Posts Tagged ‘silent movies’

A Silent Movie and a Live Symphony Orchestra Create Magic

February 18, 2013

One of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever spent in a theater was on Valentine’s Day in 2010 when I saw Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights   accompanied by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra playing the movie score live.  The two things that came across the most that night were that Charlie Chaplin was a creative genius and Columbus, Georgia has a really fine symphony orchestra.  It was magical.

That magic was captured again when the orchestra played the score as we watched Chaplin’s 1928 hit  The Circus. Chaplin’s humor is timeless.  The 2013 Columbus, Georgia audience roared  at Chaplin’s 1928 slapstick comedy.  The two things that  stood out in the 2010 event did the same thing this time. Chaplin, who not only produced, starred, and directed The Circus, wrote the score when the movie was revived in 1967. That was the score that the Columbus Symphony played Thursday night. Again, Chaplin’s genius was obvious and the orchestra’s performance superb.  Conductor George Del Gobbo told the audience that he had watched the movie 20 times getting ready to conduct the score. It worked. 

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For Great Music You Don’t Have to Go Anywhere Else

March 5, 2010

YOU CAN GET IT RIGHT HERE IN COLUMBUS, GA

It is amazing that a city the size of Columbus has such an abundance of quality, live, sophisticated music available.  No, I am not talking about the stuff you hear on American Idol. That is anything but sophisticated.  Most of it , to me, is primal noise. I am talking about classical music by the great composers,  standards from the “American song book,”  jazz that requires expert musicianship, the kind played by the Columbus State University Jazz Ensemble, and the kind you get at the Columbus Jazz Society’s monthly sessions.  Not only is it available in Columbus, it is available in quanity as well as quality. 

Charlie Chaplin as "The Tramp"

If I had to pick the most entertaining of all of the movies, plays, and concerts of the past 12 months, it would be the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s City Lights performance on Valentine’s Day.

The audience at the Bill Heard Theater roared in laughter at the antics of the great silent movie comedian Charlie Chaplin, and it marveled at the score that Chaplin wrote being beautifully played by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.  Just before the movie started, CSO Conductor George Del Gobbo introduced it by calling Chaplin a genius.  I agree. He was.  It was a night to remember. I hope the symphony will continue with more novel nights.  Maybe it will help increase audience size.  The Bill Heard Theater had a lot of empty seats for that special presentation.  It’s a problem all over the country.  The audience for symphony concerts has been in decline for a number of years. That, to me, is a shame.  I love the sound of a live 60 to 80 piece symphony orchestra.  As good as audio technology has become, it still can’t replace the live sound of a fine orchestra, and we do have a fine orchestra in Columbus.

We’ll get another chance to enjoy it tomorrow night, March 6, 2010, at the Bill Heard Theater when the Hamman Sisters play Ravel, Poulenc, and Debussy ina program called “French Impressions.”  See you there.