Download Composers in the Movies: Studies in Musical Biography by Professor John C. Tibbetts PDF

By Professor John C. Tibbetts

Amadeus . . . Yankee Doodle Dandy . . . Swanee River . . . Rhapsody in Blue. Even earlier than videos had sound, filmmakers dramatized the lives of composers. motion picture biographies—or biopics—have depicted composers as diversified as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George M. Cohan, Stephen Foster, and George Gershwin. during this engaging booklet, the 1st committed completely to such motion pictures, John C. Tibbetts surveys diversified kinds and classes from the Hollywood of the Nineteen Twenties and Thirties to the overseas cinema of at the present time, exploring the position that movie biographies play in our figuring out of background and tradition. Tibbetts delves into such questions as: How traditionally actual are composer biopics? How and why have inaccuracies and distortions been perpetrated? What options were used to symbolize visually the artistic method? The ebook examines the flicks in different contexts and considers their position in commodifying and popularizing song. vast archival learn, dozens of illustrations, and diverse interviews make this an attractive publication for movie and track fanatics in any respect levels.

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Handel depicts the composer’s London years, spanning his assumption of British citizenship in 1727; his association with the theatrical producer, John Jacob Heidegger; the wrangles over the patronage of King George II and Frederick, Prince of Wales; the contests between rival opera companies; the relationship with singer Susanah Cibber; and the composing of Messiah in 1742 (with the attendant controversy about allowing actors to sing from New Testament texts). In a parley with a church bishop the German-born Handel (Wilfrid Lawson) consolidates his Englishness, his artistic agenda, and his spiritual values in one neat package: ‘‘Pardon, but I am even more certainly an Englishman than yourself, my Lord Bishop.

Left alone, he finds consolation only in his music. ’’ Among the adapted Schubert songs, in addition to ‘‘Ave Maria,’’ The Classical Style 25 was ‘‘Song of Love,’’ derived from the second theme of the first movement of the Eighth Symphony, and the celebrated ‘‘Ständchen,’’ or ‘‘Serenade,’’ from the song cycle Schwanengesang. Blossom Time was a spectacular success and ran for 592 performances in its first Broadway run. For years thereafter it crisscrossed the country in numerous touring productions.

Likewise, the famous ‘‘Blue Danube’’ waltz is composed under the most mundane of circumstances: As Strauss sits on the dock and watches the dawn come up over the river, he listens intently to the tooting of the harbor boats, punctuated by the slapping sounds of the washerwomen scrubbing laundry against the stones. Gradually, as strains of the music well up on the soundtrack, an elaborate visual montage ensues, consisting of shots of printing presses cranking out the sheet music in many languages, string players performing in the concert hall, and dancers in many ethnic costumes whirling across dance floors.

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