Franz Waxman

Biography

Born: December 24, 1906; Königshütte, Upper Silesia, Germany   Died: February 24, 1967; Los Angeles, CA  
Franz Waxman (Wachsmann) was one of the most prolific and respected twentieth century composers of film music. He also produced a large output of concert music, including orchestral, choral, chamber, and instrumental works. In addition, Waxman was a noted conductor and impresario.

Franz Waxman was born in Konigshutte, Germany (now Chorzow, Poland), the last of six children. Persuaded to prepare for a career in banking by his
Read more industrialist father, young Franz, who had studied piano from the age of seven, reluctantly worked as a teller for over two years. After leaving his banking career, he began advanced studies in piano and composition, first in Dresden, then in Berlin. He earned money as a pianist performing in nightclubs and with jazz ensembles. He began doing band arrangements while working with the Weintraub Syncopaters and eventually started doing orchestral arrangements for filmmakers, his first major effort being Frederick Hollander's score for the 1930 film Blue Angel. His first original film score was Kabinett de Dr. Larifari (1930) and by the end of 1933, he had 11 scores to his credit. The 1934 production of Fritz Lang's Liliom was his first major triumph. Lang engaged Waxman to travel to the United States with him to do arrangements for the 1934 film version of Jerome Kern's Music in the Air. Waxman's first original score of the 144 he would do in Hollywood was for the 1935 film The Bride of Frankenstein. That same year, he signed a two-year contract with Universal Pictures to both compose scores and act as the studio's music department director. His efforts during this period include The Invisible Ray (1936) and Fritz Lang's Fury (1936). In 1937, MGM signed Waxman to a seven-year contract, initiating a relationship that would yield scores for such major efforts as Captains Courageous (1937), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), Suspicion (1941), and Woman of the Year (1942). Waxman's services were occasionally subcontracted to other filmmakers during this period, twice resulting in Academy Award nominations for him, The Young in Heart (1938) and Rebecca (1940), both for David O. Selznick. Meanwhile, Waxman was also turning out scores for the concert stage, most notably the Souvenirs de Paris Waltzes (1939) and the suite from Rebecca (1940). His next studio affiliation came in 1943 with Warner Bros., which also resulted in numerous major scores, including Mr. Skeffington (1944), and Objective, Burma! (1945). Waxman established the Los Angeles International Music Festival in 1947, which premiered works by Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, and many other major composers. He also worked as conductor and administered many of the festival's events. Waxman's now-popular Carmen Fantasie (1947), written for Humoresque (with Isaac Stern brilliantly captured on the soundtrack), was recorded for RCA by Jascha Heifetz. In 1950 and 1951, Waxman won Academy Awards for Best Film Score for Sunset Boulevard and A Place in the Sun, respectively, becoming the first composer to win in successive years. More famous scores followed in the decade ahead, including those for Prince Valiant (1954), The Spirit of St. Louis (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), and Taras Bulba (1962). He continued turning out fine orchestral works too, like Reminiscences (1953) and Ruth (1960). Beginning in the late 1950s, Waxman wrote music for numerous well-known television series, including The Twilight Zone (1959), The Fugitive (1963), and Peyton Place (1964). Waxman remained active composing film scores and concert music in his last years. Read less

There are 71 Franz Waxman recordings available.

Select a specific Work or Popular Work below

or

Works

Franz Waxman


MOST POPULAR WORKS
Prelude - Narration 1: The Sun was fading in the West
Chorus: Thus stood time - Narrator: But Moses was old
Interlude - Narrator: But with your new morning, Joshua
Aria: But, with your new morning - Narrator: So Moses faced his people
Aria: Be strong and of good courage - Narration 2: And in the plains of Moab
Chorus: Joshua, son of Nun - Narration 3: And Joshua set aside
The Story of Rahab and the Spies: In all the land of promise
The Story of Rahab and the Spies: Aria: Rahab's Plea
The Story of Rahab and the Spies: And for she feared God - Narration 4: And Joshua took that pack
Aria: Sanctify Yourselves! - Narration 4 (ctd.): And truly on that morrow
Aria of Perplexity: The walls are great
Narration 5: Then Joshua lifted up his eyes
Aria: Rahab's Prayer: The terror is about us
Sinfonia: The Siege of Jericho
Narrator and Chorus: Shout! For the Lord has given you the city
Fanfare - Narration 6: And Jericho
Chorus and Joshua: Ambassadors of Gibeon
Narration 7 and Chorus: And it came to pass
Chorus: The Watch by Gibeon
Battle Fanfares - Narration 8: And till the sinking of the sun
Aria: Sun, stand thou still - Narration 9: And the sun stood still
Chorus of the Priests: All the cities to the great sea - Narration 10: So, Joshua
Aria and Chorus: The Lord has given you all the land - Narration 11: So all these cities
Aria: This day I am going the way of all the Earth - Narrator: So he came
Aria: Oh, your sisters - Narration 12: And in Shechem was a great stone
Aria: Israel, Israel; The Lord has given you a land - Narration 13: So he let his people depart
Aria: I am old
Main Title - Opening Scene - Briefing in an Hour
Take Off - In the Plane
Jumping
Killing the Sentry - Getting Ready
Stop Firing - No Landing
Andante
Two Came Back - Hollis is OK
Burmese Village - Jacob's Death - Burial - Retreat
Resting - Radio Gone
Missing the Plane - Waiting - Up the Hill - Williams' Death
At Night
Invasion - Landing
The Camp - Finale
WORKS
Prelude - Narration 1: The Sun was fading in the West
Chorus: Thus stood time - Narrator: But Moses was old
Interlude - Narrator: But with your new morning, Joshua
Aria: But, with your new morning - Narrator: So Moses faced his people
Aria: Be strong and of good courage - Narration 2: And in the plains of Moab
Chorus: Joshua, son of Nun - Narration 3: And Joshua set aside
The Story of Rahab and the Spies: In all the land of promise
The Story of Rahab and the Spies: Aria: Rahab's Plea
The Story of Rahab and the Spies: And for she feared God - Narration 4: And Joshua took that pack
Aria: Sanctify Yourselves! - Narration 4 (ctd.): And truly on that morrow
Aria of Perplexity: The walls are great
Narration 5: Then Joshua lifted up his eyes
Aria: Rahab's Prayer: The terror is about us
Sinfonia: The Siege of Jericho
Narrator and Chorus: Shout! For the Lord has given you the city
Fanfare - Narration 6: And Jericho
Chorus and Joshua: Ambassadors of Gibeon
Narration 7 and Chorus: And it came to pass
Chorus: The Watch by Gibeon
Battle Fanfares - Narration 8: And till the sinking of the sun
Aria: Sun, stand thou still - Narration 9: And the sun stood still
Chorus of the Priests: All the cities to the great sea - Narration 10: So, Joshua
Aria and Chorus: The Lord has given you all the land - Narration 11: So all these cities
Aria: This day I am going the way of all the Earth - Narrator: So he came
Aria: Oh, your sisters - Narration 12: And in Shechem was a great stone
Aria: Israel, Israel; The Lord has given you a land - Narration 13: So he let his people depart
Aria: I am old
Main Title - Suitors - Fanny
Skeffington Arrives
Trippy
War Declared
The Painting
Trippy Drunk - Dinner at Home
A Happy Event
Baby Montage
Antoher Suitor
Telegram
Fanny Meets People - Raid
Restaurant Scene - Fanny Alone
Young Fanny - Diphtheria Montage
Faded Beauty
The Dinner Party
Forsaken
Finale
Main Title - Opening Scene - Briefing in an Hour
Take Off - In the Plane
Jumping
Killing the Sentry - Getting Ready
Stop Firing - No Landing
Andante
Two Came Back - Hollis is OK
Burmese Village - Jacob's Death - Burial - Retreat
Resting - Radio Gone
Missing the Plane - Waiting - Up the Hill - Williams' Death
At Night
Invasion - Landing
The Camp - Finale


YOU MUST BE A SUBSCRIBER TO LISTEN TO ARKIVMUSIC STREAMING.
TRY IT NOW FOR FREE!
Sign up now for two weeks of free access to the world's best classical music collection. Keep listening for only $19.95/month - thousands of classical albums for the price of one! Learn more about ArkivMusic Streaming
Already a subscriber? Sign In