Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hear Aaron Copland’s Intense, Academy Award-Winning Score to The Heiress (1949)

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

By the way, The Heiress' star, Olivia de Havilland, who won her second Best Actress Oscar for this role, is still alive at 101 years of age. With the passing of her Oscar-winning sister Joan Fontaine in 2013, and of Shirley Temple two months later, in 2014, Miss de Havilland is the last surviving star of Hollywood's Golden Age.

Fifth Continent
Published on Jan 29, 2013

"The Heiress" is a 1948 Paramount Pictures film directed by William Wyler. Olivia de Havilland, who received a much deserved Oscar for her performance, is supported by such established stars as Montgomery Clift, Sir Ralph Richardson, Miriam Hopkins and Mona Freeman. Aaron Copland received an Oscar for his original score, but refused to accept the statuette because his main title music had been tampered with [Wyler instructed Nathan Van Cleve, another Paramount composer, to substitute J.P.E. Martini's "Plaisir d'amour" for much of Copland's music under the credits]. The recording features Leonard Slatkin [whose parents performed in many recordings featuring scores composed by others for films in which Olivia de Havilland appeared] conducting the St Louis Symphony Orchestra.

Nicholas Stix 2 weeks ago

What was it with Willi Wyler? Why did he hate great contemporary composers? He screwed Aaron Copland, and ran him out of town. He would have destroyed Jerome Moross, as well, if not for Gregory Peck, who was as gallant in real life, as the fictional characters he played on the screen.

Fifth Continent 2 weeks ago

Wyler did NOT 'run Copland out of town' as you inaccurately state. Wyler lost his hearing during WW II. He could not hear properly, which is why he was antagonistic towards the scores for a good many of his films.

[Although J.S. Lasher posts comments under his own name, Fifth Continent Music is his company, and comments posted under that name are thus presumably also those of Lasher.

A myth has been spread by Communists and fellow travelers, whereby Copland (1900-1990) was a “victim” of the Blacklist.

First of all, there was nothing wrong with the Blacklist, as such, because it sought to stem the tide of Communism, and the latter’s three-headed blessings of totalitarian dictatorship, rapine, and genocide. Secondly, the Reds and fellow-travelers who condemn the Blacklist love blacklists, as long as they get to compile and enforce them against their enemies. I’ve been blacklisted in academia and the MSM since the 1990s.

Thirdly, though Copland was a small c communist, he was never blacklisted. My source for that statement is Howard Pollock’s biography, Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man.

The Reds love to lie about the Blacklist, because lying is second nature to them about everything.

Copland took another try at movie scoring, with Something Wild (1961), but by then the magic was gone.

J.S. Lasher has made tremendous movie music, such as Hugo Friedhofer’s score to The Best Years of Our Lives, which I own, available to the public, but he can get plenty persnickety, at times.]

Nicholas Stix 2 weeks ago

Your claim that I “inaccurately state[d]” the situation with Copland and Wyler is most unfortunate, Mr. Lasher. Did Aaron Copland not leave Hollywood out of disgust with Wyler’s butchering of his score for The Heiress? Did Wyler not attempt to replace Jerome Moross on The Big Country nine years later, only to be stopped by the intervention of star and co-producer Gregory Peck, whereupon Wyler said he would never again work with Peck? Did Wyler not interfere with the scores of Hugo Friedhofer (The Best Years of Our Lives) and other composers more closely associated with the studios? These are matters of public record.

Nicholas Stix 1 week ago

"Did Wyler not interfere with the scores of Hugo Friedhofer (The Best Years of Our Lives) and other composers more closely associated with the studios?" That sentence should have read, Did Wyler interfere with the scores of Hugo Friedhofer (The Best Years of Our Lives) and other composers more closely associated with the studios?

Lasher/FCMC has not responded.


Anonymous said...

...Very interesting article & relaxing music.

Nicholas said...

Lasher has deleted the entire exchange I re-posted here. How's that for petty!