Fresh off its successful Indiegogo campaign, Kritzerland has returned to the music of Bernard Herrmann (Psycho, Taxi Driver) for its latest soundtrack release. Two Herrmann scores – 1945’s Hangover Square and 1952’s 5 Fingers – have been paired on one CD. Though both have been previously released on CD, they have been newly transferred for Kritzerland by our friend Mike Matessino, and Hangover Square (a favorite score of none other than Stephen Sondheim) has been expanded by sixteen never-before-released minutes of music!
Below, you’ll find Kritzerland’s press release as well as pre-order links! This limited edition release of 1,000 units is due to ship by the last week of September, but pre-orders from the label typically ship an average of two to four weeks early.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Sometimes a movie comes along in which all the elements align perfectly – cast, writer, director, photography, art direction, costumes, and music – and the result is often a unique film that works on every level, and the 1945 film Hangover Square is a perfect example. The cast was perfection, with Laird Cregar as composer/pianist George Henry Bone, beautiful and talented Linda Darnell and the always-wonderful George Sanders. In a film in which a musical composition also plays a leading role, the choice of composer is key to the film’s success. In this case, the match was sublime – Bernard Herrmann.
For Hangover Square, Herrmann’s task was to compose George Henry Bone’s piano concerto. The resulting “Concerto Macabre” is a tour de force – the concerto had to accomplish many things, including beginning and ending with just piano, but it also had to portray the mind of its on-screen composer and his descent into madness. But the concerto is but one piece of Herrmann’s musical tapestry in Hangover Square, and the rest of the score is as evocative and brilliant as the concerto.
5 Fingers was a 1952 spy picture directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Bernard Herrmann was once again the perfect choice for the film. His score conveys every bit of suspense and emotion, from the dramatic main title, to the jittery music for “Cicero,” to the brief-but-beautiful cue “Romance,” to the exciting music for “Escape.” Much of the score almost seems like a preview of what Herrmann would go on to compose for his legendary series of films with director Alfred Hitchcock. It’s a world-class score by a world-class composer.
Both 5 Fingers and Hangover Square were released in the Bernard Herrmann at Fox box set on Varese Sarabande. For that release, Hangover Square was a much-truncated presentation. But thanks to advances in technology and a couple of new sources we present it here with over sixteen additional minutes of music, and what music it is. While the source material for 5 Fingers was in excellent condition, the sources used for Hangover Square were not in as prime condition. Everything possible has been done to clean them up, but the music is so important we wanted to include every note we could. For this CD, Mike Matessino has gone back to the 5 Fingers elements and done a fresh new transfer, which sounds absolutely stunning, and he’s done the same for Hangover Square.
Hangover Square/5 Fingers is limited to 1,000 copies only and is priced at $19.98, plus shipping. CDs will ship by the last week of September. However, never fear – on average we usually ship two to four weeks ahead of the official ship date. To place an order, see the cover, or hear audio samples, just visit www.kritzerland.com.
Bernard Herrmann, Hangover Square/5 Fingers (Kritzerland, 2015)
- Main Title/Fulham Waltz and The Dealer*
- Murder and Fire
- The Clock and The Knife*
- So Close to Paradise (Lionel Newman)*
- The Spell
- The Murder
- Fame and Anger*
- Second Spell*
- The Cat and Netta’s Death*
- The Bonfire
- Recovery and The Invitation*
- Concerto Macabre: First Movement
- Concerto Macabre: Second Movement
- Concerto Macabre: The Lost Movement
- The Embassy
- The Film
- The Old Street
- German Embassy/Berlin
- The Safe
- Five Weeks
- The Trap/The House
- The Charwoman
- The Pursuit
- The Boat
Tracks 1-17 from Hangover Square (1945)
Tracks 18-36 from 5 Fingers (1952)
(*) denotes previously unreleased track