Richard Rodgers (1902–1979) composed Broadway theater music, arguably the most widely recognized of any twentieth-century American composer. His greatest collaborations were with Lorenz Hart (1895–1943) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895–1960). An examination of Rodgers's music catalog reveals a marked stylistic change in his songwriting from his work with Hart to that of Hammerstein. Rodgers and Hart songs constituted the popular music of the time, while Rodgers's music with Hammerstein furthered the action of the story of the musical, integrating music with plot.
The argument is made that Rodgers had always had this artistic sensibility from the beginning of his career; he had always intended to integrate music and story, but outside forces held him back from realizing that ideal, including industry tastes, financial concerns, and his partnership with Hart Oklahoma!, Rodgers's first musical with Hammerstein, realized his artistic ideals, and the two perfected the form with their second work, Carousel.
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 49/02M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Biographies, Music, Theater History|
|Keywords:||Hammerstein, Oscar, II, Hart, Lorenz|
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