Film Symphonic : Vertigo - Alfred Hitchcock
Bernard Herrmann, Vertigo (movie by A. Hitchcock)
The German conductor Frank Strobel is a pioneer of film concerts. He introduced the Western world to the film music of Alfred Schnittke, reconstructed the score Prokofiev wrote for the Soviet film Alexander Nevsky and conducted the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the world premiere of the restored version of Metropolis. He introduces the Brussels audience to the score that American film composer Bernard Herrmann composed for perhaps the most famous film of all time: Vertigo by Alfred Hitchcock.
After a traumatic accident, Detective Scottie is forced into early retirement. However, a friend of his asks him for a favour: to follow his wife Madeleine, who is unhealthily obsessed with things from the past. After saving the woman in question from a suicide attempt, Scottie starts a relationship with her. However, he is unable to prevent a second suicide attempt by Madeleine due to vertigo – the reason why he was unfit for work. After this incident, he himself begins to develop an obsession with the past: Madeleine appears everywhere ...
The collaboration between Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann is legendary. They made no fewer than seven films together, with Hitchcock making the length of some scenes dependent on the music of Herrmann, who as a composer always wanted to have the last word. Rising and falling notes are the perfect musical equivalent to the many spiral symbols Hitchcock used in Vertigo. An important motif in the film score is inspired by the foghorns of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay – where Madeleine jumps into the water – and at the film’s climax, Bernard Herrmann’s music refers to Wagner’s Liebestod from the musical drama Tristan und Isolde – a perfect metaphor for the main character’s obsession.
Frank Strobel, conductor
A conductor whose international reputation is built on repertoire of unusual stylistic diversity. Frank Strobel has long been recognised as a leading figure in the space where film meet music.