There are good stories about Bernard Hermann in the WSJ, including the somewhat famous one about his falling out with longtime collaborator Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock hired Herrmann for 1966’s “Torn Curtain,” but stipulated that the composer needed “to break away from the old-fashioned cued-in type of music we have been using for so long.” The composer agreed to Hitchcock’s demands, then wrote a score very much in the Herrmann tradition, precipitating a bitter quarrel between the two men. Hitchcock dismissed Herrmann, ending a 12-year collaboration.To show what might have been, the “Torn Curtain” DVD includes among its bonus materials several scenes with the Herrmann score in place. His opening theme suggests a more robust cinematic experience will unfold and his underscoring gives the film a gravitas it lacks with John Addison’s lighter, more contemporary touch.
Try a comparison. Which one sounds more dated? The “old-fashioned” Bernard Hermann, or the “contemporary” John Addison?
Here is Bernard Hermann:
Here is John Addison:
I got to tell you, they both burn it up in their own way, but that tenor sax in the Addison piece just won’t fly to my ear anymore.