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Comparing Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho Score and Sinfonietta (1936) — 1 Comment

  1. Having read the Royal S. Brown book I actually agree with you. I don’t think Benny intentionally “robbed” his own work. You hear many identical, quite atonal passages used atmospherically in much of his work. True, some of it is very tonal, but much of it is string-based, quite lushly romantic in an atonal idiom but also highly suggestive and atmospheric. His Sinfonietta, IMO, highlights one of the problems with a film composer moving into the ‘classical idiom’ – too many associations with the moving image in both composition and audience reception. Those swirling, unresolved dominant 7ths in “Vertigo”, whilst tonal, do give an impression of tonal instability – probably because the cadence is delayed, thus creating (as suggested by Brown) a sense of heightened tension and circularity.

    Thanks for the EXCELLENT analysis.

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