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Noon Edition

Herrmann: Suite from Psycho

Bernard Herrmann became known for making demands from major film studios and getting away with it, something few film composers managed to do. In particular, Herrmann bucked the trend of relying on standard studio orchestras. His taste for musical modernism, and his insistence on making orchestration decisions himself often resulted in striking, unusual sounds. For "Psycho," he used only a small string ensemble to focus and intensity the film's stark brutality. Although Herrmann's score eventually won over Alfred Hitchcock completely, the two artists originally had a very different conception of the film. Hitchcock originally envisioned Psycho as having a jazz score, and, even more surprisingly, wanted to shoot the famed sequence in which Janet Leigh is murdered in the shower without any music at all.

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