Echoes: String Quartet
After 14 years of absence Herrmann returns to concert music in 1965. By this time he was becoming unpopular in Hollywood -- and his 17 year long marriage to Lucy Anderson had come to an end.
From the 1967 liner notes:
"The term 'echoes' is meant to imply a series of nostalgic emotional remembrances.The quartet was indeed performed as a ballet in 1971 under the title Ante-Room.
Souvenirs de Voyage: Clarinet Quintet
By 1967 Herrmann had broken up with Hitchcock, resettled in London, composed Fahrenheit 451 for Truffaut, and met Norma Shepherd, soon to be the third Mrs. Herrmann. In January he composes his final completed piece of concert music -- Souvenirs de Voyage, for clarinet and string quartet.
A Perfect Pair
That these two pieces of music should be themed together, like on the Unicorn and Varese CDs, is only natural. Both the quintet and the quartet are very nostalgic and both incorporate fragments of Herrmann's recent film music, especially Fahrenheit 451 and Joy in the Morning; the quintet more so that the quartet -- at least in style. Both are very cinematic, and listening to them really makes you want to see 'the movie'. No collection would ever be complete without them.
The following audio clips are from the 1990/1991 Bay Cities recordings available on Varese Sarabande VSD-5559.
Echoes: excerpts from Valse Lente and Scherzo Macabre (ra, 139K)
The Texas Festival Quartet, 1991 (© 1998 by Varese Sarabande)
Souvenirs de Voyage: excerpts from Andante Pastorale and Berceuse (ra, 191K)
Lyric Art Quartet, Houston, 1990 (© 1998 by Varese Sarabande)
CD liner notes are by Christopher Palmer (Unicorn releases), Steven C. Smith (Bay Cities, Milan, and Varese Sarabande releases), and Richard E. Rodda (Delos release).
The score for Echoes is available from Novello & Company Ltd.
The score and parts for Souvenirs de Voyage is available from Bernard Herrmann Music.
See also Published Scores.
Notice the dedication, "To N.S.", which is not Norma Shepherd (whom he didn't meet until December 1966) but his friend Nancy Sanderson.
Source: A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann (Steven C. Smith), CD liner notes (Christopher Palmer, Steven C. Smith), Christopher Husted, and the BHS recordings database.