THE SOUND OF THEIR MUSIC: The Story of Rodgers and Hammerstein by Frederick Nolan

THE SOUND OF THEIR MUSIC: The Story of Rodgers and Hammerstein

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A slim, sub-journeyman exercise in collation and paraphrase, adding nothing to the recent spate of R&H-related memoirs (Logan's Josh, Rodgers' Musical Stages, Fordin's Getting to Know Him, two Lorenz Hart bios), though Nolan claims to have had a few interviews--obviously unfruitful--with the composer himself. In fact, the author admits to having begun this book as a biography of Lorenz Hart (others beat him to it), and half of his small-scale text is devoted to the pre-Oklahoma! careers of Rodgers & Hart and Kern & Hammerstein. The show-by-show anecdotes told and retold elsewhere surface again here, often in familiar sequences; nor does Nolan have a single insightful now syllable to offer on the musico-dramatic merits of Carousel, Allegro, The King and I, Flower Drum Song, South Pacific, etc. As for personalities, ""Rodgers as an individual remains an enigma"" (his 17 years of work since The Sound of Music get eight pages), and the two men ""had the same interests, the same friends, the same ambitions."" If Nolan's fatuous rehash were at least zestful, he could perhaps be forgiven. It isn't: ""Enter Florenz Ziegfeld. He deserves better books than those which have been written about him, but this cannot be it."" Ditto Messrs. Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
ISBN: 1557834733
Publisher: Walker