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This book examines the relationship between narrative film and reality, as seen through the lens of on-screen classical concert performance. By investigating these scenes, wherein the performance of music is foregrounded in the narrative, Winters uncovers how concert performance reflexively articulates music's importance to the ontology of film. The book asserts that narrative film of a variety of aesthetic approaches and traditions is no mere copy of everyday reality, but constitutes its own filmic reality, and that the music heard in a film's underscore plays an important role in distinguishing film reality from the everyday. As a result, concert scenes are examined as sites for provocative interactions between these two realities, in which real-world musicians appear in fictional narratives, and an audience’s suspension of disbelief is problematised. In blurring the musical experiences of onscreen observers and participants, these concert scenes also allegorize music’s role in creating a shared subjectivity between film audience and character, and prompt Winters to propose a radically new vision of music’s role in narrative cinema wherein musical underscore becomes part of a shared audio-visual space that may be just as accessible to the characters as the music they encounter in scenes of concert performance.
In Erich Wolfgang Korngold's The Adventures of Robin Hood: A Film Score Guide, author Ben Winters uses manuscript and archival research to challenge preconceived notions about the score's composer and its authorship. In the first two chapters, Winters examines Korngold's career on its own and in relation to the film, including his background in composing concert music and opera, his film scoring techniques, and his engagement with the Hollywood studio system. Chapter three focuses on the Robin Hood film while placing Korngold's music in a larger framework. It examines the film's treatment of the Robin Hood legend, its historical and critical contexts, and its place within the swashbuckler genre and the studio's anti-fascist agenda. While looking closely at the composer's work on this score, chapter four shows sources Korngold used, the music's production process, and the changes the score had undergone. The book concludes with a thematic analysis and reading of the score, identifying the various musical 'voices' that the listener weaves together as he or she experiences the film. This detailed consideration of Korngold's masterpiece will be continually turned to by film and music scholars alike.