Alex North, Film Composer: A Biography, with Musical Analyses of a Streetcar Named Desire, Spartacus, The Misfits, Under the Volcano, and Prizzi's Honor
McFarland, 2003 M01 1 - 264 pages
Alex North (1910-1991) was one of America's most renowned film composers. He developed his career in Hollywood over a 40 year period, from the early fifties to his death, and enhanced and enriched over 60 major motion pictures, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cleopatra and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf to name just a few. He accumulated 15 Oscar nominations, and received the Lifetime Achievement Oscar for his work.
Alex North's life and work are the focus of this book. The first part deals with his early life growing up in Chester, Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia, his studies at Juilliard in New York and in Russia and Mexico, his early experiences in modern dance, documentaries, and theater, and his major work in film.
The second part contains detailed analyses of the musical scores that North composed for A Streetcar Named Desire, Spartacus, The Misfits, Under the Volcano, and Prizzi's Honor. Included in the appendices are a bibliography of materials about North, a filmography, a listing of other compositions by North, a discography, and a listing of awards North received.
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A Streetcar Named Desire 1951
Spartacus 1960 1
The Misfits 1961 1
Under the Volcano 1984 1
Prizzis Honor 1985 1
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Academy Award accompanied adaptation Alex North Alex's Anna Sokolow approach Arthur Miller Artists ballet Blanche Blanche's theme brass character Charley clarinet collaboration compositional Consul Crassus dance Daniel Mann David Raksin Death developed Directed dissonant dramatic Elia Kazan emotional epic film composer Film Music film score film's Fred Steiner Gianni Schicchi Glabrus gladiators Hollywood Huston Ibid instruments interview with Alex Irene jazz Kubrick lyrical Main Title melodic ment Mexican Misfits Mitch movement Movie music cue musical score musical sequence North's music North's score novel oboe opera orchestral original Overture personal interview phrase piano picture piece play principal theme Prizzi's Honor quoted rhythm rhythmic Roman Salesman scene Script slaves solo song sound soundtrack source music Spartacus Stanley Stanley's Stella Steven story Streetcar Named Desire strings style symphonic theater thematic material Tony Thomas trumpet tune Varèse Sarabande Varinia Varinia's theme Varsouviana violins Viva Zapata Volcano Williams woodwinds wrote York