The Pioneers of Movie Music | New World Records NW80761

The Pioneers of Movie Music


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Label: New World Records

Cat No: NW80761

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 30th March 2015



Paragon Ragtime Orchestra


Rick Benjamin


Paragon Ragtime Orchestra


Rick Benjamin


With the advent of sound films (ie 'talking pictures') in the late 1920s up to the present time, motion picture music has been preserved on the films themselves, and can be readily experienced in viewings at theatres and via DVDs.

But the soundscape of early cinema - the age of so-called 'silent movies' - is hardly documented at all. Because of this almost total lack of ability to experience early film music, many wrong assumptions are made about it. Without any familiarity at all, writers and 'researchers' often breezily dismiss music of the silent film era as 'crude', 'primitive', or otherwise beneath regard. But nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is that the entire vocabulary of film music as we know it today was developed in America between 1910 and 1925. There was - and still exists in the form of scores - a vast and beautiful repertoire of film music created by talented composers during that period. Yet virtually none of this important material is available on recordings (in any format) for research and enjoyment.

Into this surprising historical void comes this recording, which presents for the first time the original scores of America’s pioneer film composers, including William Axt, Maurice Baron, Irénée Bergé, Gaston Borch, M L Lake, Erno Rapée, Hugo Riesenfeld, Victor L Schertzinger, J S Zamecnik, and others.

The twenty-eight pieces are sequenced in a way that will lead listeners into creating their own imaginary 'daydream movie' as the CD is played. Original orchestrations have been selected from the Capitol Theater’s 1,000–title collection of c.1900 to 1928 cinema scores, played by the world’s leading silent film accompanists (with 650 screenings to date- the Paragon (Ragtime) Orchestra.

• “Appassionato No.1” (1923), Erno Rapée/William Axt
• “Creepy Creeps: Mysterioso” (1922), Gaston Borch
• “Novelty Hurry (For Airplanes…)” (1920), Christopher O’Hare
• “Storm Music” (1919), J S Zamecnik
• “The Trysting Place” (1924), Victor L Schertzinger
• “Prelude to ‘Western American Drama’” (1924), Maurice Baron
• “Agitato Drammatico” (1925), Domenico Savino
• “Savage Carnival: A Wild Man’s Dance” (1923), Erno Rapée/William Axt
• Synchronizing Suite No.1 (1922/23), Mayhew Lake:
  “Major Love Motif”
  “Minor Love Motif”
  “Sinister Theme”
  “Hurry or Furioso”
• “Grandioso (Depicting Grandeur, Vastness, Triumph)” (1918), Otto Langey
• “Agitato (For general use)” (1914), Mayhew Lake
• “Grotesque Elephantine” (1918), Lester Brockton
• “Emotional Andante” (1925), William Axt
• “Pizzicato Misterioso No.30” (1916), Adolf Minot
• “Prelude to ‘Romances of the Seven Seas’” (1924), Maurice Baron
• “Mystery–Hurry (Haunted Houses)” (1925), Irénee Bergé
• “Hindu (For Oriental Scenes)” (1924), J S Zamecnik
• “The Funny Guy” (1928), (Mayhew Lake)
• “Silent Sorrows” (1918), Gaston Borch
• “Dramatic Agitato No.38” (1917), Adolf Minot
• “Battle Scenes (Hurry No.4)” (1916), Adolf Minot
• “Zip (For Magazines, Weeklies, and Comedies)” (1925), Hugo Frey
• “May-Dreams (For Romance)” (1918), Gaston Borch
• “Western Allegro” (1923), Erno Rapée/William Axt
• “Dramatic Tension For Subdued Action” (1916), J E Andino
• “Furioso” (1918), T H Rollinson
• “The Moving Picture Rag” (1914), Ribé Danmark
• “Old Ironsides March” (main title, 1926), Hugo Riesenfeld

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