The Trouble with Harry

Colosseum (4005939597122)
Varèse Sarabande (0030206597127)
Movie | Release date: 10/06/1998 | Film release: 1955 | Format: CD, Download

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# Track   Duration
3.The Murder0:56
4.The Captain1:44
5.The Body1:24
6.Miss Gravely's Test0:38
8.The Doctor1:01
9.The Tramp1:37
10.The Cup1:04
11.Autumn Afternoon0:52
12.The Sketch1:51
13.The Doctor's Return1:09
14.The Police0:47
15.The Country Road0:53
16.Tea Time1:40
17.The Burial1:27
18.Waltz Macabre1:24
19.Waltz Reprise0:42
20.Valse Lente2:21
21.Miss Gravely Diggs0:37
23.The Closet0:25
24.Harvest Eve0:45
25.The Phantom Coach1:09
26.The Walk0:37
27.The Wish0:40
30.Porch Talk1:05
37.The Bathtub0:40
39.The Solution0:54
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The Trouble with Harry - 09/10 - Review of Tom Daish, submitted at
Herrmann's first collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock was not really typical of either of their output. The film was a dead pan black comedy where the trouble with Harry was that he was dead. The music is some of Herrmann's more sublime and pastoral. There are no very tense thriller moments and not much action and so the music is mostly dialogue underscore, however that is not to say it's dull, this is Bernard Herrmann after all. The four note opening motif is almost like a comic version of the motif he created for Cape Fear. As with much of Herrmann's work, the orchestra doesn't tend to function as a whole most of the time. There is a large focus on small woodwind groups, mostly the oboe and clarinet from what I can make out. It tends to bounce around in a suitably comedic manner, but there is the occasional dramatic moment such as in the Doctor's Return. Conversely, the material associated with the doctor is a sprightly, but light gallop played on the strings which gives a nice lift to the pace of the score.

With such short tracks, it's difficult to cite any set piece cues, but then this isn't the kind of film which lend itself to set pieces as such, but each cue blends nicely into the next and the overall pastoral mood is never disrupted greatly by over dramatic or annoy over comedic music. It seems that in an age when comedic music is either way over the top or annoyingly sentimental then Herrmann's music comes as pleasantly gentle and beautifully wrought. The comedy parts I suppose might be deemed a little too melodramatic, but without much irony, especially the low end final note of the opening four note phrase which is perhaps a little over done. The one advantage to younger fans is that McNeely makes the music sound as fresh and not over exagurated, that it's a positive pleasure to listen to.

Whereas some of the other re-recordings on Varese perhaps didn't suit the recording style of the RSNO as well as they might, especially if trying to capture the spirit of the original recording, the gentle nature of this score really does. All the instrument voices are very clear and the detail is superb with McNeely doing yet another sterling job of producing a wonderfully warm and rich sound, which for this kind of score is ideal really. I can thorougly recommend it, although purists will be arguing until hell freezes over as to the merits of the re-recording, for someone like me who doesn't like crackly old recordings, it's a positive godsend and well worth anyone's money.

Other releases of The Trouble with Harry (1955):

Musiques de Films de Bernard Herrmann, Les (1984)

Soundtracks from the collection: Re-recordings

Film & TV Themes Vol. 3 (1993)
Classic CD : Music From The Movies (1997)
Exodus (2009)
Hollywood Action! (2002)
Film & TV Themes Vol. 5 (1993)
Film Classics : Lalo Schifrin Presents 100 Years Of Cinema (2017)
Captain from Castile (1987)
Whatever Lola Wants (1960)
Sacramento (1972)
For the Record: Craig Armstrong (2007)

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