Cover for EVERETT: Rudolf Friml. Click for larger image

Rudolf Friml

The first book-length study devoted to Rudolf Friml's multifaceted musical legacy

Rudolf Friml (1879-1972) is best known as the composer of romantic 1920s operettas. Born in Prague where he studied with Dvorak, he moved to the United States in 1906 and pursued careers as a concert pianist and a composer. Beginning in 1912 he wrote music in different styles for Broadway, and in 1914, along with Irving Berlin and Victor Herbert, he became a charter member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Friml was skilled at evoking far-away times and places through music. Rose Marie, for instance, set in Canada, used formulaic Native American motifs in "Totem Tom Tom" and the very popular (and oft-parodied) "Indian Love Call." The Vagabond King and The Three Musketeers were set in France's distant past and featured emblematic marches and Viennese waltzes. Friml also composed music for films, often based on his popular musicals. Parallel to this stage and screen activity, he composed piano concertos, orchestral works, and piano pieces and songs. William Everett discusses Friml in the larger historical contexts of the American operetta, the Indianist movement, Francophilia, Orientalism, and romantic nostalgia.

"Insightfully restores a neglected star to the Broadway firmament."--Studies in Musical Theatre

"Everett has written a thorough scholarly account of a major but now almost forgotten figure in twentieth-century musical theater. The book surveys his life and career, highlights key works, and reveals many ways in which Friml's legacy remains among us even today."--Jeffrey Magee, author of The Uncrowned King of Swing: Fletcher Henderson and Big Band Jazz

"William Everett's lucid and thorough exploration of the life and music of Rudolf Friml places this important Czech-American composer squarely at the forefront of twentieth-century music theater, where he properly belongs. What a delight that this long-overdue volume is also so entertaining and informative. The scholarship is, in a word, sensational. Kudos to Everett for his timely, important and indispensable addition to our American musical history."--Sara Davis Buechner, concert pianist and recording artist, Piano Music of Rudolf Friml on Koch International

William Everett is associate professor of music history at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is the author of Sigmund Romberg and coeditor of The Cambridge Companion to the Musical.

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