The Theremin in The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Score by Bernard Herrman
Theremin played by Samuel Hoffman Paul Shure

An alien (Klaatu) with his mighty robot (Gort) land their spacecraft on cold war Earth just after the end of World War II. They bring an important message for the planet which Klaatu wishes to tell to representatives of all nations. However, communication turns out to be difficult so, after learning something of the natives, Klaatu decides on an alternative approach...

Herrmann is probably best known for his collaborations with directors Orson Wells ("Citizen Kane", "The Magnificent Ambersons") and Alfred Hitchcock ("Psycho", "North by Northwest", "Vertigo").

Herrmann believed that there was no particular reason a film composer should have to stick to a conventional orchestra. For "The Day The Earth Stood Still," he collected together a truly strange ensemble, including four pianos, four harps, brass, an electric violin, electric bass, and two high and low theremins. The unearthly whine of the theremin ensures that this music still sounds creepy today, four decades after it was written. This score is perhaps one of the pinnacles of '50's sci-fi music.

Herrman enlisted two thereminists for this project - Dr. Samuel Hoffman, and Paul Shure.

Items & Reviews for The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still


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