The Composer on Screen

Essays on Classical Music Biopics

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About the Book

This collection of new essays explores the many ways in which composers have been depicted in film and what audiences have taken away from such depictions. Beginning with some of the earliest silent film examples—including some of the first feature-length “bio-pics” ever produced—these essays range from the 12th century abbess Hildegard of Bingen to the great classical and romantic eras of Verdi, Wagner, Berlioz and Strauss, up to the 20th century’s Elgar, Delius, Gershwin and Blitzstein.

About the Author(s)

Paul Fryer is an academic, author, editor and researcher, based in Kent (UK). He has lectured and presented film screenings internationally and is a visiting professor at the Universities of Leeds, London South Bank and East London.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Paul Fryer
Foreword by Russell Jackson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 233
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9965-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3204-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Foreword: What Composers on Screen Can Do for Us (Russell Jackson) 1
Introduction (Paul Fryer) 7
Composers on Screen and on Stage: A Comparison (Daniel ­Meyer-Dinkgräfe) 11
Orpheus in the Movie World: Offenbach on Film (Laurence Senelick) 18
Dance of the Seven Veils (Pierre Bellemare) 35
Verdi: A Life in Three Movies (Paul Fryer) 40
Sisters of Faith and Genius: Hildegard von Bingen and Nannerl Mozart
(Carmen Gorgichuk) 60
Le Roi danse (The King Dances) (Pierre Bellemare) 73
Hagiography or Realism? Wagner ­Bio-Pics (F. Jane Schopf) 80
Staging Gender and Genius in James Lapine’s Impromptu (Lindsay Brandon Hunter) 104
Picturing the Cradle: Blitzstein as Memory, Blitzstein as Comedy (John Patrick Bray) 110
Cole Porter’s Fabulous Film Lives: Night and Day and De-Lovely (Ellen M. Peck) 131
La Symphonie fantastique (Pierre Bellemare) 140
Robert Schumann: A Double Vision (John C. Tibbetts) 151
All That Jazz: George Gershwin, American Mythology and Rhapsody in Blue (1945) (Samuel J. Umland) 159
Elgar and Delius (Nesta Jones) 168
Picturing the Composer (Gary Yershon) 200
About the Contributors 223
Index 225