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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
Film Music Classics - Waxman: Rebecca / Adriano
Release Date: 09/20/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557549   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 76 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Escape to Paradise - The Hollywood Album / Daniel Hope
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002145302 Release Date: 09/02/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Miklós Rózsa,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco,  Hanns Eisler  ... 
    Performer:  Daniel Hope,  Maria Todtenhaupt,  Sting,  Jacques Ammon  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Shelley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin Quartet,  Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin Quintet
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  • 2.
    Music For Alfred Hitchcock / Mauceri, Danish National Symphony
    Label: Toccata Classics   Catalog: 241 Release Date: 08/12/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernard Herrmann,  Franz Waxman,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Arthur Benjamin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish National Symphony Orchestra,  Danish National Choir
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  • 3.
    Complete Vengerov: Recordings 1991-2007 [19 CDs & 1 DVD]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 631514 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Itamar Golan,  Maxim Vengerov,  Alexander Markovich,  Daniel Barenboim  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Kurt Masur,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Works By Bartok, Beethoven, Waxman And Ysaye
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 14316 Release Date: 04/29/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugčne Ysa˙e,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Béla Bartók,  Franz Waxman
    Performer:  Tobias Feldmann,  Boris Kusnezow
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  • 5.
    Play It Again: Classic Sound Of Hollywood
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 303384 Release Date: 04/01/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Dimitri Tiomkin,  Daniele Amfitheatrof,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt,  Maurice Jarre,  Esa-Pekka Salonen,  Elmer Bernstein  ... 
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  • 6.
    Teldec - 50-CD Collection
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 643851 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonín Dvorák,  Franz Joseph Haydn  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Josef Protschka,  Barbara Bonney,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Iván Fischer,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt,  Carlo Rizzi,  Reinbert De Leeuw  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
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  • 7.
    The Golden Age Of Hollywood
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 24 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Maurice Jarre,  Elmer Bernstein,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  Howard McGill,  Mike Allen,  Kyle Horch
    Conductor:  David Firman
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  • 8.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381335 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Waxman,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Arata Yumi,  Mone Hattori,  Zakhar Bron
    Conductor:  Zakhar Bron
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  • 9.
    Souvenir D'amerique / Friedemann Eichhorn, Andreas Frolich
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 861 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  William Kroll,  Stephen Foster,  Henri Vieuxtemps  ... 
    Performer:  Friedemann Eichhorn,  Andreas Frolich
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  • 10.
    American Serenade / Rachel Kolly D'alba
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 2564657657 Release Date: 10/30/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Franz Waxman,  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Rachel Kolly d'Alba
    Conductor:  John Axelrod
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  • 11.
    Famous Film Scores - Steiner, Waxman, Korngold, Herrmann / Gerhardt, Steiner
    Label: Newton Classics   Catalog: 8802104 Release Date: 06/26/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Walter W. Greene,  Alfred Newman  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Max Steiner,  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 12.
    The Golden Age Of Hollywood Vol 3 / Bernas, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 23 Release Date: 05/29/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  Elmer Bernstein,  David Rose,  Victor Young  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bernas
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Sergei Nakariakov - Trumpet & Piano [3-CD Set]
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 672094 Release Date: 03/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Franz Waxman,  Vassily Brandt,  Jean-Baptiste Arban,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Markovich,  Sergei Nakariakov
    CD: $22.49
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  • 14.
    Barber, Korngold: Violin Concertos / Alexander Gilman
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 799 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Franz Waxman,  John T. Williams
    Performer:  Alexander Gilman
    Conductor:  Perry So
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capetown Orchestra
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  • 15.
    The Golden Age Of Hollywood Vol 2 / Serebrier, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra   Catalog: 22 Release Date: 02/28/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernard Herrmann,  Max Steiner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Elmer Bernstein  ... 
    Performer:  Clio Gould,  Jamie Talbot
    Conductor:  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Dame Joan Sutherland - Complete Decca Studio Recitals  [23-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001619502 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 23
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  George Frideric Handel,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Nadine Sautereau,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Richard Conrad,  Ambrose Gauntlett  ... 
    Conductor:  Nello Santi,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus  ... 
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  • 17.
    Chloe
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 886552 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Glazunov,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Franz Waxman  ... 
    Performer:  Chloë Hanslip
    Conductor:  Paul Mann
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  • 18.
    Classic Film Scores: Bette Davis
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 81272 Release Date: 03/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Franz Waxman,  Alfred Newman
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Classic Film Scores: Sunset Boulevard
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 81265 Release Date: 03/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Waxman
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
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  • 20.
    Charlie Siem Plays Virtuoso Violin Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 80471 Release Date: 01/25/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Antonio Bazzini,  Niccolň Paganini,  Franz Waxman  ... 
    Performer:  Caroline Jaya-Ratnam,  Charlie Siem
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  • 21.
    Label: Varese Sarabande   Catalog: 067059 Release Date: 12/21/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  David Raksin,  Bernard Herrmann,  Alex North  ... 
    Performer:  Jimmie Rodgers,  Jennifer Warnes
    CD: $24.99
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  • 22.
    Captain Blood - Classic Film Scores For Errol Flynn
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 77934 Release Date: 10/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Franz Waxman,  Hugo Friedhofer
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Casablanca - Classic Film Scores For Humphrey Bogart
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 77937 Release Date: 10/19/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Max Steiner,  Franz Waxman,  Friedrich Hollaender,  Victor Young  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Gerhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 24.
    Opera Fantasies
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3384 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Wieniawski,  Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst,  Franz Waxman,  Igor Frolov  ... 
    Performer:  Andrey Shibko,  Haik Kazazyan
    CD: $17.99
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  • 25.
    Journey To The Stars / Mauceri, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 446403 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Arthur Bliss,  Karl-Birger Blomdahl,  John T. Williams,  Louis Barron  ... 
    Conductor:  John Mauceri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra,  Hollywood Bowl Symphony Chorus
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