mardi 12 août 2008

Herrmann vu par… Lalo Schifrin

I met indeed Bernard Herrmann at Universal Studios in 1964. We were both working in the music department and we had offices with pianos next to each other. Also, we had lunch together many times. Our exchange of ideas and opinions was very lively. He hated Pierre Boulez and the post-Webern’s school with passion, while being myself a disciple of Oliver Messiean, I was open to the new ideas of contemporary music. However, we had respect for each other and I did appreciate the fact that even though there was an age difference, he treated me like his equal. My favorite Bernard Herrmann score is Psycho where, ironically, he uses the very techniques which he intellectually didn’t accept, especially in the shower scene. The interesting thing about his collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock in that very scene is that the violence was implicit unlike many movies today, because of Herrmann’s music the gory details were avoided. He was very daring and his strong personality has left a big mark in the history of film music. However, he used to say, “There is no such thing as film composers, there are only composers period.” I also liked very much the scores you wrote for Citizen Kane. My greatest hope is that he left a legacy. I do applaud your endeavor because young composers benefit a lot from learning Bernard Herrmann’s approach to audio-visual counterpoint.

Lalo Schifrin

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