Bronislau (originally Bronislaw) Kaper was born in Warsaw in Poland and studied piano from an early age before graduating from the Chopin Music School. He worked as a song composer in film and cabaret in Germany moving to France as the Nazi movement strengthened before moving to hollywood in the 1930s at the request of Louis B. Mayer from MGM. Kaper was a widely experienced composer who could turn his hand to virtually any kind of music. In "The Swan" he uses his classical background to create numerous variations on Liszt's "Rakoczy March" and an extended Viennese Waltz in the style of Johann Strauss. For "The Brothers Karamazov" Kaper introduces some harsh modernistic elements to his Russian sounding score making the music seem to touch the style of Shostakovich. The presence of a lot of source music also created by the composer in the style of Russian folk and gypsy music shows another side of his creative approach.
This idea of taking indigenous folk traditions as an integral part of a film's soundtrack grew to even greater proportions in the 1962 production of "Mutiny on the Bounty" where the composer sought out the music of the Pacific Islands to lend his soundtrack authenticity. For a while, recordings of Bronislau Kaper's soundtracks were not widely available, but with a growing number of releases by Film Score Classics and other labels specialising in rare soundtracks, you can now find several of his scores on Amazon. The aforementioned "Mutiny on the Bounty" is now available as a 3-CD collector's edition box-set, though see the recommendations section below for further releases.