The man who put Chaplin to music

Posted on
  • Saturday, April 16, 2011
  • Silent film star Charlie Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889. He made popular the character of "the tramp" and starred in films like "The Gold Rush," "Modern Times" and "The Great Dictator."

    WHEN Carl Davis premiered his orchestral score for Abel Gance’s restored silent epic “Napoléon” in 1980, few in the audience knew they were assisting at the birth of an art form.

    Until then, silent films meant club performances with piano accompaniment; the silent classics Davis went on to score—Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Charlie Chaplin—laid the foundations for a global industry.

    Now Davis is celebrating his 75th birthday with a burst of conducting engagements in Europe, culminating in a premiere of his symphonic work “Ballade for Cello”, alongside Chaplin’s seldom screened “The Pilgrim”.

    This is just one facet of this amiable New Yorker’s productivity. He is a prolific composer for ballet, feature films and television: his scores have done for the small screen what Prokofiev and Shostakovich did for the big one. And the secret behind the showmanship is an incorruptible seriousness.

    But he may still endure the fate of the composer whose work he celebrated with his soundtrack for Mike Leigh’s film “Topsy-Turvy”: Arthur Sullivan too wrote symphonies, but fun is what he’s remembered for.

    Next previous
    Copyright (c) 2011दखलंदाज़ी
    दखलंदाज़ी जारी रहे..!