Alois Reiser papers, 1920-1950

Collection processed by UCLA Library Special Collections staff. Reprocessed in 2015 by Lori Dedeyan; machine- readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1575
(310) 825-4988
©2002 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Title: Alois Reiser papers
Collection number: PASC-M 6
Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 8.2 linear ft. (4 document boxes, 14 flat boxes and 1 oversize flat box.)
Date (inclusive): 1871-1957
Abstract: This collection consists of the sheet music manuscripts of Czech cellist, composer, and film music director Alois Reiser. These materials span Reiser's entire career and include his classical compositions, operas, materials from his time as conductor at New York's Strand Theater, and work as a composer and music director for the film industry in Los Angeles. Also included are screenplays for various films, newspaper clippings of publicity for Reiser, some published material, and a few photographs.
Language of Materials: Materials are in English, Czech, and German.
Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Creator: Reiser, Alois

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alois Reiser Papers (Collection PASC-M 6). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


Reiser (born on April 6, 1887) was a Czech composer and cellist. Born in Prague, Reiser studied with Antonín Dvorák at the Prague Conservatory and received his doctorate of music at the University of Prague. Reiser also took cello lessons and toured Europe and the United States as a concert cellist with the Bohemian Trio, also performing for a time as a cellist with the Pittsburgh and New York Symphony Orchestras. Afterward, Reiser reestablished himself in Prague and became conductor Prague Opera House. Returning to New York in 1918, he worked as a conductor at the Strand Theater until 1929, when he moved to Hollywood to work as a composer and musical director for film studios. At Warner Bros. and, later, Fox Studios, he worked on films such as Noah's Ark (1928), Her Private Life (1929), Spring Is Here (1930), The Millionaire (1931), and Caravan (1934). His classical compositions include the opera Gobi (1912), Concerto for cello and orchestra (1916), String quartet in E minor (1916), Little Coquette (1918), From Mount Rainier (1926), Slavic Rhapsody (1927), Trio in F major (1931), and Erewhon (1931). He died on April 4, 1977 in Los Angeles.

Scope and Content

This collection predominantly consists of manuscripts and holographic sketches of Reiser's orchestral, operatic, chamber and film music. Sheet music includes full scores, miniature scores, parts, vocal scores, and lead sheets. Also included are film scripts and treatments, some published works, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  • Series 1. Orchestral works
  • Series 2. Operas
  • Series 3. Songs for voice and piano
  • Series 4. Chamber music
  • Series 5. Film music
    • Subseries 5.1. Film scores
    • Subseries 5.2. Scripts and Treatments
  • Series 6. Personal materials.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 2723059 

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Reiser, Alois--Archives.
Motion picture music--Scores.

Container List


Orchestral Works. Series 1. 1871-1937.

Scope and Content

This series contains full scores and individual parts for orchestral pieces composed by Reiser. The scores bear annotations and corrections, though finished scores are included as well. All scores are manuscripts or manuscript facsimiles, unless otherwise noted.
Box 1, Folder 1

Concert for Cello and Orchestra in D, Op. 7, by Johan S. Svendsen (printed sheet music). 1871.

Box 1, Folders 2-5

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in D, Op. 14 (full scores, short scores and parts). 1916, 1933.

Box 2, Folders 1-5

Erewhon: A Symphonic Poem, Op. 19 (full scores and parts). circa 1931.

Box 3, Folders 1-6

Slavic Rhapsody (full scores and parts). 1927-1937.

Box 4, Folder 1

Summer Evening: A Symphonic Idyll, Op. 8 (full score and parts). circa 1907.

Box 4, Folders 2-4

Symphony in 3 Parts: Fate, Unknown, Joy (full scores and parts). undated.

Box 4, Folders 5-6

Symphony No. 1 (parts for violin). undated.


Operas. Series 2. 1912-1927.

Scope and Content

This series contains full scores, vocal scores, and instrumental parts for various of Reiser's operas. Contents are manuscripts and manuscript facsimiles, unless otherwise noted. They include rough drafts, sketches, bear annotations and corrections but also include final scores.
Box 5, Folders 1-5

Daphne (sketches and finished scores). undated.

Box 6, Folders 1-5, Box 7, Folder 1

Gobi and Prelude to Act III of Gobi (sketches, parts, and printed scores). 1912, 1927.

Box 7, Folders 2-6

Prelude to Gobi (Iris) (full scores and parts). [circa 1912].


Songs for Voice and Piano. Series 3. [circa 1910]-1942.

Scope and Content

This series contains drafts, sketches, and finished copies of scores and lead sheets for songs composed by Reiser. All contents are manuscripts or manuscript facsimiles, unless otherwise noted.
Due to intermixing of titled and untitled manuscripts, no attempt to separate titles has been made for this series. Titles of works found in each folder have been included under the folder heading.
Box 8, Folder 1

Manuscripts (1 of 6). undated.

Scope and Content

Includes: Love is All That Matters, When We Truly Love, and Youth.
Box 8, Folder 2

Manuscripts (2 of 6). circa 1942.

Scope and Content

Includes: Down in the Canary Isles, I Found a Dream, Spanish Blues (Love Song), We’re Gonna Collect (includes printed sheet music), Ye Beauty Shoppe, and various untitled manuscripts.
Box 8, Folder 3

Manuscripts (3 of 6). 1920s-1942.

Scope and Content

Includes: Always Remember, Bersaglieri, Compensation, Don’t Wait for Love, Down Where the Wild Desert Blooms, If, In the Garden At Dawning, It Is Not Always May, It Wasn’t Any Business for a Lady, I’ve an Alibi, Love Can See, Love’s Ecstasy, Musical Comedy, My Heart is Yours!, My Sweetheart, Nerida, Song of the Clock, Tapestry Symphony, Valse Concertante, Valse Romance, Valse Lente, Waltz With Me Tonight, When You Come Home, Who Do You Love?, and an untitled song typescript.
Box 8, Folder 4

Manuscripts (4 of 6). undated.

Scope and Content

Includes: Blue Moon (Valsette), Dream, How Could I Know, Jeanette, The Lord is My Shepherd, Love Me Little, Love Me Long, Maureen, O Dream So Blissful, Something Tells Me, Two Songs (Op.6), Vola (Spanish Romance), Wondrous Ship, and various untitled manuscripts.
Box 8, Folder 5

Manuscripts (5 of 6). undated.

Scope and Content

Includes largely untitled manuscripts in a folder titled "Sketches".
Box 8, Folder 6

Manuscripts (6 of 6). circa 1910.

Scope and Content

Full score for Three Ballads of François Villon by Claude Debussy, arranged by Reiser.

Chamber Music. Series 4. 1919-1930s.

Scope and Content

This series contains scores for Reiser's chamber music compositions All contents are manuscripts or manuscript facsimiles, unless otherwise noted. They include rough drafts, sketches, bear annotations and corrections but also include final scores.
Box 9, Folder 1

Quartet for Strings in E Minor, Op. 16 (printed sheet music). 1919-1920.

Box 9, Folder 2

Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 20 (bound manuscript facsim. with annotations). undated.

Box 9, Folders 3-4

String Quartet in C, Op. 18 (scores, parts, and facsimiles). circa 1930.

Box 10, Folders 1-2

String Quartet No.3 (score and parts). 1930s.

Box 10, Folder 3

Trio in E Minor for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 12 (score and parts). undated.

Box 10, Folder 4

Trio in F for Piano, Violin, and Cello, Op. 17 (score and parts). circa 1931.


Film Music. Series 5. 1920s-1957.

Scope and Content

This series includes manuscript scores for films that Reiser worked on, as well as scripts and treatments for later films, which may or may not have passed into production.

Film Scores. Subseries 5.1. 1920s-1940s.

Scope and Content

Drafts, sketches, full scores and parts for various films. Include transition and theme music, scene music, and orchestral works for film. Scores are manuscripts or manuscript facsimiles, unless otherwise noted. Most bear annotations and corrections.
Box 11, Folder 1

Bacchanale. undated.

Box 11, Folder 2

Bali film: compiled scenes and structure notes. undated.

Scope and Content

Includes scene lists and scores from a film set in Bali; possibly Man's Paradise, an ethnographic documentary about Bali shot in 1932 and released in 1938.
Box 11, Folder 3

Scene: Bali Dance. undated.

Box 11, Folder 4

Scene: Bali Idyll. undated.

Box 11, Folder 5

Scene: Bali Intermezzo. undated.

Box 11, Folder 6

Scene: Bali Temple. undated.

Box 11, Folder 7

Scene: Bali Theme. undated.

Box 13, Folder 1

Scene: The Cockfight. undated.

Box 13, Folder 2

Scene: Cocoanuts Intermezzo. undated.

Box 13, Folder 3

Scene: Dancing Girl. undated.

Box 13, Folder 4

Scene: Denaturing the Evil Spirits. undated.

Box 13, Folder 5

Scene: Dragon Fight and the Puppet Show. undated.

Box 13, Folder 6

Scene: Java Dance. undated.

Box 13, Folder 7

Scene: Market. undated.

Box 13, Folder 8

Scenes: Melody, Phili Dance, Pigs, Turtle Soup, and untitled manuscripts. circa 1932.

Box 14, Folder 1

Caravane/ Csardas. circa 1934.

Box 14, Folder 2

Chink Walk (includes printed sheet music). 1929.

Box 14, Folder 3

Die Fledermaus (The Bat), operetta by J. Strauss (script for Reiser's adaptation). undated.

Box 14, Folder 4

From Mount Rainier. 1928.

Box 12, Folders 1-2

The Magic Lamp. undated.

Box 14, Folder 5

Serenata and Spirit of Spring. circa 1921.

Box 14, Folder 6

Various. circa 1928.

Scope and Content

Includes: Love and Passion (Appassionata D'Amour) (printed sheet music), Entre Nous (parts), Six Czech Folk Songs. Manuscript scores for Careers (1929), The Millionaire (1931), Star Witness (1931), and other unspecified films.

Scripts and Treatments. Subseries 5.2. 1930-1957.

Scope and Content

Drafts, completed scripts, treatments, and synopses for various films.
Box 18, Folder 1

Bellevue Is My Home. 1957 April 26.

Box 16, Folder 1

The Black Forest. undated.

Box 18, Folder 2

By The Night Star. 1947 April 16-May 8.

Box 17, Folders 1-6

The Deserter. 1950 April 6-1956 May 22.

Box 16, Folders 2-7

Esther. 1950-1951.

Box 18, Folders 3-6

The Fatal Wedding. 1930 October 20-1931 February 17.

Box 19, Folders 1-2

Modesta. 1949 February 22-1950 April 4.

Box 18, Folder 7

That Night At Shepheard's. 1945 January 4.


Personal Materials. Series 6. 1910- 1937.

Scope and Content

This series largely includes newspaper clippings and magazine issues in which Reiser is mentioned, as well as a CV and three photographs.
Box 15, Folders 1-3

Newspaper clippings about Reiser. 1910-1937.

Box 15, Folder 4

Strand Theater program for screening of Charlie Chaplin's The Circus, orch. accompaniment conducted by Reiser. 1928.

Box 15, Folder 5

Issue of Musical America with article about Reiser’s Quartet for Strings, Op. 16. 1920 November 13.. 1920 November 13.

Box 15, Folder 6

Issue of the Musical Observer, Vol. 20. 1921 April.

Box 15, Folder 7

Issue of The Brooklyn Standard Union featuring Reiser. 1923 March 11.

Box 15, Folder 8

CV and photographs. circa 1936.