Saturday, 30 July 2011

I'm all about Herrmann right now...

Goodness where has the time gone? It’s almost August and I haven’t written a blog for some time. I blame Bernard Herrmann entirely. You see, Mr Herrmann would have been 100 years old on 29 June and with that in mind there has been a flurry of concerts and events taking place to mark the grand occasion. Not least of all a fantastic month long film season at Bristol’s Watershed Media Centre, with whom I worked a little on beefing up their fine festival micro-site

It seemed all I did throughout May and June was live, breathe and muse on the life and music of Bernard Herrmann, which isn’t a bad thing I suppose. My iPod was – and still is – chock full of the best of Benny. I went to the RPO’s brilliant Film Music Gala, which had a special tribute to BH (that was in fact my last blog entry) and later that month I penned some programme notes for a very special concert at St George’s Bristol, where the Tippett Quartet showcased Herrmann’s captivating ‘Echoes’ String Quartet, alongside a specially commissioned Quartet suite from Psycho. Making the event even more special was the presence of Mrs Norma Herrmann. Having Norma present really added a seal of approval to the concert (a highlight of the Watershed’s festival). I spoke with her a little and she delighted in sharing stories of her time with Benny… ‘He was a terrible pianist…’ being just one of the engrossing anecdotes she came out with.

The event itself was a fine launch as well for my campaign ‘A Blue Plaque for Bernard Herrmann’. Concertgoers at St George’s, Norma Herrmann and the Tippett Quartet themselves were some of the first names to be added in support of having an English Heritage Blue Plaque erected at one of Herrmann’s former London homes.

I’m a couple of weeks away from finally submitting the application document – which I’m assembling with fine assistance from Bernard Herrmann Society scribe Gunether Kogebehn – which will be supported by the petition of names. The list of supporters is still growing and I’m overwhelmed and chuffed to pieces that so many people have gotten in touch to lend their names. This week alone has seen an abundance of support from across the Atlantic with Intrada Records, La La La Land Records, Perseverance Records and Film Score Monthly all adding their stamp to the list. They join the likes of Mark Isham, Debbie Wiseman, Christopher Gunning, Conrad Pope, John Williams, the RPO, the LSO and the Halle Orchestra who have all expressed their support so far. Those are just the big names and there are of course many many of Herrmann’s fans across the world and I thank each and every one of them for supporting the campaign too.

If you’d like to add your name in support then email me now – and I’ll add you to the petition. If you’d like more information on the campaign then take a look at my original article here on the Watershed’s Herrmann micro-site:

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