The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bernard Herrman's "Moby Dick" cantata

I just tuned in to "The Bernard Herrman Centenary Orgy" on Harvard University radio. (Harvard radio's "Orgies®" are a May and December tradition. Works of a particular composer, group, or genre are researched and presented "marathon-style.") They were in the middle of Herrman's Moby Dick, a cantata for male chorus, soloists, and orchestra, 1936-1938.

Turns out that, before his career as a composer of film scores (Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, Taxi Driver, and many of Alfred Hitchcock's most-remembered films), Bernard was a "legit" composer, schooled at NYU and Julliard.

For M-D aficionados who appreciate "classical" music, this piece is well worth searching out. My suburban-Boston library consortium does not have it, and I doubt you'll find it "shared" online. You can listen to clips at If you have an extra $55 in your M-D budget, you can score a used CD there.

1 comment:

  1. Bernard Herrman is a definite favorite but I had no idea he had done anything other than film scores. How cool!!