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Anna And The King Of Siam



Anna And The King Of Siam (1946)

Bernard Herrmann 

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The King Of Classic Film Music
Godwin Borg (January 16, 2006)
The name of BERNARD HERRMANN is a very familiar one with pretty much everyone who is into soundtrack collecting or classic cinema and even contemporary classical music. Even people not really into the genre have heard his music, whether consciously knowing it was Herrmann's music or not. Themes from his films (Psycho, North By Northwest & al.) are very often used in other films, TV spots and documentaries, sometimes in their original form or in a very inappropriate rendition by someone who can't even stand in the shadow of the icon BERNARD HERRMANN.

For many people the name BERNARD HERRMANN automatically conjures particular images from the movies he scored for the legendary ALFRED HITCHCOCK and even before him ORSON WELLES and most understandable so, since these are the ones most people know, however though his film scoring career that spanned over 3 years the Maestro scored a myriad of other features, one of the first ones he ever did was this one we’re talking about today; ANNA AND THE KING OF SIAM. Composed in 1946 for the movie directed by then already veteran actor/director JOHN CROMELL this score is one that most probably encompasses the widest spectrum of emotions and atmosphere on one record; from the nostalgic and romantic musical moments to those beautiful eerie suspense cues that HERRMANN excelled so much at! A very dynamic score on its own terms and also a very beautiful example of the Maestro’s creativity and resourcefulness, there’s a couple of stories on how Herrmann introduced some gongs in a scene to cover for the sound of an airplane that passed over the set during filming, fun-facts that are fun to know indeed! Along the gong other Asian instruments were used to complement the orchestra to a a very beautiful end result. There are a few different releases on CD for this score, I would most heartily recommend the Varese/Colosseum one, buy it while it’s still available.

A truly immortal score that will soon be sixty years old, once must say also very well carried. Bravo Maestro. Your genius is unequalled!

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