Hanns Eisler (1898-1962) Eisler-Studien – Vol. 5
Contributions to a Critical Musicology edited on behalf of the Internationale Hanns Eisler Gesellschaft
328 pages | 17 x 24 cm | 628 g | ISBN: 978-3-7651-0385-8 | Softbound
Exiled from Nazi Germany, the composer Hanns Eisler moved to Los Angeles in April 1942 to make a living in the Hollywood film industry. After some time of struggling, he finally was commissioned to compose the music for Fritz Lang’s anti-Nazi film Hangmen Also Die, whose script was in large part written by Bertolt Brecht. Following this, Eisler worked together with Theodor W. Adorno on the book Composing for the Films. Completed in 1944, it was not until 1947 that an English version of the book was published by Oxford University Press. Shortly before the book went into print, Adorno withdrew his co-authorship in order to avoid attracting the attention of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
The study provides detailed analyses and correlations of the book Composing for the Films and the soundtrack of Hangmen Also Die. The reflections on Adorno’s and Eisler’s book outline the complex textual history, problems arising in connection with the co-authorship, and essential views and theses, not least in view of the aspect of the “Composition for the Hollywood Film.” The part on the film music of Hangmen Also Die focuses mainly on its in-depth analysis.
The study is based on extensive archive research and contributes not only to explore Eisler’s life and œuvre but also to the research of Adorno and Brecht as well as general music in exile and film music.