The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book of correspondence from the legendary lyricist, has been published by Oxford University Press.
Bob Mondello of NPR’s All Things Considered writes:
When you’ve written the lyrics to 850 songs, including standards from such transformative Broadway classics as Show Boat, South Pacific and Oklahoma!, you might well be tempted to put down your pen on occasion.
But the 1088-page volume The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II establishes that lyricist/librettist Hammerstein rarely did that. The book’s editor, Mark Eden Horowitz, a senior music specialist at the Library of Congress, says he read virtually all of the 25,000 letters in the Library’s Oscar Hammerstein Collection, “and ended up transcribing over 4,600 of them…the best ones.”
The best-of-the-best made it into the volume – letters that showcase not just the creative Hammerstein, but Hammerstein the businessman, the mentor, the activist, and occasionally, the corrector.
Read more here!