Repertoire Tip „Film Music“
Early Films and their Soundtrack: A Renaissance

Thumb cramps, desperation, lethal boredom – zapping through the many TV programs on our remote controls today always harbors the risk of some kind of joyless situation. This was not always the case with "moving pictures," however, and in the 1920s visual artists promoted a cinematic avant-garde that quickly attracted the interest of leading composers. One of the major pioneers of film music was Hanns Eisler. No sentimental mood painting or illustrative underlay here; Eisler wanted to establish film music as an independent medium and communicate a distinct vocabulary of associations instead of paraphrasing pictures in sound. Some of his film scores took on a life of their own in his personal arrangements of them into suites for the concert hall.

Many scores from the early years of cinema are lost. Unbroken, however, is the interest of composers in dealing with the works of pioneer filmmakers. Silent-film classics such as Le fil blanc de la cascade, Nosferatu and Dr. Mabuse have been given new musical settings by Misato Mochizuki, Michael Obst and José M. Sánchez-Verdú. Moreover, Martin Smolka and Friedhelm Döhl were inspired by the early avant-garde films Entr'acte and Le ballet mécanique.

Silent films and early Hollywood features screened with live music performances – either with the original soundtrack or newly composed music – have recently been enjoying an amazing renaissance at festivals and in concert houses.

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