The shrieking strings accompanying the chilling shower murder in Psycho
are just as well-known as the scene itself. Initially, director Alfred Hitchcock had decided against background music during what would become the most famous film murder of all time, but for once the undisputed "master of suspense" had to give in to composer Bernard Herrmann. The latter was proven right and film history was written.
Hitchcock had an unrivalled ability to create suspense, and he was well aware of the role that music plays in this process. It comes as no surprise that Herrmann was one of Hitchcock's favourite composers. He wrote scores for The Trouble With Harry
(1955), The Man Who Knew Too Much
(1956), The Wrong Man
(1958), North By Northwest
(1960), The Birds
(1963) and Marnie
German composer Franz Waxman was also on the same wavelength as master manipulator Hitchcock. They made a strong team, joining forces for the soundtracks of Rebecca
(1941), The Paradine Case
(1947) and Rear Window
(1954), which prove that Waxman was not averse to a good dose of suspense.
Herrmann and Waxman worked on 12 of Hitchcock's instant classics, but both also earned their reputation through other unforgettable and moving works.
Herrmann composed the soundtrack for films such as Orson Welles' Citizen Kane
(1941); William Dieterle's The Devil And Daniel Webster
(1941), which earned him an Oscar; Robert Wise's The Day The Earth Stood Still
(1951); John Lee Thompson's Cape Fear
(1962); François Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451
(1966); Brian De Palma's Obsession
(1976) and Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver
Waxman also wrote numerous scores, such as James Whale's Bride Of Frankenstein
(1935); George Cukor's The Philadelphia Story
(1940); Victor Fleming's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
(1941); Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard
(1950), which earned him his first Oscar; George Stevens' A Place In The Sun
(1951), for which he received his second Oscar, and Billy Wilder's The Spirit Of St. Louis
Herrmann and Waxman's musical heritage spans more than 35 years and continues to inspire new generations of film music composers. As such, the importance of these two artists cannot be underestimated. By joining forces with some of the greatest directors of all time, they gave us some nail-biting moments and set the course for exciting film music for decades to come.
Tickets for this concert cost 15 and 30 euros and can be purchased at www.fnac.be. or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 38th Ghent Film Festival will take place from 11th till 22nd October 2011.