On the Town

Screaming in Strings

By Steve Wiecking September 22, 2009 Published in the October 2009 issue of Seattle Met

WHEN COMPOSER BERNARD HERRMANN learned that Psycho would not be filmed in color he said he decided "to complement the black–and–white photography with a black–and–white sound"—an orchestra consisting entirely of strings. Adam Stern who conducts Hitchcock’s Psycho with Seattle Symphony this month considers the result the greatest film score of all time. "I grew up watching this film and I love it and I’ve conducted it in concert—but never with the film" he says excitedly. "So this is a whole new ballgame for me." Hitchcock’s movie dialogue included plays on the big screen while Stern watches a TV monitor with tiny flashes of light that tell him where and when the live accompaniment should kick in. Brace yourself while Janet Leigh prepares her final rinse.

So spine-tingling! Hear a sample of Herrmann’s famed score HERE.

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