Album: Tippett Quartet, Julian Bliss Herrmann: Psycho Suite; Souvenirs De Voyage; Echoes (Signum Classics)

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Bernard Herrmann brought a distinctive, almost malicious relish to his work on Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers, as exemplified in the 10-minute "Psycho Suite", which features all the familiar dramatic flourishes and shrill chills.

But when the two men fell out over his score for Torn Curtain, Herrmann returned to concert work, composing the clarinet quartet "Souvenirs De Voyage" and the string quartet "Echoes", both of which display the melancholy tone that reflected the composer's own prevailing mood. The brooding "Echoes" is especially interesting: it features many of the same jolting musical strategies that marked his movie scores, conjuring the kind of dark images of which his greatest patron would have undoubtedly approved.

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