Home > Reviews > FAHRENHEIT 451 – Bernard Herrmann

FAHRENHEIT 451 – Bernard Herrmann


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Famous French Director Francois Truffaut was fascinated by the possibilities of directing a film version of Ray Bradbury’s acclaimed 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451. He met with the author who was supportive and obtained the film rights. He then secured the backing of Universal Pictures for what would be the company’s first European production. Lewis M. Allen was tasked with producing the film and a modest budget of $1.5 million was provided. Austrian actor Oskar Werner was cast as Guy Montag, which proved a mistake as he would not accept Truffaut’s vision for his character. The conflict was so severe that Truffaut contemplated abandoning the project. Joining Werner would be Julie Christie in a dual role as Linda Montag and Clarisse – a decision later criticized. Cyril Cusack would play Captain Beatty and Anton Diffring would play Fabian. The story is set in a dystopian future where a totalitarian government rules the United States and uses a Gestapo-like force called the “Firemen” to seek out and destroy all books by fire in an effort to suppress dissent, and any idea that challenges the security of the governing order. It explores the life of Fireman Guy Montag who relentlessly finds and burns books believing they make people unhappy. By chance he makes the acquaintance of schoolteacher Clarisse who asks if he ever reads the books he burns. This spurs his curiosity and he begins to hide books, choosing David Copperfield by Charles Dickens to be his first read.

Guy has an epiphany with his complete transformation catalyzed by an old woman who chooses to die burning with her books rather than live without them. He becomes an avid collector, but in so doing, breaks up his marriage and is abandoned by his circle of friends. He is eventually exposed by fellow fireman Fabian, and ordered to burn his personal collection by the Captain of the Fireman. When the Captain pulls the last book from his coat, Montag snaps, kills him, and becomes a fugitive. Eventually he becomes one of the “Book People,” a living incarnation of a book achieved by memorizing it word for word. His choice was Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe. The film was not a commercial success, losing $500,000. It did not receive any Academy Award nominations, and critical reception was mixed, with some reviews scathing, yet the film has aged well and garnered critical acclaim over the years.

Ray Bradbury had long been an admirer of Bernard Herrmann’s music for Alfred Hitchcock’s films, meeting both on the set of Torn Curtain in 1966. During discussions with Francois Truffaut about adapting his novel for the big screen he recommended that he hire Herrmann for the project. A meeting was arranged, and Herrmann asked Truffaut;

“Why do you want me to write ‘Fahrenheit’? You’re a great friend of Boulez and Stockhausen and Messaien, and this is a film that takes place in the future. They’re all avant-garde composers. Why shouldn’t you ask one of them?” Truffaut replied, “Oh no, no. They’ll give me music of the twentieth century, but you’ll give me music of the twenty-first”.

Herrmann was flattered and immediately accepted the offer. His conception of a 21st century score was not what one would expect. Herrmann related;

“I felt the music of the next century would revert to a great lyrical simplicity and that it wouldn’t truck with all this mechanistic stuff. Their lives would be scrutinized. In their music they would want something of simple nudity, of great elegance and simplicity. So I said, if I do your picture, that’s the kind of score I want to write – strings, harps, and a few percussion instruments.”

Truffaut was sold on the idea and once again Herrmann brought his legendary instrument sensibilities to bear. Like he did on Psycho in 1960, he would utilize a string orchestra, although this time he would augment it with harps, xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and vibraphone. There is only one recurring theme and that is the Firemen Theme, which offers a repeating ostinato by strings bellicoso countered by chattering xylophone, which coalesce into a repeating contrapuntal motif. The music is kinetic and aggressive, fully embodying the menace and sinister purpose of these stormtroopers. As was Herrmann’s compositional style, he often utilized succinct, repeating motifs with shifting orchestral auras to drive the narrative flow. Lastly, there are a number of stirring romantic set pieces where we are graced by Herrmann’s gorgeous lyricism.

“Prelude” offers a score highlight where Herrmann perfectly sets the tone of the film. As the Universal Studio logo displays, ethereal harp arpeggios attended by twinkling glockenspiel usher in and then support high register strings sognando repeating a wistful two-note descending motif. The opening credits join not as script, but rather are spoken, as the written word is banished from society. We see numerous TV antennae draped in shifting colorful auras as a backdrop to the spoken credits. The confluence of music, and cinematography creates a surreal ambiance unique to the cinematic experience. In “Fire Station” Herrmann introduces his kinetic Firemen Theme whose aggression fully embodies the menace and sinister purpose of these stormtroopers. They descend the fire pole and set-off in their engine with wailing sirens on yet another mission of destruction carried by their diabolical theme.

“The Lamp” offers a score highlight, which reveals a young man receiving a warning telephone call to get out of his apartment. He bolts as sirens approach his building, barely escaping as the stormtroopers arrive and invade his apartment. They begin to search with music entering grimly as a ceiling lamp reveals the first book. Herrmann supports the systematic discovery of countless hidden books with strings barbaro draped with harp di orrore and shimmering glockenspiel. At 1:05 a hideous danza dall’inferno enters on strings sinistre as the firemen systematically round up dozens of books. As they toss a bag the books to the ground, a new four-note motif by strings with glistening glockenspiel enter and then usher in a surreal descending line by harp di orrore as the firemen prepare a metallic incineration platform to burn the books. A crowd assembles and silently watches the spectacle with solemn reverence. Herrmann supports the scene by shifting the two motifs to and fro in a truly macabre display. At 2:00 slithering strings and twinkling glockenspiel join in unholy communion as Montag dons his fire proof gear and prepares to incinerate the books with a flame thrower. As he takes aim the diabolical danza dall’inferno returns to commemorate the moment. The music after 2:40 is dialed out of the film. A surreal line of swirling harp glissandi and dire strings was intended to support the aftermath where we see children watching from their windows aloft.

In “Clarisse” a monorail moves along its track carried by a descending string line alight with glockenspiel. At 0:10 a romance for strings emerges as we see Montag clearly drawn to her striking beauty. Yearning violins and violas tenero join wistfully, so full of longing, yet we discern in the notes a tangible sadness. The music subsides as she initiates conversation, but he is guarded. She is charming, genuine, and ultimately sets him at ease. They disembark and walk home together with her asking many questions, including if he ever reads any of the books he burns. He states no with the well-rehearsed government line. As they part ways at her house, she asks him “Are you happy,” to which he replies, “Of course.” We segue into “Happiness” as he soon arrives at his house. The music speaks to what is unspoken in Montag, as we discern that he is anything but happy. Plaintive strings speak of emptiness and unfulfillment as he arrives home to his wife Linda, who is more interested in the TV than him. “TV Signals” reveals Linda and Montag sitting down to watch an interactive TV program where she plays a part. Herrmann scores the scene with a strange disconnect and detachment as violins and tapped glockenspiel emote in a separate reality. At 0:28 a clock-like ticking by violas with both struck glockenspiel and glockenspiel glissandi exposes the disconnect between Linda and the totalitarian controlled world in which she lives, but also the disconnect between her and Montag. At 0:53 a new motif by a plucked descending harp and aggrieved strings further expose Montag’s complete disinterest. We close with formless string sighs as the program ends with Linda elated and Montag, bored. The cue was partially dialed out of the film, which I believe was a creative error as Herrmann’s music informed us of the scene’s emotional subtext.

“Bedtime” further reveals the emotional estrangement between Montag and Linda as he coldly critiques her performance, causing her to don her TV earphones and tune him out. Plaintive strings attended by bleak xylophone and formless vibraphone join as the two lay in bed, miles apart. At 0:46 it is a new day and Herrmann provides an extended, and embellished rendering of the Fireman Theme, which carries Montag and his men back to the fire station. In the film the music ends here, yet at 1:16 Herrmann sow’s a misterioso using plucked harp and xylophone to support Montag’s return to the crew’s quarters where he is questioned about his coming promotion. In “The Boys” the Captain angrily berates two cadets in his office as Montag waits outside. Herrmann juxtaposes the tempest inside with eerie, other-worldly strings and vibraphone. Slowly the strings descend in a palpable despair joined by vibraphone and forlorn harp, which dissipate into nothingness as the smiling Captain dismisses the cadets and greets Montag.

“Home” reveals Montag returning home carried by a descending four-note harp motif draped with sad, shifting string harmonics. The TV is on but the house seems strangely empty, with a rising dissonance in strings speaking to Montag’s growing anxiety as he searches for her. We segue into “Pink and Gold Pills” an incredible score highlight where Montag finds her passed out from a pill overdose, forcing him to call for help. Herrmann supports his anxiety with a brilliantly conceived ABA construct. The A Phrase features a sad, repeating four-note descending harp motif, countered by strings emoting a repeating four-note descending motif draped with vibraphone auras. At 0:37 we flow into the B Phrase as violas doloroso shift to and fro with a descending four-note motif with cello counter. We rejoin the A Phrase at 1:07, which dissipates upon harps in a diminuendo of uncertainty. Regretfully, the masterfully conceived cue was severely edited out of the film, with only the B Phrase heard as he searches for the drug bottle. What a shame as I believe Herrmann’s music was perfectly attuned to Montag’s distress and mounting anxiety.

“Recovery” reveals paramedics arriving and asking Montag to step outside as the treat Linda. As he sits alone in the shadows, Herrmann creates a bleak soundscape using formless, aching strings bathed with shifting vibraphone auras, which speak to the emptiness of Montag’s unfulfilling life. “The Bedroom” offers a sumptuous score highlight one of its most romantic cues. The paramedics had advised Montag that Linda would awake with cravings for food, and much more. Well, she eats, prepares a bubble bath, but is not satisfied. Her eyes speak lust, and with intent on pursuing carnal pleasures, she lures Montag into the bedroom, where she seduces him. In a melody that is kindred to, and harkens back to Vertigo’s “Scene d’Amour”. We bear witness to harp and strings appassionato commencing a remarkable valser romantico, which builds on an erotic crescendo, cresting powerfully, yet never culminating, instead, dissipating as the screen goes black. “The Monorail” reveals a vacant, dispirited Montag riding to work as Clarisse watches from afar. Herrmann reprises the waltz, yet it is shorn of its passion and instead emotes with a sad descent into despair by strings doloroso and twinkling xylophone. Juxtaposed visually are sights of people caressing their skin, furs, and of Linda opening her blouse at home – efforts to feel alive. No words are spoken, yet Herrmann’s music speaks volumes.

“The Novel (David Copperfield)” supports a powerful transformative scene where film narrative and Herrmann’s music achieve a sublime confluence. Montag sneaks out of bed and begins to read Charles Dickens’ famous novel “David Copperfield”. As Montag speaks the words Herrmann creates a sense of child-like wonderment, using strings gentile adorned with xylophone, which slowly evolves at 1:15 into a gorgeous romance for strings as we see an epiphany, the quenching by Dickens of a Montag’s thirsting soul. Once again Truffaut to my dismay dialed most of Herrmann’s brilliantly conceived cue from the film. The music for me fleshed out Montag’s epiphany, giving profound meaning to this pivotable scene. In “The Garden,” old people relax as parents watch their children playing in a garden park. All is well with life until firemen intrude and begin searching people and their belongings. Herrmann creates an idyllic ambiance using a free flowing pastorale by strings gentile with a counter cello line. Sadly, this cue was completely dialed out of the film.

In “The Bridge” Montag leaves for work, trailed by Clarisse and an old lady. Herrmann sow’s tension and intrigue with a shifting patterned string ostinato with xylophone accents. At 0:53 a yearning ascent on strings carries her to him as the meet on a bridge. She is distraught, and they head to a café where they can talk. “The Café” Wistful strings with xylophone adornment elicit sadness as Clarisse informs Montag that she has been let go, with no reason given. “The Box” reveals Montag and Clarisse observing an informant dropping evidence to expose a book reader into the anonymous tip box outside the fire station. A bass ostinato, vibraphone and pizzicato strings support the man’s treachery. In “The Corridor” a repeating four-note motif by celli attended by kindred strings speaks of sadness as Clarisse and Montag return to her school. Herrmann fills us with heartache after former student Robert flees from her sight, leaving her devastated. This cue was dialed out of the film. “Montag’s Books” reveals Linda’s discovery of Montag’s new hobby – collecting and reading books. She is frightened, demands that he get rid of them, only to be rebuked for being a slave to her TV family. Herrmann speaks to Montag’s liberation with a fascinating and unusual motif – a slow violin ostinato, joined first by a xylophone descent, and then a descent by celli.

In “The Pole” we see Montag reading supported by a variant of the previous cue’s motif, which sheds the celli. At 0:17 we shift the next day with Montag approaching the fire station supported by a high register string agitato joined by vibraphone and dire bass. He is puzzled when the fire pole fails to recognize his body and lift him and we close on an eerie vibraphone and tremolo strings misterioso. In “Fire Alarm” the alarm sounds and Montag is late boarding. We open with a furioso of xylophone and harps as the men descend the pole and board. As they depart the Firemen Motif resounds with more of a kinetic drive and embellishments by swirling harp glissandi. They arrive at an old Victorian mansion and disembark. “The Books” reveals the firemen entering and being met by “The Book Lady” who laughs and derides them stating; “Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, as I trust shall never be put out.” Ethereal strings and twinkling glockenspiel support her entry and rebuke. As the captain orders his men to search Herrmann supports with a string agitato playing over pizzicato bass. The music intensifies gaining aggression as hundreds of books are discovered and tossed to the first floor. Montag reads to her and then hides a book in his jacket, which is witnessed by Fabian. Then the Captain orders Montag to join him in the attic, where they discover a massive treasure trove of books, which the Captain derides with utter contempt.

In “The Hose” we are treated to a score highlight with outstanding execution. There are too many books to take out and burn, the captain orders kerosene to be hosed into the house to burn it down. The defiant “Book Lady” accepts her fate as she refuses to leave and live without her books. Herrmann unleashes a torrent with an ever shifting, descending motif by strings barbaro with xylophone moving in contrary motion, joined by harp glissandi furioso as we see the kerosene flowing as pages of a Salvador Dali art books flip in the breeze. We conclude with eerie harp glissandi of doom as the captain orders the fire be started. “Flammes” reveals another score highlight as the “Book Lady” stands defiant to the end, lighting a match herself to begin the conflagration. As the flames erupt upwards, a swirling descent by strings, harp glissandi and vibraphone move in contrary motion. At 0:15 we see serenity in her eyes as she is engulfed and utters not a single word. Herrmann supports with a repeating four-note motif by strings affanato, which commence a writhing ascent amidst a torrent of xylophone and harp glissandi. A grievous crescendo of pain is achieved as Montag watches her perish in horror. At 1:04 the cue is dialed out of the film. The music was meant to support the raging fires consuming the house as a transfixed Montag watches in despair as the four-note motif rages in a horrific descent amidst swirling harp glissandi and a xylophone storm.

In “The Basket” a devastated Montag returns home to find Linda entertaining her friends. As he hides the stolen book in a laundry basket a repeating, four-note lament by strings affanato descends to the very depths of his soul, unable to assuage his hidden sorrow. Yet at 0:45 the strings lighten and warm as Linda comes in and exhorts him to join the party. After she leaves the cue ends in the film, but on album, he becomes contemplative as he plays with a lighter. A subtle disquiet and dissonance creeps into the notes, portending his fateful decision. “The Reading” reveals one of the film’s most poignant moments, which Herrmann supports masterfully with perhaps the score’s finest moment. Montag reproaches the women for living life like zombies, of not really living, but instead just killing time. He speaks of the “Book Lady” and forces them to listen as he reads a passage from “David Copperfield” regarding his marriage to Dora. The words are profoundly moving and music enters as he begins to read. We bear witness to a stirring romance for strings, which unfolds and blossoms, adorned with plucked harp tenero. It emotes with a repeating AB motif with embellished variations. The opening five-note A Phrase is declarative, hopeful, and full of yearning, while the B Phrase is sad, and accepting. The confluence of Dicken’s words and Herrmann’s music achieve a breath-taking and achingly beautiful confluence.

“The Nightmare” once again reveals Herrmann masterful writing for horror scenes. The scene reveals Montag having a nightmare supported by a repeating five-note motive by strings doloroso, countered by a four-note motif by pizzicato celli and basses. At 0:32 we enter the nightmare supported by a swelling torrent of strings animato, harp swirls and vibraphone as we see the school corridor stretching. We flow into travel motion as monorail tracks pass behind, which takes us into the “Book Lady’s” house. A growing string dissonance escalates the nightmare as we shift to and fro from the monorail tracks to the house. Suddenly Clarisse appears, dressed as the Book Lady, and reprises her horrific self-immolation, which Herrmann supports with a grotesques crescendo of horror as we see her collapse and consumed. “The Skylight” reveals the firemen coming in the black of night to arrest Clarisse and her uncle. A surreal four-note motif by vibraphone and harps floats over a grim churning by tremolo celli and basses as Clarise prepares to escape through a skylight. The string tremolo ascends, taken up by violins as she escapes to freedom. Only the opening portion of the cue appears in the film.

In “The Windows” as Montag walks to work the next day he discovers that Clarisse’s house is boarded up. A neighbor informs him that the firemen took them away last night. Herrmann supports the pathos of the moment, and Montag’s grief with a threnody by strings affanato, which descend into a sea of hopelessness. In “TV Aerials” the neighbor points to the neighborhood roof tops, which reveal one by one, TV antennae, all except Clarisse’s house. Herrmann references the music from the prelude with ethereal harp arpeggios attended by twinkling glockenspiel, which support high register strings sognando repeating a wistful two-note descending motif. “The Photos” reveals Montag taking the opportunity to search the Captain’s office for Clarisse’s arrest photo while he is out disciplining a cadet. A repeating four-note motif by violins plays over a slow string ostinato with vibraphone auras. This pattern slowly descends and darkens, gradually shifting to celli as he breaks into the office. At 0:50 the music loses cohesion and dissipates as he finds a pile of photos on the desks.

In The File” the Captain walks back to his office carried by a repeating three-note motif by strings duri attended by harps and glockenspiel. As we switch back and forth from Montag in the office, and the Captain walking, so too we shift to and from the current harsh motif to the sad motif of the previous cue. “Vertigo” reveals Montag fainting upon hearing that Clarisse was not apprehended. A harp glissandi descent supports his fall and Herrmann creates an indistinct shadow-like world between consciousness and unconsciousness with vibraphone, harps and grim strings. In “Information” Linda decides to turn Montag in and deposits his photo in the Fire Station tip box. Herrmann supports her betrayal with two repeating eerie chords by strings countered by vibraphone and plucked harp. “The Vase” reveals Clarisse traveling by monorail back home propelled by animated pizzicato strings with glockenspiel accents. At 0:10 a string descent carries her disembarking, and as she walks home, Montag joins her and agrees to help her find something at the house. Lyrical strings speak to their happiness in being united, but Herrmann reins in their exposition as Clarisse is exposed and danger lurks. At 0:36 the melodic line slows and becomes beleaguered as they reach the house and clear a way into the cellar. At 1:01 there begins a growing urgency in the strings as they descend into the cellar and begin searching for the “Book People” list. At 1:14 Clarisse is desperate to find the list and the strings begin a slow descent into despair as the list eludes them. We close on a diminuendo of uncertainty as Montag shatters a vase and grasps the list, which he burns to protect the locations and identities of the “Book People.”

In “The Mirror” Montag declines Clarisse’s offer to leave and join the “Book People” in the countryside, saying he must first bring down the system. Herrmann offers a sad variant of the romance for strings heard in the “Bedroom” cue, as Montag and Clarisse part ways. At 0:14 we shift to the bedroom where Linda is packing and preparing to leave Montag. Herrmann interpolates a twisted variation of Wagner’s Bridal Chorus for “Lohengrin” by grim strings with vibraphone adornment. “Fire Engine” reveals the Captain and the men departing on another mission, propelled by the Fire Engine Theme, which includes embellishments for solo xylophone and harps, as well as grim strings furioso. At 0:51 a growing anxiety intrudes into the notes as Montag realizes they are approaching his house. We end full of foreboding on a grim diminuendo as they arrive at Montag’s house. In “Farewell” Montag runs into Linda who is leaving with a suitcase, admitting that she could not take it anymore. We see in Montag’s eyes regret, and strings doloroso pine for a bitter parting. In “Flame Thrower” the Captain orders Montag to reveal his hidden books, and then for good cause, to burn them himself. Montag first turns the flamethrower on his bed and then the TV set, before incinerating his books. Herrmann supports his rage with a cacophonous torrent by descending tremolo strings agitato with harp glissandi moving in contrary motion.

“Flowers of Fire” reveals Montag devastation as he sees his treasured books being consumed by flames one by one. Herrmann reprises the terrible pathos of the “Flammes” cue, but this time Montag is not a bystander, instead this is personal as his books are burning, as such the music emotes molto tragico. In “The Captain’s Death” Fabian informs the Captain that Montag has a book in his jacket. The Captain grabs it and tries to burn it, yet Montag takes it back. The Captain draws his pistol supported by surging strings irato with glockenspiel accents. At 0:10 Montag unleashes the flamethrower killing the Captain, and then in a rage unleashes fiery fury by torching the house as the firemen flee. Strings furioso erupt in a cascading torrent alight with glockenspiel as Montag unleashes hell. “Freedom” reveals Montag on the run as the state broadcasts his photos and calls for his arrest for murder. As he runs a kinetic string agitato, harps and vibraphone support his anxiety and fear of arrest. An accelerando at 0:50 heightens his rising desperation as he seeks a hiding place. At 1:07 we shift to a raging string ostinato with counter as he continues to flee for his life. Slowly the string energy begins to subside and descend until 1:34 when chiming vibraphone joins as he reaches the safety of the forest. In “The Railway” Montag hides from police flying with rocket packs. After they pass, he rows quickly across the river supported by chiming vibraphone and cyclic strings. At 0:40 Montag remembers Clarisse’s counsel to follow the railroad tracks to the end, where he will find the Book People colony. As he walks, Herrmann creates a misterioso with vibraphone chimes and shifting string textures. At 1:21 a repeating violin tremolo with bass counter supports the sight of the railroad car and the end of the line. We conclude on a diminuendo of uncertainty as a man comes out to greet him.

“The Road” offers an exquisite score highlight, which graces us with quintessential Herrmann romanticism. This set piece offers a classic ABA construct with the wistful A Phrase recalling better times, while the B Phrase so full of yearning nurtures hope for brighter days. Both phrases emote with aching lyricism by violins and violas with celli supporting. The music supports Montag walking with the Leader and learning of “Book People” as preservers of the written world until such time that tyranny is overthrown. The music ends with solemnity when Clarisse joins them, and Montag pulls out the book he has chosen to become – “Tales of Mystery & Imagination” by Edgar Allan Poe. In “First Snows of Winter” twinkling glockenspiel glisten over tremolo strings as the first snows of winter shower down on the camp. Afar we see a dying “Book Person” passing his book to a young boy, who will ensure its words live on. “Finale” offers a final score highlight where we witness film narrative and music achieve a wondrous confluence. We see all the “Book People” walking amidst the snow-covered land, with each reciting the words of their personal book, an affirmation of life and the resiliency of the human spirit. Herrmann creates poignancy to the scene by reprising his music from “The Road”. He shifts the strings upwards one octave, and drapes them with ethereal harp arpeggios. I find this version less wistful, and instead more hopeful, which speaks to the message of this final scene. We conclude with a sense of wonderment with three resplendent harp arpeggios.

I would like to praise the creative team of Anna Bonn, John Morgan and William Stromberg for this brilliant restoration and re-recording of the complete score to Bernard Herrmann’s masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451. The audio quality is excellent and the performance of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra under William Stromberg’s baton, exceptional. Herrmann’s conception of 21st century music was masterful in its insight – an embrace of elegance and simplicity. His execution of his soundscape using a string orchestra with harps, xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and vibraphone was perfectly attenuated to the film, enhanced its narrative, and allowed Truffaut to realize his vision. Masterful was how he fleshed out the covert and repressed feeling of the characters. In many scenes there were no spoken dialogue, and yet Herrmann’s music spoke volumes, filling in narrative gaps in Truffaut’s storytelling. Cues such as “Prelude,” “Flammes,” “The Bedroom,” “The Reading” and “Finale” offer discreet set pieces of exceptional beauty, some of the finest compositions in Herrmann’s canon. Each achieved cinematic perfection, a testament to his genius, and mastery of his craft. Folks, I consider this score to be Herrmann’s last masterpiece, a resplendent gem of the Silver Age, and an exceptional album essential for your collection. Lastly, I again commend the creative team of Bonn, Morgan and Stromberg for their efforts to restore and re-record classic film scores for lovers of the art form, as well as new generations of fans. With slim financial margins this remains a most challenging endeavor, yet I believe also, a necessary one. Perhaps we should all consider the Kickstarter model as offering a new way to achieve this noble end as there remain many classic film scores that must be resurrected, born anew to rejoin the pantheon of great film music.

For those of you unfamiliar with the score, I have embedded a YouTube link to the wondrous finale: https://youtu.be/8TfWqPLaEZ0

Buy the Fahrenheit 451 soundtrack from the Movie Music UK Store

Track Listing:

  • Prelude (1:34)
  • Fire Station (0:53)
  • The Lamp (3:29)
  • Clarisse (1:06)
  • Happiness (0:43)
  • TV Signals (1:28)
  • Bedtime (2:02)
  • The Boys (1:51)
  • Home (0:50)
  • Pink and Gold Pills (1:37)
  • Recovery (0:51)
  • The Bedroom (1:44)
  • The Monorail (1:01)
  • The Novel (David Copperfield) (3:03)
  • The Garden (1:22)
  • The Bridge (1:23)
  • The Café (0:46)
  • The Box (0:57)
  • The Corridor (1:23)
  • Montag’s Books (1:16)
  • The Pole (1:08)
  • Fire Alarm (1:40)
  • The Books (1:28)
  • The Hose (1:34)
  • Flammes (1:30)
  • The Basket (1:21)
  • The Reading (1:33)
  • The Nightmare (2:13)
  • The Skylight (1:28)
  • The Windows (0:37)
  • TV Aerials (0:27)
  • The Photos (1:08)
  • The File (0:50)
  • Vertigo (1:06)
  • Information (0:52)
  • The Vase (2:02)
  • The Mirror (0:35)
  • Fire Engine (1:11)
  • Farewell (0:17)
  • Flame Thrower (0:33)
  • Flowers of Fire (1:16)
  • The Captain’s Death (0:53)
  • Freedom (1:56)
  • The Railway (1:52)
  • The Road (1:57)
  • First Snows of Winter (0:32)
  • Finale (2:01)

Running Time: 63 minutes 19 seconds

Tribute Film Classics TFC-1002 (1966/2007)

Music composed by Bernard Herrmann. Conducted by William Stromberg. Performed by The Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Original orchestrations by Bernard Herrmann. Score produced by Bernard Herrmann. Album produced by John Morgan, William Stromberg and Anna Bonn.

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