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Lili (1953)
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Lili Lili
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: September 2005
Catalog #: Vol. 8, No. 15
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

Lili was a small and offbeat combination of genres—romance, comedy, musical and drama—that unexpectedly became one of the biggest hits of 1953. The film stars Leslie Caron as a homeless French orphan who joins a carnival and develops a unique relationship with an embittered puppeteer, Paul (Mel Ferrer), treating his puppets as living beings. The interaction between Lili and the puppets, and between Lili and Paul, is a unique treasure in motion picture history.

Lili was at one time considered almost unreleasable by M-G-M, but received a perfect score by Bronislau Kaper and song, "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" (with lyrics by screenwriter Helen Deutsch) that became a pop sensation. A kind of carnival waltz, "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" is the centerpiece of the film and score and an irresistable melody every bit as potent 50 years later. Bronislau Kaper considered Lili his favorite among his many film projects and the score deservedly won him an Academy Award.

In addition to the song, Kaper got to write two well-developed ballets for Lili (for fantasy dream sequences), blending a melodic and pop accessibility with symphonic classical development in an appropriately French style (recalling Debussy and Ravel). The balance of the score includes sensitive dramatic scoring as well as tuneful source cues for the carnival.

Lili was released on a four-track EP at the time of the film, but this CD marks the first release of the full score, including copious alternates and outtakes, in the best-possible monaural sound. Between the unforgettable song, delightful ballets, and pitch-perfect sense of mood and magic, Lili is a magnificent showpiece and a jewel in Bronislau Kaper's career.

Bronislau Kaper Scores on FSM
About the Composer

The Polish-born Bronislau Kaper (1902-1983) parlayed a successful stint in the French film industry (1933-1935) into a longtime Hollywood contract at M-G-M (1935-1962), where he was an indispensable member of the music department and wrote many famous songs and scores (Green Dolphin Street, Invitation, Lili). He capped his M-G-M career with his mammoth symphonic score to Mutiny on the Bounty, a fan favorite. He worked in the 1960s as a freelancer, scoring Lord Jim among others. Thanks to our relationship with Turner Classic Movies Music, we have brought a significant amount of Kaper's M-G-M music to CD—with more to come. IMDB

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Hans Sommers

Samuel Albert, Dave Crocov, Sam Fiedler, Werner L. Gebauer, Saul Grant, Sidney Greene, Mort Herbert, Sol Kindler, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Emanuel Moss, Lou Raderman, Herman Seidel, Al Vertchamp, Eunice Wennermark, Byron Williams, Leo Zorn

Cecil Figelski, Morris Lederman, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus, Germain Prevost, Jack (Jacques) Ray

Alexander Borisoff, Alex Bunchuk, Fernand Lhoest, Irving Lipschultz, Edgar Lustgarten, Michel Penha

George F. Boujie, Louis Previati, Arthur Shapiro

Aaron Gershunoff

Philip Memoli

Gus Bivona, Mort B. Friedman, Alex Gershunoff, Don Lodice (Logiudice), D. H. McKenney, Andrew Young

Charles A. Gould

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow

Colin Creitz, Uan Rasey, Irvin Shulkin, Joe Triscari

Walter Benson, Herb Taylor, Simon Zentner

Jacob Gimpel, Milton Raskin

Jack Marshall

Mary Jane Barton

Fred Travers

Frank L. Carlson, Mel Pedesky, D. V. Seber

Orchestra Manager:
James C. Whelan

© 2015 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.