A Heart at Fire's Center
The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann
By (author) Steven C. Smith
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Heart at Fire's Center by Steven C. Smith
Book DescriptionNo composer contributed more to film than Bernard Herrmann, who in over 40 scores enriched the work of such directors as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, and Martin Scorsese. In this first major biography of the composer, Steven C. Smith explores the interrelationships between Herrmann's music and his turbulent personal life, using much previously unpublished information to illustrate Herrmann's often outrageous behavior, his working methods, and why his music has had such lasting impact. From his first film ("Citizen Kane") to his last ("Taxi Driver"), Herrmann was a master of evoking psychological nuance and dramatic tension through music, often using unheard-of instrumental combinations to suit the dramatic needs of a film. His scores are among the most distinguished ever written, ranging from the fantastic ("Fahrenheit 451", "The Day the Earth Stood Still") to the romantic ("Obsession", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir") to the terrifying ("Psycho"). Film was not the only medium in which Herrmann made a powerful mark. His radio broadcasts included Orson Welles' "Mercury Theatre on the Air" and "The War of the Worlds". His concert music was commissioned and performed by the New York Philharmonic, and he was chief conductor of the CBS Symphony. Almost as celebrated as these achievements are the enduring legends of Herrmann's combativeness and volatility. Smith separates myth from fact and draws upon heretofore unpublished material to illuminate Herrmann's life and influence. Herrmann remains as complex as any character in the films he scored - a creative genius, an indefatigable musicologist, an explosive bully, a generous and compassionate man who desperately sought friendship and love. The films scored by Bernard Herrmann include "Citizen Kane", "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", "Vertigo", "Psycho", "Fahrenheit 451", "Taxi Driver", "The Magnificent Ambersons", "The Man Who Knew Too Much", "North By Northwest", "The Birds", "The Snows of Kilimanjaro", "Cape Fear", "Marnie", "Torn Curtain", among others.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780520229396
(229mm x 152mm x 31mm)
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 31-May-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Steven C. Smith
Heart at Fire's Center, Hardback (June 1991)» View all books by Steven C. Smith
No composer contributed more to film than Bernard Herrmann, who in over 40 scores enriched the work of such directors as Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut, and Martin Scorsese. This biography explores the interrelationships between Herrmann's music and his turbulent personal life.
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Author Biography - Steven C. Smith
Steven C. Smith is an award-winning author, journalist, and television producer who has written extensively about film, music, and television. He has worked as a producer for HBO Entertainment News and NBC's Weekend Today; has been a writer/producer on the A&E series Biography; and is supervising producer of the AMC series Backstory. He is also the author of Film Composers (1991).
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