Franz Waxman's Rebecca: A Film Score Guide

Franz Waxman's Rebecca: A Film Score Guide

by David Neumeyer, Nathan Platte


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Upon his arrival in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock began work on his first American film, an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's best-selling novel. Produced by David O. Selznick and featuring compelling performances by Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson, Rebecca became one of Hitchcock's most successful films. It was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and received the Oscar for Best Picture, the only Hitchcock work to be so honored. Without question, one of the reasons for the film's success is its ninety minutes of dramatic musical underscoring by Franz Waxman.

In Franz Waxman's Rebecca: A Film Score Guide, David Neumeyer and Nathan Platte situate the score for this classic work within the context of the composer's life and career. Beginning with Waxman's early training and professional experience as a jazz musician and film-music arranger-orchestrator in Berlin, the authors also recount the composer's work in the music department at MGM between 1936 and 1942. During this period, Waxman was loaned out to Selznick International Pictures and wrote the music for Rebecca. Through manuscript and archival research, Neumeyer and Platte untangle the threads of the film's complicated music production process, which was strongly influenced by Selznick's habit of micromanaging music choices and placement. This volume concludes with a thematic analysis and reading of the score that incorporates commentary on scenes and cues.

The first book devoted to the music of a single film by this great composer from Hollywood's golden age, Franz Waxman's Rebecca: A Film Score Guide will be of interest to musicologists and film scholars, as well as fans of Alfred Hitchcock and Franz Waxman.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810881365
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 12/06/2011
Series: Film Score Guides Series , #12
Pages: 236
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David Neumeyer is professor of Music Theory in the School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.

Nathan Platte has taught musicology at the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University.

Table of Contents

Frontispiece: Franz Waxman during Production of Rebecca
Editor's Foreword: Kate Daubney
Chapter 1: Franz Waxman's Musical Background
Chapter 2: Waxman's Film Scoring Language
Chapter 3: Production and Reception
Chapter 4: Creating a Score for Rebecca
Chapter 5: Analysis of the Score
Appendix 1: Franz Waxman's Scoring Notes for Rebecca, 1 December 1939
Appendix 2: Summary of Edited Cues in Rebecca
Appendix 3: "Music Notes Resumé," 6 March 1940
About the Authors

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