mfiles logo

Bronislau Kaper (1902-1983) - film composer

Bronislau Kaper - The Swan soundtrack CD cover Bronislau (originally Bronislaw) Kaper was born in Warsaw in Poland and studied piano from an early age before graduating from the Chopin Music School. He worked as a song composer in film and cabaret in Germany moving to France as the Nazi movement strengthened before moving to hollywood in the 1930s at the request of Louis B. Mayer from MGM. Kaper was a widely experienced composer who could turn his hand to virtually any kind of music. In "The Swan" he uses his classical background to create numerous variations on Liszt's "Rakoczy March" and an extended Viennese Waltz in the style of Johann Strauss. For "The Brothers Karamazov" Kaper introduces some harsh modernistic elements to his Russian sounding score making the music seem to touch the style of Shostakovich. The presence of a lot of source music also created by the composer in the style of Russian folk and gypsy music shows another side of his creative approach.

Bronislau Kaper - Mutiny on the Bounty soundtrack CD cover This idea of taking indigenous folk traditions as an integral part of a film's soundtrack grew to even greater proportions in the 1962 production of "Mutiny on the Bounty" where the composer sought out the music of the Pacific Islands to lend his soundtrack authenticity. For a while, recordings of Bronislau Kaper's soundtracks were not widely available, but with a growing number of releases by Film Score Classics and other labels specialising in rare soundtracks, you can now find several of his scores on Amazon. The aforementioned "Mutiny on the Bounty" is now available as a 3-CD collector's edition box-set, though see the recommendations section below for further releases.

Films by Bronislau Kaper:

    Bronislau Kaper - The Brothers Karamazov soundtrack CD cover
  • A Night at the Opera - some of the music for this Marx Brothers film
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) - the song "Love Song of Tahiti"
  • San Francisco - the popular title song "San Franisco"
  • A Day at the Races - several songs for another Marx Brothers film
  • Go West - yet another Marx Brothers film
  • Gaslight
  • Bewitched
  • Quentin Durward
  • The Swan - a generally light score for this lavish movie with Grace Kelly, Alec Guinness, Louis Jourdan and Agnes Moorhead
  • The Chocolate Soldier
  • Bronislau Kaper - Lili soundtrack CD cover
  • Tea for Two
  • Green Dolphin Street - with its popular title song
  • Act of Violence
  • A Life on her Own
  • The Red Badge of Courage
  • The Naked Spur
  • The Secret Garden
  • Them! - this score even contains quite a harsh-sounding fugal section
  • The Glass Slipper - the score was largely conducted by Miklos Rozsa and featured two dreamy ballet sequences
  • Gaslight
  • Bronislau Kaper - Tobruk soundtrack CD cover
  • The Adventures of Quentin Durward
  • The Barretts of Wimpole Street
  • The Brothers Karamazov - very Russian sounding music for this film based on the substantial novel by Dostoevsky
  • Green Mansions
  • Auntie Mame
  • Home from the Hill
  • Lili - Kaper won an oscar for this musical starring Leslie Caron and featuring the song "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo"
  • Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) - a well-deserved oscar nominations for his stormy music to the lavish though troubled production starring Marlon Brando
  • Lord Jim
  • Tobruk
  • A Flea in Her Ear

TV music by Bronislau Kaper:

  • Arrest and Trial
  • The F.B.I.

Bronislau Kaper Recommendations: