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 Posted:   Sep 15, 2013 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   Krakatoa   (Member)

Having released a LOT of Waxman (more coming, I think), I have to say he's a favorite of mine. His score for Sunset Blvd. borders on genius, and his melodic invention is pretty incredible - A Place in the Sun and Peyton Place being two superb examples of melodic themes as good as they get. But I haven't heard a bum score by him. That said, you connect with who you connect with. I'm not sure the Gerhard album would give any hints about how wonderfully his music actually plays in the medium for which it was composed - FILM. I also find the complete score releases the way to go, but that's just me.

Had never seen "A Place in the Sun" but saw it recently after the recent release of the entire score and it was just sensational to see and hear the whole project!

Also had the same experience when seeing "The Fountainhead" and hearing that fascinating Max Steiner score in the original context!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 3:06 AM   
 By:   Graham S. Watt   (Member)

Interesting thread. I'll repeat that my own "problem" with Franz Waxman is that I don't understand WHY I don't love his music more. Schiffy mentions something which I've always read but never actually felt - "he brought a very modern sensibility to the Golden Age". And yet, despite the dozens of films of his which I've seen, and the dozens of LPs, then CDs which I've bought, I'm constantly reminded slightly more of the Steiner approach than that of my favourite composers from the '40s and especially the '50s, namely Friedhofer, Raksin, Rózsa, Herrmann, Duning and North.

Zap - people have given you advice on how to approach Waxman with new Spock ears. Watch the films, see how the music works in context, buy the full albums if you're interested. Do that if you want, but I wouldn't bother. I got into Raksin, Rózsa and Herrmann through '70s compilation LPs, when I was too young to have caught up with the films themselves. I liked the music so much I started collecting full scores by those composers. With Waxman it was slightly different - I got the LPs of THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS, THE NUN'S STORY and HEMINGWAY'S ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG MAN as a teen, simply because I imagined they would be great (genre, era, scope for good music). I wasn't wrong. They are superb scores. But very little since has sparked my interest, the exceptions being DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS and - ah! - THE SILVER CHALICE! How could I forget THE SILVER CHALICE? Oh, and just recently I got the Gerhardt compilation - but it's by far the least interesting of all the great ones RCA did.

I hope nobody thinks I'm "Waxman-bashing". I LOVE a few of his scores. I LIKE a lot of his scores. But I don't know why I don't like "more" of his scores "more". That's a really perplexing issue for me.

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 4:42 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Waxman was a chameleon composer, and many have felt he might have been even better remembered had he been less so. But, like Friedhofer, he was not 'narcissistic' in his style, he served the film foremostly, not his own image or even style.

He could write great romantic scores like 'Rebecca', great 'jazz' scores like 'Crime in the Streets', ironic scores like 'Sunset Boulevard', modernist stuff like 'Spirit of St. Louis'.

He could be upfront or subtle. Have you heard his oratorio for his wife, on the fall of Jericho, very epic but also very subtly ironic?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 6:43 AM   
 By:   franzfan   (Member)

I love Franz Waxman's music. The 'Ride to Dubno' from Taras Bulba is my single favourite music cue bar none!

It was wonderful to see it played (link below) as the 'encore' piece at the end of the recent BBC Proms Concert (The Hollywood Rhapsody Prom) with John Wilson conducting his hand-picked orchestra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2gTqZxpGN0&list=UUVXwZPvZSnh-zXn72_Db3gg

And the second link is a music only promotional clip of the same cue. Incidentally the end credits need to be updated...a Blu-Ray version of Taras Bulba has been released!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lNwPA1FHdw&list=TLYOJZZfeV-3Q

To me, it is a prime example of his musical genius, creativity and artistry that simply makes the scene, something that he achieved in so many of the films for which he composed scores.

But musical tastes differ and we each have our own favourites.

To me it is a clear case of Waxman on...

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

What sort of music sweeps you up?

I'm a Silver Age fan. Horner, Barry, Williams, and Goldsmith would be the (big-screen) four food groups, and I like a lot of other stuff as well, but mostly from the mid-1960s onward. I haven't heard the other Waxmans beyond Gerhardt.


If I think of any Franz Waxman soundtrack which seems as though it may appeal to fans of James Horner or John Barry, I'll post it here in the future.

Waxman's music is not going to sound like John Barry, though! smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 3:07 PM   
 By:   jonathan_little   (Member)

Overall I'm a Waxman fan and I'm not afraid to blind buy his music. That said, I think a difficult aspect with his music is that he's a bit of chameleon and overall he has less of a stated style than his contemporaries. He has written some fantastic scores, but I can't personally put him on the same level as say Rozsa or Herrmann when it comes to my enjoyment of the music away from the film. Rarely do I find myself sitting down with a Waxman score and playing the entire thing, perhaps Taras Bulba and Prince Valiant excluded. The recent Tadlow recording of the former was a revelation!

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 3:08 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Waxman scores on CD that are "da bomb":

A Place in the Sun
Demetrius and the Gladiators
Prince Valiant
Untamed
The Silver Chalice
Sayonara
Peyton Place
Return to Peyton Place
Beloved Infidel
The Nun's Story
Hemingway's "Adventures of A Young Man"

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

Waxman was one of the greatest geniuses of film music!

Try to grasp this and the world will be a better place!...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 4:02 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

as said above, Taras and Ride to Dubno is immense.

and sleighride is equally wonderful. its a beautiful love theme from an epic to match anything by rozsa.

What was the film with anthony quinn and alain delon, was it Lost Command or Last command, something like that.
I had the LP - wasnt that a Waxman score? Was great.

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

What was the film with anthony quinn and alain delon, was it Lost Command or Last command, something like that.
I had the LP - wasnt that a Waxman score? Was great.


No chatting away @ FSM about bootlegs, Bill!

... and yes ... it's THE LOST COMMAND. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 4:34 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

sorry had Lp, didnt know was considered b**t.

anyway great score with the film - can i say that instead?

by the way, love the heading.

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   ToneRow   (Member)

Say Waxman ON

boot OFF!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 4:38 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

Waxman scores on CD that are "da bomb":

A Place in the Sun
Demetrius and the Gladiators
Prince Valiant
Untamed
The Silver Chalice
Sayonara
Peyton Place
Return to Peyton Place
Beloved Infidel
The Nun's Story
Hemingway's "Adventures of A Young Man"


All of those + The Bride of Frankenstein w/ suite from The Invisible Ray Silva Screen 1028

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 6:16 PM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)

Waxman was a chameleon composer, and many have felt he might have been even better remembered had he been less so. But, like Friedhofer, he was not 'narcissistic' in his style, he served the film foremostly, not his own image or even style.

He could write great romantic scores like 'Rebecca', great 'jazz' scores like 'Crime in the Streets', ironic scores like 'Sunset Boulevard', modernist stuff like 'Spirit of St. Louis'.

He could be upfront or subtle. Have you heard his oratorio for his wife, on the fall of Jericho, very epic but also very subtly ironic?


I think Mr. McCrum hit the nail on the head here. Waxman is indeed a chameleon and his "style" a bit harder to pin down. My first Waxman score was TARAS BULBA, and I was immediately smitten.
I went in search of more Waxman (on a limited budget at the time) and did not find much that appealed to me. Given my callow youth, I did not respond to PEYTON PLACE or A PLACE IN THE SUN, because I was expecting more TARAS...thought they were soapy and mushy. (I was wrong) Later I found stuff like BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, PRINCE VALIANT and OBJECTIVE BURMA and my faith was restored. Over time, as I overcame my early prejudices, I like most Waxman scores and I've come to see PLACE IN THE SUN, just for one example, as a masterpiece.

Look for scores in the genres that most appeal to you, then come back to the stuff that needs a second look.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 7:24 PM   
 By:   RM Eastman   (Member)

Waxman was one of the best film composers ever!!! I could list at least 50 scores that are just superb. Just a few: PRINCE VALIANT, SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS,UNTAMED, CIMMARON, THE NUNS STORY, ADVENTURES OF A YOUNG MAN, PEYTON PLACE, TARAS BULBA, MY GEISHA, SAYONARA, ETC. You should give him another try because you are missing out on one of the greats!

 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 7:49 PM   
 By:   edwzoomom   (Member)



Waxman ON here. My favorite Waxman score is Sayonara, followed by Sayonara and finally Sayonara. Seriously, this is one is have always loved beginning as a child. We had the RCA LP growing up and it was played constantly. My dream would be to have a re-release of this score! Oh my!

Other Waxman favorites of mine are My Geisha and My Sister Rachel and Beloved Infidel. Finally, have to mention a Place in the Sun and Rebecca.

Waxman is ON here for sure!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 16, 2013 - 7:58 PM   
 By:   PFK   (Member)

Waxman was a chameleon composer, and many have felt he might have been even better remembered had he been less so. But, like Friedhofer, he was not 'narcissistic' in his style, he served the film foremostly, not his own image or even style.

He could write great romantic scores like 'Rebecca', great 'jazz' scores like 'Crime in the Streets', ironic scores like 'Sunset Boulevard', modernist stuff like 'Spirit of St. Louis'.

He could be upfront or subtle. Have you heard his oratorio for his wife, on the fall of Jericho, very epic but also very subtly ironic?


I think Mr. McCrum hit the nail on the head here. Waxman is indeed a chameleon and his "style" a bit harder to pin down. My first Waxman score was TARAS BULBA, and I was immediately smitten.
I went in search of more Waxman (on a limited budget at the time) and did not find much that appealed to me. Given my callow youth, I did not respond to PEYTON PLACE or A PLACE IN THE SUN, because I was expecting more TARAS...thought they were soapy and mushy. (I was wrong) Later I found stuff like BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, PRINCE VALIANT and OBJECTIVE BURMA and my faith was restored. Over time, as I overcame my early prejudices, I like most Waxman scores and I've come to see PLACE IN THE SUN, just for one example, as a masterpiece.

Look for scores in the genres that most appeal to you, then come back to the stuff that needs a second look.




Ray, that's Objective Burma! smile

Waxman was one of the greats for sure. A few favorites are Bride of Frankenstein, Sunset Blvd., Spirit of St. Louis, Taras Bulba among others.

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 1:43 AM   
 By:   Ray Worley   (Member)


Ray, that's Objective Burma! smile



Doh! I knew that!

And thanks to your reposting my comment I can't edit away my dumb mistake. frown

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 3:17 AM   
 By:   ajhfsm   (Member)

After some pondering, I don't think it is necessary to watch the film to enjoy, understand or otherwise listen to the music. Though it can help make things clear.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 4:15 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I love Franz Waxman's music. The 'Ride to Dubno' from Taras Bulba is my single favourite music cue bar none!

It was wonderful to see it played (link below) as the 'encore' piece at the end of the recent BBC Proms Concert (The Hollywood Rhapsody Prom) with John Wilson conducting his hand-picked orchestra.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2gTqZxpGN0&list=UUVXwZPvZSnh-zXn72_Db3gg


I saw this - a great piece of music, played energetically to an appreciative audience. I've never really gone out of my way to hear any Waxman, but this is my favourite of what I am familiar with.

TG

 
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