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Neil Brand looks at how the classic orchestral film score emerged in the 1930s via the work of European-born composers such as Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold.

In a series celebrating the art of the cinema soundtrack, Neil Brand explores the work of the great movie composers and demonstrates their techniques. Neil begins by looking at how the classic orchestral film score emerged and why it's still going strong today.

Neil traces how in the 1930s, European-born composers such as Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold brought their Viennese training to play in stirring, romantic scores for Hollywood masterpieces like King Kong and The Adventures of Robin Hood. But it took a home-grown American talent, Bernard Herrmann, to bring a darker, more modern sound to some of cinema's finest films, with his scores for Citizen Kane, Psycho and Taxi Driver.

Among those Neil meets are leading film-makers and composers who discuss their work, including Martin Scorsese and Hans Zimmer, composer of blockbusters like Gladiator and Inception.

1 hour

Last on

Sun 24 Jun 2018 00:00

Clip

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Bernard Herrmann

    Taxi Driver - A Reluctant Hero/Betsy/End Credits

    Performer: Bernard Herrmann.
    • Taxi Driver (soundtrack).
    • Sony Entertainment.
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold

    Adventures of Robin Hood - March of the Merry Men

    Performer: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Epics - The History of The World according to Hollywood.
    • Silva Screen.
  • Max Steiner

    Casablanca Medley: Main Title/Prologue

    Performer: The Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra.
    • Casablanca (1942 Film Score).
    • Silva Screen.
  • Vangelis

    Chariots of Fire

    • EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING LTD.
  • Bernard Herrmann

    Citizen Kane - theme and variations (1941)

    Performer: National Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Classic Film Scores: Citizen Kane.
    • RCA Red Seal (Sony).
  • Miklós Rózsa

    Double Indemnity Suite

    Performer: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • The Golden Age of Hollywood, Vol. 3.
    • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
  • Hans Zimmer

    Gladiator: Honor Him

    Performer: The Lyndhurst Orchestra.
    • Gladiator (Soundtrack).
    • SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING (UK) UNIVERSAL/MCA MUSIC LTD.
  • Hans Zimmer

    Gladiator: The Battle

    Performer: The Lyndhurst Orchestra.
    • Gladiator (Soundtrack).
    • SONY/ATV MUSIC PUBLISHING (UK) UNIVERSAL/MCA MUSIC LTD.
  • Hans Zimmer

    Inception

    Performer: London Music Works.
    • Film Music of Hans Zimmer Vol.2.
    • Silva Screen.
  • John Barry

    Main Title Theme (from The Ipcress File)

    Performer: John Leach.
    • Themeology: Best Of John Barry.
    • Sony Music Entertainment UK.
  • Max Steiner

    Main Title (from King Kong)

    • Bourne Music Ltd.
  • Bernard Herrmann

    Psycho Suite

    Performer: City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • Citizen Kane - The Essential Bernard Herrmann Film Music Collection.
    • Silva Screen.
  • John Williams

    Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: John Williams.
    • Music from the Star Wars Saga.
    • Silva Screen.
  • 00:01

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Marriage of Figaro (Overture)

    Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Georg Solti.
  • 00:41

    Bernard Herrmann

    The Bay

  • 00:43

    Bernard Herrmann

    Psycho: The Murder

  • 00:56

    The Lyndhurst Orchestra

    The Battle

  • 00:59

    The Beatles

    A Hard Day's Night

BBC Arts & Culture

BBC Arts & Culture

Alfred Hitchcock initially told composer Bernard Herrmann to leave the iconic shower scene in Psycho unscored, but Herrmann went ahead. Find out why this and other film music was so effective at heightening our emotions.

 

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Neil Brand
Series Producer John Das
Director John Das
Executive Producer Michael Poole
Participant Martin Scorsese
Participant Hans Zimmer

Broadcasts

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