Monty Python and Invasion of the Charioteers, Conducted by John Wilson at the 2013 BBC Proms of Course

Nice going Leopold, you really shot your wad (7:33). But what an overblown piece of music, worthy of its parodic use by Monty Python (“Knightsbridge” and “Dambusters” being other pieces of grand music parodied by the Pythons).

John Wilson Rosza 4.jpg

Don’t get me wrong, I adore most of Miklos Rosza. But it seems to be so typical of the JWO to end their show —Hollywood Rhapsody they called it—with another barn blaster. Still, you get to hear the Grand Organ.

Actually I’d like to have heard the other pieces on the program, particularly David Raksin’s quietly nuanced “Laura”. I did manage to find a clip of the JWO doing their rendition of Bernard Herrmann’s aria from the fictional opera “Salammbo” in Citizen Kane that introduced the incredible Russian soprano Venera Gimadieva (she hits that high D) to western audiences. So that’s good.

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Bernard Herrmann at the Royal Albert Hall, Doris Day Screams

This is what the greatest film composer of the 20th century looks like conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall (2:24). From Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956). Piece is a chorale entitled “The Storm Clouds Cantata” by Australian composer Arthur Benjamin.

Bernard Herrmann

Obsession Directed by Brian De Palma, Scored by Bernard Herrmann

Saw this first run in New York in 1976 with my boyfriend, another huge Brian De Palma fan. The loopiest, nuttiest romance in all of moviedom. In fact I like this movie better than Vertigo, another nutzoid Bernard Herrmann-scored love story–this one’s much more sexually transgressive, always a sure-fire turn-on for me.

Obsession Bujold

Here‘s the giddily overwrought ending. If you haven’t seen Obsession it’s not going to make any sense, so just close your eyes and listen to Herrmann’s ravishing score, the next-to-last one he ever wrote before his death at the age of 64.