MUSICALLY SPEAKING WITH MILDRED KAYDEN: ELMER BERNSTEIN (RADIO)

Summary

One in this series of talk shows that aired on WEVD in the 1950s and 1960s in which composer/librettist/Vassar music professor Mildred Kayden interviews renowned performing artists about their musical influences. In this program, Kayden talks with film composer and conductor Elmer Bernstein.

Topics discussed include: the pronunciation of his name ("Burn steen" not "stine"); his early music education and interest in composing, along with the encouragement he received from Aaron Copland which led to his studies with Israel Citkowitz, Roger Sessions, and Stefan Wolpe; his association with avant-garde composer George Antheil and the recent trend of “simplicity” in musical expression; the ability of motion pictures and television to be “conveyors” of music; the differences between “documentary” and “commercial” scoring; Bernstein’s score for the 1955 film “The Man with the Golden Arm,” and the “musical language” he chose to use for the score, including heavy jazz elements; the techniques he used in composing the film score of 1957’s “Men in War”; the unifying elements of rhythm across different subgenres of jazz; his work on film scores for the 1958 films “God’s Little Acre,” which he scored with "a predominantly folk feeling," and “Some Came Running”; the use of a film score as “a transmission belt for emotion”; the popularity and marketability of film theme songs; his process when composing film scores; and his strong desire to have his work represented on Broadway.

Includes the following musical selections: the title theme from “The Man with the Golden Arm”; “Sounds of War” from the score to “Men in War”; and "Dave’s Double Life” from the score of “Some Came Running.”

Mildred Goldstein studied music at Vassar College under Ernst Krenek, from 1940 to 1942. After graduation, Goldstein worked as an instructor of music literature at Vassar College as well as a composer and lyricist. In 1950, she married Bernard Kayden, taking his name and composing under the name Mildred Kayden. During her career, Kayden wrote operas (including “Mardi Gras” and “The Last Word”) and scores for musicals such as “Call the Children Home,” “Storyville,” “Sepia Star,” and the hit 1974 Off Broadway show “Ionescopade” (revived in 2012 by the York Theater in New York City), as well as music and lyrics for the NBC television program “Strangers in the Land.”

Mildred Kayden’s weekly radio program, “Musically Speaking” -- in which she interviewed luminaries from classical music, opera, theater, dance, and jazz -- aired from 1956 to the early 1960s on WEVD in New York, followed later in the 1960s by the radio program “Forum of the Arts.”

Cataloging of this program was made possible by The Kayden Foundation.

Details

  • NETWORK: WEVD
  • DATE:
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:28:11
  • COLOR/B&W:
  • CATALOG ID: 110123
  • GENRE: Talk/Interview
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Talk/Interview
  • SERIES RUN:
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Mildred Kayden … Host
    • Elmer Bernstein … Guest
    • George Antheil
    • Israel Citkowitz
    • Roger Sessions
    • Stefan Wolpe