Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

Open, general discussion of music during the era of classic/nitrate movies
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

telical

  • Posts: 964
  • Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:46 pm

Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 11:34 am

I'm curious if there is any record of silent movie accompanists using standards from the classical repertoire, such as this:

Last edited by silentfilm on Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
Offline
User avatar

boblipton

  • Posts: 5723
  • Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
  • Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 11:43 am

A friend is trying to get me to attend a performance of King of Kings at Saint John the Divine this Saturday because a leading performer of Bach will be accompanying it on the church organ. When I asked him what silent movies he's seen, he says "The vampire one" "Nosferatu?" "Yes. And the one where the people are robots." "Metropolis?" "Yes." "King of Kings is a great movie, but when I go to see a movie, I go to see a movie, and when I go to listen to Bach, I go to listen to Bach." He doesn't get it.

We now switch to John Williams, explaining that many popular tunes are based on themes of the great composers.....

Bob
New and vigorous impulses seem to me to be at work in it,[the cinema] and doubtless before long it will drop all slavish copying of the stage and strike out along fresh paths. -- Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree
Offline
User avatar

CoffeeDan

  • Posts: 933
  • Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2008 2:55 pm
  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 11:59 am

In one of my ca. 1920 issues of Melody, a professional musician's magazine, there is a section devoted to the use of Franz Schubert's music to accompany motion pictures. I think there may be other such "how to" articles there. I'll have to see what I else I can find . . .
Last edited by CoffeeDan on Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Offline
User avatar

Rick Lanham

  • Posts: 1957
  • Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:16 pm
  • Location: Gainesville, FL

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 5:42 pm

boblipton wrote:We now switch to John Williams, explaining that many popular tunes are based on themes of the great composers.....

Bob


Oh, THAT John Williams…

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 3032
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 7:47 pm

I would have thought that those who made up the accompaniments to silent pictures mainly utilised "classical music". I have a programme for the film "Beau Geste" and the conductor of the cinema's orchestra explains in an article which items he has featured as part of the score. A lot of those items I would put on my "rather obscure" list - but perhaps they weren't so obscure in 1928?
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

greta de groat

  • Posts: 2083
  • Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
  • Location: California

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostWed Feb 14, 2018 8:24 pm

I can't hear Shubert's orchestral works without thinking of Rin-tin-tin, they are on so many Grapevine videos. Siegfried's forging music is used in the version Broken Blossoms that TCM plays, so i when i see the opera i think of Donald Crisp beating up Lillian Gish.

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat
Offline
User avatar

daveboz

  • Posts: 132
  • Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:24 am
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 10:09 am

greta de groat wrote:I can't hear Shubert's orchestral works without thinking of Rin-tin-tin, they are on so many Grapevine videos. Siegfried's forging music is used in the version Broken Blossoms that TCM plays, so i when i see the opera i think of Donald Crisp beating up Lillian Gish.

greta

=====
An especially effective use of Schubert’s music is the final sequence of PAYMENT DEFERRED [1932], which is accompanied by the concluding measures of “The Omnipotence” [Die Almacht]. Many versions on YouTube; Lawrence Tibbett is pretty nice:
https://youtu.be/LM8m4Ih-KOQ"
yer pal Dave
Offline

Paul Penna

  • Posts: 547
  • Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:02 am

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostSat Feb 17, 2018 10:35 am

CoffeeDan wrote:In one of my ca. 1920 issues of Melody, a professional musician's magazine, there is a section devoted to the use of Franz Schubert's music to accompany motion pictures. I think there may be other such "how to" articles there. I'll have to see what I else I can find . . .


I wonder how far back the use of the repeated motif in Schubert's Erlkönig for threatening or ominous moments dates? Stage melodramas, I'd imagine; it certainly got a workout in cartoons.
Offline
User avatar

Jack Theakston

  • Posts: 1837
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:25 pm
  • Location: New York, USA

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 5:01 pm

Actual music for the stage was quite crude, and you can read about it in the preface chapters to Rick Altman's Silent Film Sound. I recommend that book in general.

The roster of Broadway conductors at the time were the best musicians in the country, most of them European imports. The dean of these was Hugo Riesenfeld, who of course also became an impresario of theater management and stage shows. All of these guys spent many years studying in music conservatories, and a study of manuscripts from the era show a liberal amount of classical repertoire, including many "deep cuts" most folks probably wouldn't recognize today unless they're seasoned music enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the staple music publishers from the period that were responsible for selling Photoplay music were established music publishers with their own orchestral libraries of standards. G. Schirmer, in particular, offered quite a liberal amount of established pieces for both accompaniment and overtures, which were popular in programs during that period. Some composers even took some liberties by either riffing off of classics (with credit) or straight-up plagiarism.
J. Theakston
"You get more out of life when you go out to a movie!"
Offline
User avatar

bobfells

  • Posts: 2939
  • Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:03 pm
  • Location: Old Virginny

Re: Reports of Era Music Using Classical Standards?

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 7:19 pm

Silent film music arranger Erno Rapee published a huge volume in 1924 called MOTION PICTURE MOODS For Pianists and Organists. It was republished in 1970 and that how I got a copy. All the music is arranged alphabetically by mood and much of music is classical. But to play the pieces requires an advanced proficiency with the piano/organ.

https://www.amazon.com/Pianists-Organis ... 0405016352

Return to Music of the Era

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests