New York Philharmonic to Tribute Charlie Chaplin as Part of 'THE ART OF THE SCORE', 9/16-20
The New York Philharmonic will pay tribute to the 125th anniversary of the birth of film legend and auteur Charlie Chaplin, as well as to the 100th birthday of his most famous character, The Little Tramp, in "Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times: The Tramp at 100," September 19-20, 2014, conducted by Timothy Brock in his Philharmonic debut. The program is part of the second season of THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic, which opens with the previously announced La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert (September 16-17).
"Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times: The Tramp at 100" will include a complete screening of Modern Times, Chaplin's final film featuring The Little Tramp, with the Orchestra performing the score live on stage. The score, which Chaplin composed with the help of Alfred Newman, has been reconstructed by Mr. Brock for live performance. A musical highlight of the film is the song "Smile," which Mr. Chaplin himself wrote. The program opens with Kid Auto Races at Venice, the 1914 film short that introduced The Little Tramp, with the Orchestra performing music composed by Mr. Brock.
"One happy thing about sound was that I could control the music, so I composed my own," Charlie Chaplin wrote in My Autobiography (1964). "I tried to compose elegant and romantic music to frame my comedies in contrast to the tramp character, for elegant music gave my comedies an emotional dimension. Musical arrangers rarely understood this. They wanted the music to be funny. But I would explain that I wanted no competition, I wanted the music to be a counterpoint of grave and charm, to express sentiment, without which, as Hazlitt says, a work of art is incomplete."
The second season of THE ART OF THE SCORE: Film Week at the Philharmonic opens with the previously announced program La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert and featuring violinist Joshua Bell, singer/songwriter/actor Josh Groban, and soprano Rene?e Fleming on September 16, 2014 (the Philharmonic's Opening Gala Concert) and September 17, 2014 (an expanded version of the same program, to be broadcast on PBS's Great Performances at a later date). La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema celebrates the lush and iconic scores from some of Italy's greatest films with music by Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, Luis Enri?quez Bacalov, Stelvio Cipriani, Armando Trovaioli, and Nicola Piovani. The program will feature suites and famous songs newly arranged by William Ross from Academy Award-winning films including Federico Fellini's 81⁄2, La Dolce Vita, Juliet of the Spirits, and Amarcord; Enrico Maria Salerno's The Anonymous Venetian; Dino Risi's Profumo di Donna; Roberto Benigni's Life Is Beautiful; Luchino Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers and The Leopard; Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso; Piero Schivazappa's Incontro; Henri Verneuil's The Sicilian Clan; Michael Radford's Il Postino; and Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Eclisse. The Opening Gala performance will feature overtures from Rossini's The Barber of Seville and William Tell. Both evenings will feature video projection designed by visual artist Giuseppe Ragazzini, under the direction of Giampiero Solari, combining animated graphics and film clips. La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema is presented in collaboration with Sugarmusic and with images selected in collaboration with Istituto Luce Cinecitta?.
"Last year's inaugural THE ART OF THE SCORE was both unique and exciting, and this year's varied programs will once again illuminate the crucial role that music plays in film," said Alec Baldwin, Artistic Advisor of the series. "We'll feature works by Charlie Chaplin, as well as the auteurs behind masterpieces of Italian cinema. All understood the impact of music on audiences and their films included both rich scores and spectacular visuals. This should be a fascinating, informative, and fun-filled week, thanks to the live performances by the astounding musicians of the New York Philharmonic."
The Philharmonic inaugurated THE ART OF THE SCORE in September 2013 with two programs of film music: Hitchcock! - which celebrated Alfred Hitchcock and the music written for his films by composers including Bernard Herrmann, Lyn Murray, and Dmitri Tiomkin through film clips accompanied by live performances of the scores - and 2001: A Space Odyssey - which was screened in its entirety as the Orchestra performed the score live, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert. With Philharmonic Radio Host Alec Baldwin as Artistic Advisor, THE ART OF THE SCORE highlights some of the genre's most fascinating uses of music each season.
Conductor and composer Timothy Brock specializes in early 20th-century concert works and live performances of silent film. As a silent-film score conductor and preservationist, his leading work includes the restoration of Shostakovich's only silent-film score, to New Babylon (1929); Satie's dadaist score to Entr'acte (1924); and Antheil's music for Ballet me?canique (1924). Since 1999 Mr. Brock has served as score preservationist for the Charles Chaplin family; to this day he is the foremost authority on the music of the actor/filmmaker, having made 12 live-performance revised and critical editions of all Chaplin's major films, including City Lights, Modern Times, The Gold Rush, The Kid, and The Circus. At age 23 Mr. Brock began composing new scores for silent film with G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box (1929), and has since written almost 30 orchestral scores for notable orchestras and institutions including the Orchestre National de Lyon, Cine?mathe?que Franc?aise, Wiener Konzerthaus, Cineteca di Bologna, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid, and the Cite? de la Musique de Paris. The Chaplin family has commissioned Mr. Brock to write an original score to celebrate the centennial of Kid Auto Races at Venice (1914), the very first appearance of the "Gentleman Tramp" (often called The Little Tramp). In 2015 Mr. Brock will conduct the world premiere of his long-awaited new score for Fritz Lang's science-fiction epic Frau im Mond (1929), commissioned by the Wiener Konzerthaus. Timothy Brock is a regular guest of major orchestras worldwide, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Teatro Massimo Palermo; the French orchestras of Lille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Strasbourg, and Pays de la Loire; Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; Berner Symphony Orchestra; Teatro Comunale di Bologna; ORF Radio at the Vienna Konzerthaus; Orchestre de l'Ile de France; Orchestre de la Suisse Romande; BBC Symphony Orchestra; BBC Scottish Symphony; Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; Opera House Lisbon; Latvian National Orchestra; and Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Brock has created a concert series of programs of Entartete Musik ("degenerate music," by composers banned by the Third Reich), including works by Schulhoff, Schreker, Zemlinsky, Kra?sa, Gideon Klein, and Pavel Haas. Mr. Brock gave the American premieres of Hanns Eisler's Kleine Sinfonie, Niemandslied, and Kuhle Wampe; Schulhoff's Symphony No. 2; and one of the first performances of Viktor Ullmann's opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis, written from within the Terezin ghetto in 1944. Mr. Brock had also included his own string orchestral transcriptions of the string quartets of Pavel Haas. Mr. Brock led Chaplin's The Gold Rush with Members of the New York Philharmonic in 2011 and 2012 performances at Alice Tully Hall; the upcoming performances mark his first time conducting the full Orchestra.
Tickets for "Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times: The Tramp at 100" start at $45. Tickets are available now through June 30 only to 2014-15 New York Philharmonic subscribers online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets will become available to the general public on July 1, at which time tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org, by calling (212) 875-5656, or at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m. To determine ticket availability, call the Philharmonic's Customer Relations Department at (212) 875-5656. [Ticket prices subject to change.]
Pictured: Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times. Photo © Roy Export S.A.S.