Franz Waxman (1906-1967)

Donald Macleod and film musicologist Rachel Segal examine the life and work of Franz Waxman, one of Hollywood's most celebrated and prolific composers.


01Cabaret Scenes And Gothic Fantasies20080519The programme explores the era going from the heady world of 1920s German cabaret to the supernatural drama of Hitchcock's Rebecca, via a quintessential piece of early Hollywood horror.

Allein in einer grossen Stadt (arr.


Ute Lemper

Gruss und Kuss - Veronika

Eva Busch

Weintraubs Synkopators

Hollander, arr.

Wachsmann (Waxman's name in German): Falling In Love Again

Marlene Dietrich

Friedrich Hollander and his Symphony of Jazz

The Bride Of Frankenstein - film score (Main Title; Danse Macabre; The Creation of the Female Monster)

Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra

Kenneth Alwyn (conductor)

Rebecca - film score (Arrival at Manderley; Mrs Danvers; Rebecca's Room; The New Mrs De Winter; The Fire - Epilogue)

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Joel McNeely (conductor).

02Annus Mirabilis20080520The programme looks at the year 1947 - a frenetic year for Waxman, even by his own standards - where he found time to launch the Los Angeles Music Festival, promote the career of a young Isaac Stern, conduct across the world and write one of his finest film scores.

Enescu, arr Waxman: Roumanian Rhapsody No 1

Mark Kaplan (violin)

Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya

Lawrence Foster (conductor)

Fantasy on Themes from Bizet's Carmen

Isaac Stern (violin)

New York Philharmonic Orchestra

Franz Waxman (conductor)

Auld Lang Syne - Variations, for string trio and piano

Members of the Kremerata Baltica

Rhapsody for piano and orchestra (The Paradine Case - film score)

David Buechner (piano)

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra

James Sedares (conductor)

Tristan and Isolde Fantasia

Chloe Hanslip (violin)

Charles Owen (piano)

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Leonard Slatkin (conductor)

03Hollywood's Golden Composer20080521The programme looks at Waxman's back-to-back Academy Award success in 1950 and 1951, when he gained two in succession, having previously been nominated six times without ever winning.

Featuring Waxman's moody, jazz-inflected score for A Place in the Sun, and what has been described as his masterpiece - his soundtrack to Billy Wilder's iconic film noir, Sunset Boulevard.

Suite (A Place in the Sun - film score)

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

Franz Waxman (conductor)

Sunset Boulevard (excerpts from the film score)

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Joel McNeely (conductor)

04Sacred And Profane20080522Donald looks at some of Waxman's most eclectic works: a sinfonietta written between continents, a film score based on a book that scandalised America and an epic Biblical oratorio, composed after the tragic death of the composer's wife.

Sinfonietta for string orchestra and timpani

Los Angeles Festival orchestra

Franz Waxman (conductor)

Suite: Peyton Place (arr Patrick Russ)

Camerata Nordica

Joshua: A Dramatic Oratorio for Soloists, Narrator, Mixed Chorus and Orchestra (excerpt from Part 1)

Maximilian Schell (narrator)

Rod Gilfry (baritone)

Ann Hallenberg (mezzo-soprano)

Peter Buchi, Patrick Poole (tenor)

Prague Philharmonic Choir

Prague Philharmonia

James Sedares (conductor)

05 LASTImpressions And Epitaphs20080523Contrasting two colourful showpieces for orchestra with the sombre late song-cycle Song of Terezin, Waxman's setting of poems by children interned in the Terezin ghetto in Czechoslovakia.

Goyana: La Marquesa de Santa Cruz

Cristina Ortiz (piano)

Orquestra Simfonica de Barcelona I Nacional de Catalunya

Laurence Foster (conductor)

The Ride to Dubno (Taras Bulba)

MGM Studio Orchestra

Franz Waxman (conductor)

The Song of Terezin

Della Jones (mezzo-soprano)

Berlin Symphony Orchestra

Lawrence Foster (conductor).