Friday, August 23, 2013

Madeline, Film Music & David Raksin - From The Orchestra Pit To The Movies

Since this blog loves David Raksin's music, UPA's cartoons and Art Heinemann's animation art - and the gifted writer/illustrator/raconteur Ludwig Bemelmans remains Madame Blogmeister's favorite author - a posting involving UPA's adaptation of Bemelmans' Madeline is as inevitable as sub-freezing temperatures in Verkhoyansk, Russia. UPA pulled off the impossible here: adapting a children's book into a successful movie that respects the source material.

Known in particular for the ubiquitous standard and film noir theme Laura, Mr. Raksin was also an eloquent and prolific author. David Raksin Remembers His Colleagues: Hollywood Composers includes interviews with the giants of film music - Aaron Copland, Hugo Friedhofer, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Alfred Newman, Miklós Rózsa, Max Steiner, Dmitri Tiomkin and Franz Waxman. Although a hard copy of this remains out-of-print, it's well worth scouring friendly public and academic libraries for a copy. Excerpts are available on the American Composers website.

For more the career of David Raksin in radio, movies, stage and television, check out the composer's YouTube tribute channel, as well as Film Score Monthly and The Film Music Society. The latter has re-broadcasted Raksin's essential oral history of film composing, The Subject Is Film Music, and posted the following biography on its website.

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