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WITH A SMILE: CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S WOLRD IN CONCERT

The legend of Charles Chaplin (1889-1977) began in the slums of south-east London among noisy streets and vaudeville songs. From there onwards music was integral to his life and art: watching his parents' and other acts from the wings of music hall venues as a child and later working in such theatres himself, learning the violin and the cello, setting up the brief-lived Charlie Chaplin Music Publishing Company, and culminating decades later in his own symphonic compositions for feature films - including CITY LIGHTS and MODERN TIMES. In Switzerland, where he spent the last 25 years of his life, such was his reputation that world famous concert musicians would play at the Chaplin family home when they came to perform in the region. Most Chaplin films are "silent", but few of them - from THE KID to THE GREAT DICTATOR - could possibly be conceived without music.

With the 130th Anniversary of Chaplin's birth around the corner, THE CHAPLIN OFFICE and the EUROPEAN FILMPHILHARMONIC INSTITUTE celebrate the legacy of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Our new project WITH A SMILE: CHARLIE CHAPLIN'S WORLD IN CONCERT combines comedy and pathos, entertainment and humanism, pantomime on screen and live symphonic music in the pit. All with the indelible Chaplin mark.

This show is different from any Chaplin film concert you may have seen. It reveals Chaplin's own compositions and the music which inspired him alongside a careful selection of film sequences, both iconic and unknown, photographs and private footage from the Chaplin archives, and new music reconstructions and arrangements.

It will enthral, surprise and move - with laughter and, perhaps, a tear or two.

 

Production Highlights:

- a carefully curated selection of Chaplin films and music

- excerpts from Chaplin films never before seen with live music (e.g. the balloon sequence from THE GREAT DICTATOR and the ballet from LIMELIGHT)

- exclusive material from the Chaplin family archives

- new music arrangements created especially for this show

- premiere of Charlie Chaplin singing to live orchestral backing (to be confirmed)

 

Program:


Part I (ca. 45 min.)

OVERTURE 1, 4, 5, 6

Once upon a time in London: from poverty and music hall to Chaplin’s early American films. Music by Charlie Chaplin (CITY LIGHTS, THE GOLD RUSH) and others.

MEETING THE TRAMP 2

Excerpts from short comedies that define the iconic character, e.g. creative ways to find food or work in hungry times. Music and films by Chaplin (A DOG’S LIFE, SHOULDER ARMS, THE CIRCUS and others).

THE KID 5, 4, 2

Archival footage introduces Chaplin as a composer and right away we experience a pivotal sequence live to Chaplin’s music.

A NIGHT OUT WITH CHAPLIN 2, 6

Film and music excerpts from A WOMAN OF PARIS and CITY LIGHTS: drama and slapstick combined with the visual and musical genius of Chaplin.

SUITE FROM MODERN TIMES 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Including a hint of the social context that inspired the film and containing the famous melody “Smile”, the Factory line sequence live to film and the exclusive presentation of Chaplin singing the ‘nonsense’ song (“Titine”) with live orchestral backing (tbc).

Part II (ca. 45 min.)

SUITE FROM THE GREAT DICTATOR 1, 2, 4, 5

Including a hint of the political context that inspired the film. Includes ‘Overture and Waltz’ by Charlie Chaplin, the balloon ballet sequence set to Richard Wagner’s LOHENGRIN Prelude and the Barbershop sequence set to Johannes Brahms’s Hungarian Dance No 5.

SONGS FOR CHARLIE 3, 4, 6

Including a new arrangement by Timothy Brock of several of Chaplin’s tunes from THE PILGRIM, A KING IN NEW YORK, MONSIEUR VERDOUX and others. Chaplin’s voice singing “Swing Little Girl” from THE CIRCUS and “Spring Song” from LIMELIGHT with live orchestral backing (tbc).

DANCING WITH CHAPLIN / THE GREAT CHAPLIN BALLET 2, 6

A showpiece musical pantomime in sync with the original film sequences, including extensive excerpts from LIMELIGHT, THE GOLD RUSH, SUNNYSIDE and others.

ENDING: WITH A SMILE AND, PERHAPS, A TEAR 1, 2, 4

A recapitulation including family movies and stills, blending life and art, combined with the ending of MODERN TIMES with the “Smile” tune by Charlie Chaplin.

--- End ---

ENCORE 1: montage of the two famous speeches from A KING IN NEW YORK and THE GREAT DICTATOR, set to new music accompaniment.

ENCORE 2: Theme from LIMELIGHT (Chaplin’s Oscar-winning musical score

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Legend:

1 with film collage

2 in sync with original film sequences

3 with Chaplin's voice singing over the orchestra

4 with stills

5 with archival / private film footage

6 includes exclusive musical arrangement

Länge:
90min.
Ensemble:
großes Orchester (ab 46 Musiker)
Besetzung:
2/pic.1 /ca.6(cl/bcl/cbcl/ssax/asa x/tsax).1 - 2.3.2.1 - timp.4perc - pno/cel - gtr/bjo - hp - str
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