Barbara Bernstein comments:
"I don't think this is correct. I have a copy of the handwritten
score, which shows "Vls" playing an E-flat above high C. In the next
measure, a second violin part adds an E-natural, then the violas and
cellos come in. The parts are clearly labelled by instrument name.
Byu the way, this theme, called "The Murder," carries the instructions
"Molto forzando e feroce."
I also listened to a recording and it sure doesn't sound like a
I'm sure these sources aren't the final word on the subject, but in James
Naremore's FILMGUIDE TO PSYCHO (one of the fine and unfortunately discontinued
series from Indiana U. Press), he mentions, ". . . Herrmann's music begins--
an extremely high-pitched string passaged, punctuated by Marion's screams and
a series of notes that are like whistles."
Stephen Rebello's ALFRED HITCHCOCK AND THE MAKING OF PSYCHO cites an interview
Herrmann did with Brian De Palma: "'Wait a minute,' I said, 'I have some ideas.
How about a score completely for strings? I used to be a violin player, you
know. . . . '"
Rebello also cites Joseph Stefano's memory of Herrmann's plans: "'I'm going
to use only strings.' I thought it was weird. No drums? No rhythm section?
. . . "
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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