Herrmann: Whitman (Radio Drama by Norman Corwin)

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Bernard Herrmann was famous for his film scores, but he was also a leading figure in music for radio, to which he brought his inimitable palette of mood and sonority. Whitman, whose subject is Walt Whitman’s collection of poems Leaves of Grass, was a 1944 radio drama, a genre now much neglected but revived in this newly restored version. Psycho: A Narrative for String Orchestra is not a suite or excerpts from the film but a concert work, re-ordered and re-composed, while Souvenirs de voyage is one of the most polished and seductive of all American chamber works.



Gil-Ordóñez and the PostClassical Ensemble have plenty of experience with Herrmann and perform the music with the proper heated quality. The result is an album that will be essential for Herrmann fans but also of great interest to general listeners.

– AllMusic Guide

With a narrator as Whitman, and a chamber sized orchestra to add impact and color, these many years after the end of the WWII (around the time of its original broadcast), it still carries a profound message. Souvenirs de voyage came towards the end of Herrmann’s life, and was proof of his range of genres that today are overlooked in favor of his film scores. It is a beautiful score, blessed with attractive melodic material and couched in subtle colors. Herrmann was to re-compose music from Psycho years later to form a concert work. It was rediscovered by conductor John Mauceri in 1999.

It would be difficult to imagine finer performances from a number of performers, Whitman, being a World Premiere Recording with the conductor, Angel Gil-Ordonez and the Washington-based PostClassical Ensemble, William Sharp the ideal narrator. Top quality sound, and It comes with an excellent booklet.

– David's Review Corner (David Denton)

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8559883

  • UPC: 636943988329

  • Label: Naxos

  • Number of Discs: 1