The weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September saw the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBCSSO) perform two very special film-related concerts at Glasgow’s City Halls, both of which celebrated the work of composer Bernard Herrmann.
Fans of 1960’s Alfred Hitchcock chiller, Psycho, arrived on Saturday to watch a screening of the film, with the original soundtrack replaced by just the voices of the actors while the music was supplied by the BBCSSO.
Although I know the film well, this is the first time I’ve been privy to the sight of an orchestra go through the motions of performing Herrmann’s music, and it was fascinating. The best moment was, of course, the shower sequence, and to see a dozen or so violinists screeching (to use a non-technical term) along to Norman’s on-screen actions, was a highlight of the event.
The orchestra even embraced Twitter that evening by tweeting various images of Mrs Bates joining in with the fun:
Then, on the Sunday, Music to be Murdered By found the BBCSSO perform more of Herrmann’s music, this time from Taxi Driver, North by Northwest, Marnie while also including suites from Constant Lambert’s Anna Karenina, Richard Rodney Bennett’s Murder on the Orient Express and more.
Though I missed this concert, the good news is that the entire show is now available to watch in two parts, with the first below and the second over on the BBCSO website (it’s not embeddable unfortunately).
I’m hoping these concerts are just the start of more such events, with the recent debut of the Edinburgh Film Music Orchestra perhaps a sign that film music can find an audience in Scotland.