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Object #86 / Arnold Schönberg: The Good Earth

Nature Mood

Arnold Schönberg Center, Wien

In 1935 film producer Irving Thalberg heard a performance on the radio of Schönberg’s Transfigured Night, op. 4 and decided to entrust the composer with the film music for his latest project The Good Earth. The film is based on a stage adaptation of the same-titled novel by Pearl S. Buck, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. As the film is set in rural China, the music was supposed to contain Chinese elements without being too “oriental”. However, Schönberg required unrestricted control of the entire soundtrack, including the dialogues. The project did not materialize.

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