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PublisherFidelio Music Publishing
ArrangementPiano Duet (PF (2))
FormatScore and Parts
Franz Waxman’s Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra is a concerto treatment of the major themes, reworked by the composer, from the David O. Selznick production of The Paradine Case, the third of Waxman's four collaborations with director Alfred Hitchcock. They had previously worked together on Rebecca (1940) and Suspicion (1941), and would reunite for Rear Window (1954).
The music from The Paradine Case was only the second original soundtrack recording ever released commercially. Producer Selznick had created the concept as an exploitation tool when he launched Duel in the Sun the previous year, which also starred Gregory Peck.
After an opening piano cadenza, the haunting principal theme is heard on, of all things, an electric violin. It is a lovely depiction of the mysterious Mrs. Paradine (played in the motion picture by Alida Valli). If this melody can be described as 'Chopinesque’ that is only appropriate given that it is played on the piano in the movie itself by Mrs. Paradine just before she is arrested for murder. Thereafter, the theme in its many variations is associated with both the principal character and the piano. The two contrasting themes of the work portray lawyer Tony Keane (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Ann Todd) similarly in a leitmotiv fashion. An extended orchestral interlude based upon these themes leads to a recapitulation, closing piano cadenza, and coda.