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Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood's Most Influential Composer

Steven C. Smith



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Oxford University Press Inc
15 May 2020
Film, TV & Radio; Musicals; Individual composers & musicians, bands & groups; Biography: arts & entertainment; Music industry
During a seven-decade career that spanned from 19th century Vienna to 1920s Broadway to the golden age of Hollywood, three-time Academy Award winner Max Steiner did more than any other composer to introduce and establish the language of film music. Indeed, revered contemporary film composers like John Williams and Danny Elfman use the same techniques that Steiner himself perfected in his iconic work for such classics as Casablanca, King Kong, Gone with the Wind, The Searchers, Now, Voyager, the Astaire-Rogers musicals, and over 200 other titles. And Steiner's private life was a drama all its own. Born into a legendary Austrian theatrical dynasty, he became one of Hollywood's top-paid composers. But he was also constantly in debt--the inevitable result of gambling, financial mismanagement, four marriages, and the actions of his emotionally troubled son. Throughout his chaotic life, Steiner was buoyed by an innate optimism, a quick wit, and an instinctive gift for melody, all of which would come to the fore as he met and worked with luminaries like Richard Strauss, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, the Warner Bros., David O. Selznick, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, and Frank Capra. In Music by Max Steiner, the first full biography of Steiner, author Steven C. Smith interweaves the dramatic incidents of Steiner's personal life with an accessible exploration of his composing methods and experiences, bringing to life the previously untold story of a musical pioneer and master dramatist who helped create a vital new art with some of the greatest film scores in cinema history.
By:   Steven C. Smith
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm, 
ISBN:   9780190623272
ISBN 10:   0190623276
Series:   Cultural Biographies
Pages:   424
Publication Date:   15 May 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Prologue PART ONE The Little Prince 1 Elegant Revolutions 2 Heir Apparent PART TWO The Wanderer 3 Come Over Here 4 Stairway to Paradise 5 roaring in the Twenties PART THREE The Apprentice 6 Where Does the Music Come From? 7 Revolution 8 Startling, Unusual Sensation 9 Orchids in the Moonlight 10 Working Night and Day PART FOUR Emperor 11 Monarch of Sound 12 Exodus 13 Battles Won and Lost 14 The Right Place to Be 15 Fighting for Steiner 16 The South is Dead 17 Breaking Point 18 Voyage into Fog 19 Yours, Herman Hupfeld 20 Sucker 21 Aur Revoir and Bonjour 22 Indian Summer 23 Falling Star PART FIVE Twilight of the Gods 24 A Jewish Aloha 25 Goetterdammerung 26 Coda

Steven C. Smith is a four-time Emmy nominated journalist, writer, and producer of over 200 documentaries about music and cinema, including The Sound of a City: Julie Andrews Returns to Salzburg (2015); A Place for Us: West Side Story's Legacy (2011); The Lure of the Desert: Martin Scorsese on Lawrence of Arabia (2013); Passion, Prejudice and South Pacific: Creating an American Masterpiece (2009); and Thou Shalt Not! Sex, Sin and Censorship in Pre-Code Hollywood (2008). He is the author of A Heart at Fire's Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann (1991).

Reviews for Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood's Most Influential Composer

Smith has a keen eye for detail and a genuine appreciation for his subject, deftly combining details of Steiner's personal life along with compelling accounts of his work with a roster of Hollywood notables and discussions of his composing methods. VERDICT This well-crafted biography will have film buffs applauding. -- Library Journal

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