Two Sides of Franz Waxman from Hollywood's Golden Age

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rebecca' Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rebecca' (Still image)

The curtains part to reveal two sides to Franz Waxman, a great composer of Hollywood's Golden Age. This week's show features his lush music for the Hitchcock classic "Rebecca," as well as his score for an obscure Jack Benny comedy, "The Horn Blows at Midnight," which seems to bring a Stravinsky influence to music for the silver screen.

Also, David Garland presents musical highlights from the Renaissence-flavored score for "Anne Of The Thousand Days," the east-meets-west romances "The Barbarian and the Geisha" and "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing," and the new Tommy Lee Jones western, "The Homesman."

Comments [1]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Music adds a third dimensional programmatic scenario to film that is both enjoyable and dramatically convincing. My cousin Michael Blankfort wrote the script for the film The Juggler, but it was George Antheil who alerted me to the film. George hired me to sing the role of Mosca in the Punch Opera production at the Cherry Lane Theater on Commerce Street in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. When I as a composer myself asked Antheil how he, a famous opera composer, could eke out a living on commissions for opera productions, he told me that he had already scored incidental music for one hundred and twenty films and was currently working on a new film. He named the film and its writer and I to;ld him that that film was written by my cousin. He telephoned my cousin from our New York rehearsal studio and asked him to hear me sing over the phone. My cousin knew that I am a singer, but was astonished to hear the timbre and size of my singing voice. He was going to set me up for an screen test at MGM for a series of 6 films starring an operatic tenor that was in the talking stage. I thanked him but related that opera talent scouts do not bother ti go to Hollywood. Some time later they started auditioning and Mario Lanza's film career got its start.

Nov. 15 2014 08:59 PM

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