These scores are both in the "Drums and Trumpets" military vein, and while Bernard Herrmann fans will enjoy the excellent performances and recording quality of this disc, they must also lament the paucity of original outstanding material here. For Battle of Neretva Herrmann often acted more as Arranger/Music Director than composer, sometimes taking cues whole from other works or stitching bits together: Torn Curtain's "The Killing" cue mixes with Mysterious Island battle music for Nazi Attack, Tanks, Battle and Fanfares; Dawn, Suspense, The Lookout, Death Hunt, The Bridge and Waiting derive from his score for On Dangerous Ground; Pastorale is a cue from Fahrenheit 451 sans harps and percussion; Hunt Scherzo is the 2nd movement of his 1941 Symphony. The "Italian" music (From Italy, Italian, Riva's Death) has several antecedents, most notably the Madeleine theme from Vertigo. What's left sounds a bit thin (albeit LOUD!) by comparison: The Prelude and its related cues (The Retreat, The Poem, The Flag, Slow March, Finale), the Grief cue and its arrangements (The Message, Danica's Death, Separation), and the martial cues (The Rout, March, The Front, etc.)--all certainly effective but none particularly memorable.
The Naked and The Dead music doesn't add much to the disc either. The Prelude sounds like a drums & trumpets reworking of The Day the Earth Stood Still theme and the rest of score resembles the stock cues Herrmann was writing for the CBS Music Library at the time--long on instrumental color, short on melodic/harmonic interest. The best of these (Wilson's Death, Croft's Death, Prayer and Rescue) don't match the quality of the Vertigo or Sinbad scores he wrote the same year. At best, they offer a hint of the low sonorities he would soon use for Journey to the Center of the Earth.