This release neatly follows Silva Screen's 4CD set of the original TV soundtrack
recordings of music for The Twilight Zone by not only Herrmann, but
also Jerry Goldsmith and others, which we reviewed on this site in
November 1999. (We suggest you refer
to that review and read it in conjunction with this one).
The modern stereophonic, 20-bit digital sound allows this music to breathe
and with all the instruments given depth and perspective we can now fully
appreciate Bernard Herrmann's prodigious imagination and invention in creating
such potently evocative and dramatic music with such limited resources. One
might also infer that the limited budget was saved even further by enabling
two (or more) scores to be recorded at one session, for The Lonely
and The Eye of the Beholder, for instance, share much the same
instrumentation? As Charles Husted, Manager, Bernard Herrmann Music, says
in his notes, "
The Twilight Zone varies from episode to episode
in every particular - it also challenges the logic of everyday normality,
bringing with it a mood of the bizarre, the uncertain, the frightening. A
composer is thus free to explore all manner of dissonant harmonies and
This 2-CD album not only includes all Herrmann's complete scores
for The Twilight Zone but it also has the composer's Main Title
and End Title for the first series plus new Twilight Zone opening and closing
themes for a subsequent series.
Herrmann scored the pilot Twilight Zone episode, Where is
Everybody which featured Earl Holliman as a pilot searching about in
a town presumably deserted of people but then he wakes up after two weeks
in an isolation tank where he has been preparing for a space flight. For
this episode, Herrmann used a chamber orchestra comprising: 12 violins, 4
violas, 4 celli, 2 basses, 2 flutes, oboe, cor anglais, 3 clarinets, 4 horns
and percussion. Herrmann very successfully creates a disturbing sense of
disorientation and isolation, and mounting unease verging on hysteria - a
For Walking Distance, Herrmann has another chamber orchestra comprising
strings and harp. This is altogether warmer and more lyrically sentimental
music for this tale of Martin Sloane (Gig Young), who drives back into his
home town to discover his own past and tries to reshape his own youth with
disastrous consequences. The general feeling of nostalgic security is gradually
dispelled by more anxious figures and there are moments that recall the
expressive intensity of Vertigo ('The Parents' and 'Merry-Go-Round').
The most extended cue is the lovely Elegy that accompanies the climactic
dialogue between the father and the adult Martin.
The Lonely was about a prisoner who, alone on a remote asteroid, is given
a robot woman for company. She has to be destroyed when the prisoner is released.
He is distraut for he has fallen in love with her. Here, Herrmann uses an
extraordinary ensemble comprising: 3 trumpets, 2 trombones with bass trombone,
Hammond organ, 2 harps and 2 vibraphones to create a crystalline score that
not only beautifully evokes the starlit heavens back-dropping the desolate
asteroid landscape, but also in 'The Stars' the prisoner's growing affection
For The Eye of the Beholder, Herrmann again concentrated on the brass
with 3 trumpets, 2 trombones and bass trombone, 2 tubas (adding a rich depth),
4 horns, 2 harps, and 2 vibraphones, with 2 percussionists. This was the
episode in which what appeared to be a hideously disfigured woman's face
turned out to be beautiful and normal amongst a sea of actually disfigured
faces. This nightmare scenario is cleverly sustained by Herrmann's eerie,
threatening, doom-laden score.
Little Girl Lost was about a small girl who is lost in another dimension.
This time Herrmann resorts to an ensemble comprising 4 harps, a mix of alto,
piccolo and bass flutes played by 4 musicians, viola d'amore and percussion.
The effect is brilliant, evoking another world deep and impenetrable and
recalling the deep swirling watery evocations of Herrmann's music for
Beneath the Twelve- Mile Reef. There is also a sense of pathos and
the forlorn for the plight of the little girl while 'Fourth Dimension' is
at once disturbing and merrily, quirkily playful.
Living Doll concerned a cruel father intent on destroying his daughter's
new doll who says sweet things like: "I'm Talky Tina, and I am going to kill
you!" which she does. Herrmann's macabre waltz music is given to just a bass
clarinet, 2 harps and celeste. This dark-seamed music suggests the danger
lurking behind the doll's voluptuousness.
Finally, Ninety Years Without Slumbering concerned an old man who
believed he would die the moment his grandfather clock stops. Herrmann, this
time, uses flute, oboe, 2 clarinets with bass clarinet, harp and vibraphone
to play variations on the well-known children's song, My Grandfather's
A brilliant addition to the Herrmann discography.