The Adventures of Mark Twain: The 1944 Score by Max Steinerby Max Steiner
By the time he scored the 1944 biopic The Adventures of Mark Twain, Max Steiner was one of the biggest names in film music, his past career highlights including pictures like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and the original King Kong. If the Mark Twain film doesn't have the classic status of those titles, Steiner's music is not to blame. Here he revealed the skill with which a European émigré could absorb a thoroughly American style, not only in the wealth of quotations (from "My Darling Clementine" to "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen") but also in the evocation of wide-open frontier spaces, the Mississippi River, and the nostalgic simplicity of small-town life in the 19th century. While Aaron Copland and his contemporaries were busy trying to write the Great American Symphony, Steiner seems to have produced one right here, only the film had to be taken away in order to realize it. From the dramatic opening through several scherzos (the contrabassoon concerto of "Frogs," the magical "Toy Shop") and the lamenting "Sorrow," it's all woven together in a continuous tapestry of gloriously orchestrated sound, and it's definitely not just for movie buffs. Mark Twain competed for an Academy Award and lost out to another Steiner effort, the World War II melodrama Since You Went Away -- but it's this lively, witty score that's received a richly deserved reconstruction in Naxos' valuable Film Music Classics series. In fact, of the Steiner scores released in that series so far, Mark Twain may be the least familiar film, but it's the most satisfying and complete as a purely musical experience.
- Release Date:
- The Adventures of Mark Twain, film score - Max Steiner - William T. Stromberg - Moscow Symphony Orchestra - Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Performance CreditsMax Steiner Primary Artist
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