1954, 1955, 1998, Music

Garden of Evil / Prince of Players (1998) by Bernard Herrmann, performed by Moscow Symphony Orchestra conducted by William T. Stromberg

This disc collects the complete score of the 1954 western Garden of Evil with the suite (i.e. the highlights) of Hermann’s score to the 1955 biopic Prince of Players, both movies which have been somewhat forgotten.

The Prince of Players suite is a very classic Hollywood score. It’s exactly what you would think of and so it’s pretty underwhelming. I guess it’s well done, but hardly stands out from the scores (yuk yuk yuk) of other film music of the era.

Garden of Evil is a far more ominous, interesting piece of music. It’s still somewhat conventional – it lacks the invention of a lot of Hermann’s later work – but it’s a pretty great piece of music as these ’50s Hollywood “dramatic” scores go. I think it’s only under-known because the movie itself is so.

Worthwhile checking this out for the main score, if you’re looking for earlier hints of Hermann’s command of the genre.


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