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Guiseppe Becce

File:Guiseppe Becce.jpg

Background information
Birth Name:
Date of Birth: February 3, 1877
Lonigo/Vincenza, Italy
Date of Death: October 5, 1973
Berlin, Germany
Years active: 1913-@1957

Giuseppe Becce (February 3, 1877 – October 5, 1973) was an Italian-born film score composer who enriched the German cinema during the early to mid-20th century. He wrote the Kinothek, a series of books featuring musical pieces designed to accompany specific action and moods portrayed in silent films.

Biography Edit

Becce was born in Lonigo/Vicenza, Italy. He showed his musical talents early and was named the director of the student musical orchestra at the Padua University when he studied geography. In 1906 he moved to Germany and studied musical composition with Arthur Nikisch and Ferruccio Busoni. In the 1913 silent movie Richard Wagner, directed by Carl Froelich, Becce played the title role and wrote the accompanying music. He continued to write such music for a series of subsequent movies. A collection of these pieces, the so-called "Kinothek" (short for Kinobibliothek), was published between 1919 and 1933 by the Verlag Schlesinger'sche Buchhandlung in Berlin. It was one of the earliest attempts to standardize music played for silent films according to tempo, dramatic weight, and appropriate mood.

From 1915 to 1923, Becce was the director of the little orchestra of the Berlin Mozartsaal am Nollendorfplatz. After World War I, he was named to direct the music department of the Decla-Bioscop AG and chief director of its movie orchestra, later to became the Universum Film AG (UFA) orchestra. He also worked at major movie theatres as director of the orchestras, among them the UFA-Pavillon am Nollendorfplatz, the Tauentzien-Palast, and the Gloria Palast. In this position he worked with the famous directors of the German silent movie era, namely Fritz Lang, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, Georg Wilhelm Pabst, Ernst Lubitsch, Ludwig Berger, Joe May and Berthold Viertel; he arranged and composed music for their movies. In 1920 Becce published the magazine Film-Ton-Kunst.[1] In 1927 he published, together with Hans Erdmann and Ludwig Brav, the Allgemeines Handbuch der Filmmusik; it was based on his Kinothek, amongst other items, and enabled the pianist of silent movies to accompany movies in the generalized style and motifs of renowned composers.

With the arrival of sound movies, Becce worked on musical films and movies covering opera or operetta themes. He worked with Leni Riefenstahl, Luis Trenker, and Harald Reinl whose mountain films he scored. Becce was very prolific providing music to movies for more than four decades; he commonly mixed his own compositions with creations of other composers.

Becce died in Berlin and is buried in the cemetery of Berlin-Wilmersdorf, Berliner Straße.

Selected filmographyEdit

  • 1913 Richard Wagner. Director: Carl Froelich
  • Frau Eva (1916)
  • The Robber Bride (1916)
  • The Queen's Love Letter (1916)
  • The Man in the Mirror (1917)
  • The Marriage of Luise Rohrbach (1917)
  • The Princess of Neutralia (1917)
  • Countess Kitchenmaid (1918)
  • Her Sport (1919)
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  • Hamlet (1921 film)|Hamlet (1921)
  • The Vulture Wally (1921)
  • 1921 Scherben. Director: Lupu Pick
  • 1921 Der müde Tod. Director: Fritz Lang
  • 1922 Sodom and Gomorrah. Director Michael Curtiz
  • 1923 Der steinerne Reiter. Director: Fritz Wendhausen
  • 1924 Der letzte Mann. Director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
  • Comedy of the Heart (1924)
  • Peter the Pirate (1925)
  • The Telephone Operator (1925)
  • 1925 Wege zu Kraft und Schönheit. Director: Nicholas Kaufmann, Wilhelm Prager
  • The Fiddler of Florence (1926)
  • The Last Horse Carriage in Berlin (1926)
  • People to Each Other (1926)
  • 1926 Tartüff. Director: Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau
  • 1926 Die Abenteuer eines Zehnmarkscheines. Director: Berthold Viertel
  • 1926 Geheimnisse einer Seele. Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst
  • 1927 Am Rande der Welt. Director: Karl Grune
  • The Catwalk (1927)
  • Doña Juana (1927)
  • The Prince of Pappenheim (1927)
  • Leontine's Husbands (1928)
  • Folly of Love (1928)
  • The Serfs (1928)
  • The Burning Heart (1929)
  • Fight of the Tertia (1929)
  • The Woman One Longs For (1929) Director: Curtis Bernhardt
  • The Son of the White Mountain (1930)
  • 1930 Skandal um Eva. Director: [[Georg Wilhelm Pabst
  • Mountains on Fire (1931) Director: Karl Hartl, Luis Trenker
  • 1931 Zweierlei Moral. Director: Gerhard Lamprecht
  • The Rebel (1932)
  • 1932 Razzia in St. Pauli. Director: Werner Hochbaum
  • 1932 Das Blaue Licht. Director: Leni Riefenstahl
  • 1933 Ekstase Director: Gustav Machaty
  • The Marathon Runner (1933)
  • 1933 Hans Westmar. Einer von vielen. Director: Franz Wenzler
  • 1934 Der ewige Traum. Director: Arnold Fanck
  • 1934 Der verlorene Sohn. Director: Luis Trenker
  • 1938 Der Berg ruft. Director: Luis Trenker
  • 1941 Viel Lärm um Nixi. Director: Erich Engel
  • 1949 Bergkristall, Director: Harald Reinl
  • 1951 Nacht am Mont-Blanc, Director: Harald Reinl
  • 1952 Der Herrgottschnitzer von Ammergau, Director: Harald Reinl
  • 1954 Tiefland, Director: Leni Riefenstahl
  • 1955 Das Schweigen im Walde, Director: Helmut Weiss
  • 1957 Der Edelweißkönig, Director: Gustav Ucicky

List of Kinothek works Edit

(by reference number) [2]

  • Kinothek 11 - Situazione Pericolosa (Agitato)
  • Kinothek 12 - Emotional Conflict (Sostenuto)
  • Kinothek 13 - Battle-Tumult-Blaze (Allegro Agitato)
  • Kinothek 14 - Tragic Moments (Andanted Mosso)
  • Kinothek 15 - Agony of the Soul (Tragedia dell'Anima)
  • Kinothek 16 - Insequimento E Fuga (Agitato)
  • Kinothek 17 - Largo Tragico
  • Kinothek 18 - Notte Misteriosa (Sinister)
  • Kinothek 19 - Grave Humor (Intermezzo Serio)
  • Kinothek 20 - Patience Under Pain (Resignation)
  • Kinothek 21 - In a Critical Situation (Allegro Agitato)
  • Kinothek 22 - Agitato Misterioso
  • Kinothek 23 - The Hour of Ghosts (Heavy Misterious)
  • Kinothek 24 - Battle and Disturbance (Agitato)
  • Kinothek 25 - Andante Appassionato
  • Kinothek 26 - Mob-Rule (Agitato)
  • Kinothek 27 - Fanatic Dervish Dance
  • Kinothek 28 - Lynch-Law (Agitato)
  • Kinothek 29 - Disperazione (Molto Largo-Agitato-Largo)
  • Kinothek 30 - Sinister Agitato
  • Kinothek 31 - Insurrezione (Agitato Vivace)
  • Kinothek 32 - Grand Appassionato
  • Kinothek 33 - Facing Death (Andante, Largo)
  • Kinothek 34 - Semi Oriental Maetoso
  • Kinothek 35 - A Critical Moment (Vivace)
  • Kinothek 41 - Cryptic Shadoes (Agitato Mysterioso)
  • Kinothek 42 - Dramatic Climax
  • Kinothek 43 - Wild Chase (Allegro Vivace)
  • Kinothek 44 - Threatening Danger (Andante Dramatic)
  • Kinothek 45 - Happy Ending (Andante Largo)
  • Kinothek 46 - Infatuation (Andante Largo)
  • Kinothek 47 - Witchcraft (Semi Mysteriou Andante)
  • Kinothek 48 - Anticipation of Danger
  • Kinothek 49 - Emotional Climax
  • Kinothek 50 - Chariot Race

Other musical works Edit

  • 1910 "Das Bett der Pompadour", operetta
  • 1912 "Tullia", opera.

References Edit

  1. Hans Traub, Hanns W. Lavies: Das Deutsche Filmschrifttum. Bibliographie der Bücher und Zeitschirften über das Filmwesen 1896-1939. Hiersemann, Leipzig 1940, Stuttgart 1980(Repr.), S.20, 221. ISBN 3-7772-8016-X
  2. Advertisement for Schlesinger-Belwin publication of Kinothek, 1926.

Literature Edit

  • Hans Erdmann, Giuseppe Becce, Ludwig Brav: Allgemeines Handbuch der Film-Musik. Schlesinger'sche Buchh., Berlin-Licherfelde 1927.
  • Film-Ton-Kunst. Eine Zeitschrift für die künstlerische Musikillustration des Lichtbildes. Gegr. v. G. Becce. Schlesinger'sche Buchhandlung, Berlin 1.1920-6.1927.

External links Edit

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