- SFOpera - Music with Heart
- Margaret & David’s Top 10 Movie Scores
- David Raksin
- 6 posts in this topic
He taught himself orchestration in high school and while majoring in music composition at the University of Pennsylvania played in society bands and radio orchestras. He had been a member of the Communist Party from to ; he later said he was asked to leave after expressing opinions that were contrary to the party line.
Prior to appearing before the committee, Raksin sought the advice of Martin Gang, an influential entertainment lawyer who counseled clients to cooperate with the committee in order to be cleared from blacklists and return to work. During his testimony, Raksin provided the names of 11 party members. He denied knowing if others were party members.
But there I was, a guy with a family to support and a fairly decent career that was about to go down the drain. Raksin was the first film composer chosen by the Library of Congress to have a collection of his manuscripts in its music division.
His stage works include three produced musicals and several ballets, as well as incidental music for plays. His concert works, many of them adapted from his film scores, have been performed by several leading orchestras. In addition to his son, an editorial writer for The Times, the twice-divorced Raksin is survived by his daughter, Valentina Raksin; and three grandchildren.
SFOpera - Music with Heart
About Us. Brand Publishing. Born and educated in Central and Eastern Europe, they were already prominent musicians, eminently successful in the world of classical music and opera. All of them escaped the Holocaust - several just barely - and made their way, often precariously, to a new world and a new industry. They brought with them the music of their old world, just as that world was beginning to destroy itself. Both Korngold and his friend Steiner were considered Wunderkinder in early twentieth-century Vienna: Korngold was so designated by Mahler, and Steiner by Richard Strauss, who was his godfather.
Steiner studied piano with Brahms, and Korngold studied composition with Alexander Zemlinsky. Dimitri Tiomkin studied composition at the St.
Margaret & David’s Top 10 Movie Scores
And perhaps the most significant influence on the music of the new industry in Hollywood was a composer who left Berlin just as Hitler was coming to power and who never wrote a complete film score, but who immigrated to Los Angeles and taught at UCLA: Arnold Schoenberg. Without his teaching and influence on such composers as Bernard Herrmann, David Raksin, Alfred Newman and Leonard Rosenman the music of film noir would have developed very differently than it did.
What we hear is not pastoral chamber music but a full symphony orchestra in all its glory. The voluptuous score is closer to the romantic world of Der Rosenkavalier than to Sherwood Forest. In , at the age of 23, Erich Korngold had composed a successful opera, Die tote Stadt The Dead City , which became a worldwide success, with performances throughout Germany as well as at the Staatsoper in Vienna and at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
This was among the works banned by the Nazis after they came to power in He then returned to Vienna, where he was conducting opera and teaching at the State Academy when, in , Warner Brothers invited him back to Hollywood to score the music for a lavish, swashbuckling movie, The Adventures of Robin Hood , starring Errol Flynn. Shortly thereafter, the Anschluss occurred that linked Germany and Austria together--the first major step in Hitler's master plan to create the New World Order. Korngold was lucky to have escaped when he did.
This is an approach to film scoring that was mastered two generations later by John Williams, another genius trained in classical music--and in his case also jazz--who studied at UCLA and at Juilliard. Just as I do for the operatic stage, I try to give the motion pictures dramatically melodious music, sonic development, and variation of the themes.
6 posts in this topic
In all, Korngold would compose eighteen film scores, all of them excellent, as well as adaptations of music by Mendelssohn and Wagner. Although the number of his movies is modest in comparison with that of others of his generation and background, those relatively few scores were hugely influential and left an indelible impression on all the film composers who followed him. He was declared an enemy alien by the British government, but was allowed to leave for New York. He worked on Broadway for eleven years, with George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Victor Herbert, among others, and moved to Hollywood in , soon to be joined by his friend Korngold.
The number of his scores is staggering films are credited to him, although he was supported by a staff of excellent composers and orchestrators , and the great variety of musical genres and styles is equally impressive. He was an old-school composer who wrote from the heart with little concern for academic theory or adventurism. The same could be said of Korngold and for almost all the other expatriate composers who migrated to Hollywood from Western Europe.
The idea originated with Richard Wagner.
Listen to the incidental scoring behind the recitatives in his operas. If Wagner had lived in this century, he would have been the Number One film composer.
How ironic that the very people who were hounded, defiled and persecuted mercilessly by the Nazis would remain steadfastly loyal to Germany's musical traditions! When some of these expatriate composers returned to their native countries after the war, they discovered to their dismay that the shell-shocked survivors were no longer receptive to the romantic vocabulary of the nineteenth century, which they and other Hollywood composers still employed.