All posts under Bronislau Kaper

9 Favorite FSM CDs

fsm

With the release of Jerry Fielding’s THE WILD BUNCH last month, it’s the end of the line for the Film Score Monthly label. With a roster of 250 releases since 1996, FSM filled a very important void in the soundtrack business. With its primary concentration on the MGM library (which later incorporated other studios), producer Lukas Kendall had access to one of the richest veins of Silver and Golden Age film music. FSM had its share of heavy-hitters—the Newman’s, Goldsmith’s, Williams’s, Barry’s, Morricone’s, North’s, Waxman’s, Herrmann’s, Bernstein’s, and basically the…

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50 Favorite Film Scores, Part 4: #20–11

ben-hur-image

If you want to refresh your memory of earlier entries in the list, check out the past few posts—Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. We’re coming into the home stretch but not just yet. Herewith are the next batch of some of my favorite scores… 20. THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947) Bernard Herrmann goes romantic. The fantastical story of a young widow in love with a dead sea captain features arguably Herrmann’s most ravishing work (and Herrmann’s personal favorite). The score beautifully captures the crashing waves and swirling…

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50 Favorite Film Scores, Part 1: #50–41

Citizen Kane

In the countdown to my 50th birthday on the 19th, in addition to foolishly choosing nine of my favorite film composers, I decided to tackle an even more daunting task—choose 50 of my favorite scores. Little did I know when I began this listening project back in June that it would prove to be so difficult, so enjoyable and so emotional. First, some ground rules for myself. I made a master list of every possible score that could conceivably be considered for the final list. That totaled over 175 scores….

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9 Favorite Film Scores of Bronislau Kaper

mutiny

One of the great things about the Film Score Monthly label has been its championing of lesser-known composers like Oscar-winner Bronislau Kaper. Prior to FSM, Kaper’s output on CD was basically nonexistent. Since the release of the soundtrack of THE PRODIGAL in 2002, FSM has released approximately 25 Kaper scores, most of which have never been heard outside of their respective films. While I’m sure Lukas Kendall’s lucrative deal with the studio (which also provided him and us with all those great Miklós Rózsa releases) had something to do with this, I…

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9 Favorite Film Scores of 1962

Lawrence of Arabia

August is my birthday month. Back in school it sucked because kids never bothered to remember your birthday during the summer. As a young adult, I used to have a mental list that I’d check off each year as friends wished me a happy birthday (or not). (Pathetic.) Now, due to the marvel of Facebook, complete strangers (who are still friends) send me birthday greetings! And my ego is just delicate enough that that makes me happy. (Equally pathetic.) So rather than wait for the 19th to roll around (hint,…

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Mutiny on the Bounty

Mutiny on the Bounty

Fresh off the success of its widescreen remake of BEN-HUR in 1959, M-G-M greenlit another famous epic—a remake of the studio’s 1935 Best Picture Oscar winner, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY. The tale of the famous 1789 mutiny aboard the H.M.S. Bounty would seem ripe for a bright, Technicolor touch-up. But as directors and writers came and went, and star Marlon Brando wreaked havoc on the set with his constant demands and his “Method” acting, production costs continued to mount and the film nearly sank the studio. Fans of the classic 1935 film…

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The Thrill of the Hunt

foxhunt

I’ve never participated in a fox hunt for a couple of reasons–1) It’s now banned almost everywhere, 2) I’m afraid of horses, and 3) it requires me to be outdoors. Though I’m fully aware of the animal cruelty issues, there’s still something appealing about the time-honored tradition of a good old-fashioned hunt. Plus, I think I’d look damn good in a pair of jodhpurs. So I live out these admittedly romantic notions through the movies, where the hunt usually brings out the best in a composer. One of the most memorable…

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Lili

Lili

As the movie poster rightfully proclaims: “You’ll fall in love with LILI!” This charming, simple film stars Leslie Caron as a sad and lonely orphan who hooks up with a traveling carnival and falls in love with a womanizing magician (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and a crippled, embittered puppeteer (Mel Ferrer). The film could have easily been cloying but director Charles Walters moves the slight tale briskly and Caron never lets her character sink into bathos. But it is Bronislau Kaper‘s lilting score that keeps things humming along. Kaper was given the choice between scoring…

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A Musical Feast

auntiemame

From the page to the stage to film and back again, AUNTIE MAME (1958) began life as a bestselling novel by Patrick Dennis before treading the boards on Broadway for 639 hit performances. Extolling her mantra of “live, live, LIVE,” the irreverent escapades of everyone’s favorite madcap aunt from Beekman Place features a feast of comic vignettes that showcase the comedic talents of its legendary leading lady, Rosalind Russell. AUNTIE MAME was the first play I ever saw as a freshman in high school. Sure, it had all the trappings of…

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