Film Music of Bronislaw Kaper
June 7, 2014
FACET (DELOS) 8101
Bronislaw Kaper (1902-1983) like many of the golden age composers emigrated from Europe and found their way to Hollywood to compose for the major studios. In this case the talented Polish pianist was signed to an MGM contract by Louis B. Mayer who was vacationing in Europe in the summer of 1935 as a songwriter. While Kaper is well known to the soundtrack enthusiast he is virtually unknown to the general public yet his Green Dolphin Street was played by all of the jazz groups of the fifties such as Bill Evans and Miles Davis. Lili, his Oscar winning score, has been performed by most pop orchestras and singers. In the small soundtrack community much thanks should be given to Film Score Monthly for releasing several of his soundtracks. His first hit upon arriving to America was San Francisco, a recognizable melody that most people could hum but would have no clue who wrote it or even the name of the song.
First released as an LP by Delos in 1975 and twelve years later as a CD this release has remained unnoticed for twenty five years and it was only by accident that I happened upon it along with other surprises down the road for my readers. The thirty eight minute CD features twelve of his compositions on piano all performed by the composer. His playing is in a word superb. It rivals the quality of a concert pianist. Artur Rubinstein, the concert pianist, once said of his friend is “The difference between the way you play the piano and the way others play it is you make it sound the way you want it to sound and others sound the way the piano wants it.”
The twelve melodies encompass light, classical, jazz, and a bit off the standard path. My favorite on this recording is the Green Dolphin Street that offers a nice minor key. The recording is a good one that has good treble and bass as well as a well recorded sound of the piano. You can hear the resonance and tone quality from the recording. In fact it is just as Rubinstein said you get the true feeling of the music from the composer himself. The recording is available from the distributor Naxos as a CD or download at $9.99 http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=627290
This is a rare opportunity to own a recording of the composer performing his own material.
Total Duration: 00:37:12