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Chicago Symphony Orchestra To Play ‘Psycho’ Score

Janet Leigh in 'Psycho'

Janet Leigh, actress, appears as Marion Crane in scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Psycho.” (Credit: AP)

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CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) - One of the scariest and most powerful movie soundtracks of all time will be performed in Chicago tonight.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Pat Cassidy reports, the soundtrack of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” is being performed at Symphony Center, 220 S. Michigan Ave.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Pat Cassidy Reports

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will play the Bernard Herrmann film score live for its golden anniversary. As the orchestra plays, the film will be shown in its entirety.

Conductor Richard Hoffman, maestro of the orchestra’s Friday Night at the Movies, says it will be like watching an orchestra on a scoring stage.

The score for “Psycho” was one of nine that Herrmann wrote for Hitchcock, among the others of which were “Vertigo,” “Rear Window,” and “North by Northwest.”

The Internet Movie Database points out that Hitchcock originally wanted a jazz score for “Psycho” and did not want any music at all in the infamous shower scene, but Herrmann “blithely ignored” him.

Even though the breach of authority infuriated Hitchcock, Jack Sullivan writes on the CSO website that the score likely saved the movie, which Hitchcock was thinking of cutting up and sending out to be put on television.

“Hitchcock suddenly became enthusiastic about ‘Psycho’ and gradually assented to other cues as well, including the anxious violas during the camera’s inspection of Marion’s stolen money on the bed and the creepy Peeping Tom theme in the Bates motel,” Sullivan writes. “Having started with the least music, “Psycho” ended up with more than in any Hitchcock film except ‘Vertigo.’ In the words of Joseph Stefano, who wrote the screenplay for “Psycho” and died in 2006, “Bernie took the picture and turned it into an opera.”

In addition to his film scores, Herrmann also wrote an opera, “Wuthering Heights,” and a cantata, “Moby Dick.” His last score was for the Martin Scorsese classic “Taxi Driver” before he died in 1975 at the age of 64, according to IMDB.

The Friday night concert starts at 8 p.m.