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 a wonderful afternoon: Bernard Herrmann
Author: ahebert 
Date:   2021-08-16 01:03

My wife and I went to Santa Barbara, California a couple of weeks ago to meet up with her family since we haven't seen anybody since COVID hit. I took an afternoon off and went to the University of California, Santa Barbara library special collections department. I'd set this visit up weeks ahead of time, and when I got there, the librarians had pulled several boxes of scores from the Bernard Herrmann collections. So from 1:00 - 4:00 PM I got to handle, photograph and study the ORIGINAL....as in the actual paper that Bernard Herrman had in his hands as he wrote it....scores for the Souvenirs du Voyage clarinet quintet and the score to the 1947 movie "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir".

The original handwritten parts for the quintet were in the box as well, complete with mistakes corrected in red ink, omissions (he left out a couple of measures here and there) and performance notes from what I assume is the first performance. The scribbles and notes used terminology common to musicians in the UK, not the USA, so I think it's reasonably likely that these notes were from the first recording of the Quintet, with Robert Hill on clarinet, and the Ariel string quartet.

For those of you who don't know the music from "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir", it's worth a listen on YouTube. It's scored for TWO bass clarinets, and the bass clarinet parts are very prominent.

I photographed the entire handwritten score for "Ghost" and the entire handwritten score and parts for the Quintet. I'll be looking them over ~Very~ closely and might be writing an article for the ICS magazine about them this Fall.

What a privilege to be able to do this!

Post Edited (2021-08-16 01:05)

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 Re: a wonderful afternoon: Bernard Herrmann
Author: Simon Aldrich 
Date:   2021-08-16 04:02

Thank you for posting this Alan,

Some clarinetists find that the third movement is unconvincing as a final movement and wonder if a 4th movement was lost. (Personally I don't think there is a lost or incomplete 4th movement, as in one of the printed editions of the quintet (MMB), "fine" is printed at the end of the 3rd movement).
However, keep your eyes peeled for any mention of a 4th movement.

Looking forward to your possible article on the Quintet in The Clarinet.


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 Re: a wonderful afternoon: Bernard Herrmann
Author: ahebert 
Date:   2021-08-16 06:04

I have made the photographic images of both Herrmanns handwritten clarinet part and the score available for viewing online.

Here's the last page of the clarinet part...note the "fine"


Here's the last page of the score.


I see no indication on either part that there was another movement intended or begun.

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 Re: a wonderful afternoon: Bernard Herrmann
Author: ahebert 
Date:   2021-08-16 06:07

Also, it's pretty clear that the published part from MMB is basically a photocopy of the corrected....probably rewritten from scratch....hand-written parts prepared by Bernard Herrmann.

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 Re: a wonderful afternoon: Bernard Herrmann
Author: ruben 
Date:   2021-08-16 12:34

"Souvenirs du Voyage" is right up there with the very best clarinet quintets: a wonderful piece of music. Thanks for posting. Somebody that knows what he's doing could take some clarinet writing by Bernard Hermann from film music, string it together and come up with a concert/ recital piece.


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 Re: a wonderful afternoon: Bernard Herrmann
Author: ruben 
Date:   2021-08-16 16:20

Ahebert: "Souvenirs du Voyage" is playing on France-Musique -the French National Classical music radio station-at this very minute! You talk about a coincidence! I've never heard it programmed on the radio. I have the parts-beautifully handwritten (probably by a copyist) and hope to play the work before I move into the final throes of senile decay.


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