Enter your mobile phone or email address
By pressing ‘Send link’, you agree to Amazon's Conditions of Use.
You consent to receive an automated text message from or on behalf of Amazon about the Kindle App at your mobile number above. Consent is not a condition of any purchase. Message and data rates may apply.
Follow the Author
Music by Max Steiner: The Epic Life of Hollywood's Most Influential Composer (Cultural Biographies) Kindle Edition
- ASIN : B085YD67MX
- Publisher : Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (10 April 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 70375 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 496 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 300,645 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Review this product
Top reviews from other countries
Viennese composer Max Steiner was an early innovator of high quality film music, writing striking and influential scores for classic movies such as King Kong, Casablanca, the Most Dangerous Game, Now, Voyager, The Searchers and The Big Sleep.
It was Steiner who demonstrated the power of combining really high quality orchestral music to film images, using music in an almost operatic manner, that has been endlessly imitated and can be traced down to contemporary masters of 'serious' music in film, such as Johnny Greenwood.
His most famous project was the score for Gone With Wind - written for the meticulous but interfering producer David O Selznick. Unlike his fellow Warner Brothers colleague Wolfgang Korngold - who was an inheritor of the grand Austrian tradition of 'serious' concert music - Steiner began his career in music theatre - arranging and conducting for popular live shows in London and New York. This experience no doubt gave him a very direct insight to the way that audiences react to music and drama.
This is an excellent look at the man and his work, and creative process - enlivened by wonderful insights into Steiner's personality and mood that come directly from the annotations and cartoons that he left behind on his musical sketches and notes. The book has inspired me to seek out or revisit some of the excellent Warners' movies that Steiner scored.
Steiners Sound ist sofort zu erkennen. Er war der "cinematischste" aller Hollywood-Komponisten, weil er sich ausschließlich an den Filmhandlungen orientierte (und nicht im Konzertsaal Erfolg haben wollte). Sein Sinn für Melodien, Stimmungen, Dramatik, Orchester-Farbigkeit etc. ist schlicht und ergreifend faszinierend.
Steven Smith Buch ist sorgfältig recherchiert, grandios strukturiert und pointiert geschrieben. Der Max Steiners ganzes Leben durchziehende Konflikt zwischen unglaublicher musikalischer Kreativität und leichtfertigen finanziellen Engpässen (vier Ehen/Spielleidenschaft/Hilfsbereitschaft) wird eindrucksvoll wiedergegeben. Steiners Wirken mit über 300 Filmmusiken (!) deckt den gesamten Zeitraum des Classical Hollywood (1930-1965) ab. Am Schuss hatte er erfreulicherweise mit dem Jugend-Thema aus "A Summer Place" (1959) einen Million-Seller in den amerikanischen Charts, der seinen Lebensabend sicherte.
Kurzum ein grandioses Buch, das einen wunderbarer Hollywood-Künstler und liebenswerten Menschen in den Mittelpunkt stellt. Wer Hollywoods "most influential composer" kennen oder schätzen lernen will, der wird die vierhundert Seiten mit zahlreichen geschickt eingefügten Photos und Abbildungen genießen. Endlich liegt diese Biographie vor! Klaus Füßmann, Herne
My parents became alarmed that perhaps my memory was defective so they were relieved when I told them that I just wanted to hear the music again. Eventually, the repeat viewings were unnecessary when my sister got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and let me use it. I positioned the microphone right in front of the TV speaker and the playback quality was quite good. I didn’t realize it then but I had created my own soundtrack recordings that I played every day as I did my homework.
Over a half century later we now have the “rest of the story” in Steven C. Smith’s superb biography of the composer, MUSIC BY MAX STEINER. If you have ever read a book that you wished would never end, this is one of them. I happily confirm what many have already stated: this book is a carefully researched, beautifully written, and emotionally captivating story of a man and his creations. Like the tempo of one of Max’s scores, this biography moves along at a knowing pace and Smith knows instinctively how much time to spend on every topic whether personal or musical.
I soon found my approach to this volume to be interactive. As I came to a discussion of each film score I turned to the internet to hear the music. Starting with BIRD OF PARADISE and KING KONG, I began refreshing my recollections of the themes and wondered why I had waited so long to listen to them again. I had no idea of Max’s marathon writing and recording sessions and it never occurred to me that some of the most beautiful music ever written for film was recorded at 3 and 4 o’clock in the morning.
The biography not only provided the opportunity to rediscover old favorites but introduced me to films I had never seen and, thus, music I had never heard. One of them was a 1947 western, CHEYENNE, that Smith enthusiastically reviews and almost seems to challenge the reader to find it if you’re not familiar with it. So I did with a pay-per-view on-demand viewing and I was glad I did.
Author Smith notes at one point that space does not allow for a discussion of all of Steiner’s work so I realized that some of my favorite Steiner scores would be skipped. The only omission I really missed was one of my favorite westerns, SANTA FE TRAIL. Evidently, it was Warners biggest moneymaker among its 1940 releases but the score may have hamstrung Max much in the same way that CASABLANCA later did. By that I mean that the main theme suggested itself with an existing work, in TRAIL it was “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and Max was deprived of writing one of his great love themes because an existing song by another composer, “Along the Santa Fe Trail,” was slotted for that purpose. But I’m carping here about minor things.
Smith concludes his excellent book with an unexpectedly dour statement: in the 21st century Max Steiner is unknown to most people and even among film buffs he’s not much more than a historical footnote. It hurt to read that but I regret to say that Smith is probably correct. But I like to believe that the loss is theirs and indeed it is civilization’s loss too. Yet I prefer to think that if something is recorded then it can certainly be rediscovered by generations in the future.
One word: WOW! I just finished Music by Max Steiner, and I am utterly speechless! The writing and craftsmanship are exquisite. I felt like an old friend and confidante of his, which speaks volumes of Mr. Smith's masterful storytelling ability. Prior to reading, I knew of Max only for GWTW, King Kong, and Casablanca. I was pleasantly shocked and surprised to find that his filmography extended far before and after those hallmark films.
Perhaps my favorite part of the journey of reading this book was that I learned so much about Max the human being, rather than just what I studied about Max the composer. He was a kind, humorous, generous man. He was not without his flaws, but neither is anyone. The humanization of this titan in the industry made the reading experience both special and immersive. I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster, taking me from the peaks of elation and exuberance to the valleys of anxiety, sadness, and pain. As I completed the book, I couldn’t help but to tear up, as the life of a man whom I feel I knew came to a resolute ending.
During this time of COVID-19, life has generated very little excitement for me. I can wholeheartedly say that reading this book provided me the most joy and happiness I have felt in a long time, so much so that I wish I could forget everything about it just so I can experience it for the first time again. I will without a doubt be recommending this to every single film music lover I know!
I so eagerly look forward to what you will do next!