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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 work had it's originsin an idea for a ballet for two dancers and string quartet. It is in one movement having eight main sections and an opening prelude and a closing epilogue.
It opens with a pensive prelude whose theme appears throughout the work and serves as an interlude before each part. The composition is lyrical and romantic in outlook and its impulse is poeticand elegiac. However in spite of its intimate nature it had its visual references to the ballet.
The work was composed in 1965 and received its first performance at a Redcliffe Concert by the Amici Quartet in December 1966."
The quartet was indeed performed as a ballet in 1971 under the title Ante-Room.

Souvenirs de Voyage

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)


1966: Echoes
The premiere recording of Echoes by the Amici Quartet in collaboration with the composer. Released in 1967 by Pye Records, coupled with Rubbra's String Quartet No.2.

1974: Souvenirs de Voyage
The clarinet quintet recorded by the Ariel Quartet. Released in 1974 bundled with the 1966 recording of Echoes by Unicorn Records.
1990: Souvenirs de Voyage
The quintet recorded by the Lyric Art Quartet of Houston. Released in 1990 as Classical Hollywood by Bay Cities (in Europe by Milan). The CD also contains music by Moross and Korngold.
1991: Souvenirs de Voyage
The quintet is recorded a third time, now by Chamber Music Northwest, and is released on the CD American Chamber Music (with music by Porter, Diamond and Ives).

1991: Echoes
The quartet recorded by the Texas Festival Quartet. Released in 1991 as Classical Hollywood II by Bay Cities (in Europe by Milan). The CD also contains music by Shire and Gold.

1994: Souvenirs de Voyage and Echoes (reissue)
Unicorn Kanchana releases the quintet and the quartet on one CD. These are the 1974 and 1966 recordings.

1998: Souvenirs de Voyage and Echoes (reissue)
Varese Sarabande releases the Bay Cities 1990/1991 recordings of the two on one CD.

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.

Echoes - score

Notice the dedication, "To N.S.", which is not Norma Shepherd (whom he didn't meet until December 1966) but his friend Nancy Sanderson.

Souvenirs de Voyage - score

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.

Copyright © by The Bernard Herrmann Society.
Score excerpts copyright © 1966-1998 by Novello and Bernard Herrmann Music. Album covers copyright © 1967-1998 by Pye/Unicorn Kanchana, Bay Cities, Delos and Varese Sarabande.
All rights reserved.

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International Society for the Appreciation of the Music of Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975)