Written two years after Echoes, Souvenir de Voyage is similar to its predecessor in style, but is more optimistic in outlook. He had met his soon-to-be third wife, Norma, and following his break with Hitchcock, had forged new relationships with a number of French and English film directors.
And although this Quintet was written for the concert hall, Herrmann’s proficiency as a film composer is again very much in evidence as he draws from various art forms to create this alluring clarinet quintet.
The first movement takes as its inspiration A.E. Housman’s poem ‘On Wenlock Edge the wood’s in trouble’, while the second evokes Ireland’s Aran Islands and the final pays tribute to Turner’s Venetian watercolours. The musical scenery Herrmann builds around each of these stimuli attest to his profound understanding of the intimate interplay between sound and sight.