Villains & Heroes
BERNARD HERRMANN: Psycho Suite
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20
HECTOR BERLIOZ: Symphonie fantastique
Herrmann: Psycho Suite
Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho Suite is one of cinema’s most recognized, quoted, and imitated scores. The infamous “shower scene,” accompanied by Herrmann’s violent string-screams, remains one of the most enduring, and terrifying, moments in both music and the movies. The short, but emotionally dense Suite, is a sort of American riff on Symphonie fantastique—unhinged people with misplaced passion doing really bad things. In life, steer clear—but as inspiration for music, bring it on!
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20
Featuring Diane Walsh
There is no death and destruction in Mozart’s 20th piano concerto. But like Berlioz and Herrmann, it is highly charged music—suffused with drama, poignancy, tenderness, and no shortage of pianistic virtuosity—all dressed in Mozart’s beautifully refined Classical Era decorum.
Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
Berlioz’s opium-fueled tale speaks of love, obsession, betrayal, murder, and (of course) witches. Symphonie fantastique is one of classical music’s most graphic, colorful, and gloriously over-the-top masterpieces. Berlioz’s score redefined what music could be, and what it could do. Spectacular orchestration, riveting narrative, tolling bells, a guillotine, and a grotesque “Witches Sabbath” make Symphonie fantastique an audience—and musician—favorite.