN (1966), Bernard Herrmann’s film scores are without doubt among the most imaginative and original film compositions ever created.

In terms of practical performance, Bernard Herrmann’s compositions represented a bit of a
challenge. The timbral range of his compositions stretches from exclusive string sounds in PSYCHO to chamber music instrumentation in THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY and MARNIE (1964) as well as “The Storm Clouds”, a cantata for solo mezzo soprano, mixed choir and large orchestra in THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956). We would have liked to include Bernard Herrmann‘s music for TORN CURTAIN, the composition that eventually led to the breakdown of his partnership (and friendship) with Alfred Hitchcock. The score, however, requires twelve flutes, twelve horns and nine trombones - certainly an exceptional sound experience that is, however, difficult to realise in the concert hall.

So we are all the more happy to present the world premiere of a new suite from MARNIE.
John Waxman, son of Franz Waxman who composed the music for REBECCA (1940) and REAR WINDOW (1954), and his colleagues created a musical poem based on Bernard Herrmann’s handwritten scores portraying the story of Marnie, Mark, Lil, Forio and Bernice for the enjoyment of the audience’s ear and inner eye.

In this film music concert, the hall will be converted into a light show theatre. This is different
from the typical cinema or film theatre experience where audiences sit in the dark watching
events unfurl on screen. Instead, we will stage a musical and visual play between light and darkness, allowing the audience to immerse itself in the world created by Alfred Hitchcock. In our light show theatre, cinematic images disengage themselves from the screen emotions and people become bigger than the screen onto which they are projected.

The light concept we chose focuses on the play between light and darkness, between orchestral sound and musical colour. The different light ambiences are closely linked to the colours flowing from the screen and the orchestra into the philharmonic hall. Orchestral music, cinematic images and light all form a unit, complementing each other in their mutual dependency.

The production requires (detailed information upon request):

digital film projection
screen video monitoring for the conductor
video monitoring for the projection management
stage management
stage platforms for the orchestra, chairs, music stands, music stand lighting
etc.
1 project manager
2 projection technicians
1 manager stills and film excerpts
1 light designer
light schedule

The whole production (including the above staff plus sheet music, film and stills, rehearsal and press material) is available from the EUROPEAN FILMPHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE.

A production commissioned by the Kölner Philharmonie. 

Duration:
95min.
Ensemble:
large orchestra (from 46 Musicians)
Instrumentation:
2+pic.2+ca.3+2bcl.2+cbsn – 4.4.3.1 – timp.4perc – pno/cel/org – 2hp – strings – fender bass – SATB choir
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