Saturday, 29 October 2011

The Passion Of Joan Of Arc with Einhorn Live Score

Next weekend sees another outing of a modern underscoring of Carl Dreyer's 1927 silent masterpiece The Passion Of Joan Of Arc. In this screening with live performance, the LSO under Marin Alsop perform Richard Einhorn's Voices Of Light, a work designed to play in tandem with the film. Apparently the whole thing is available on YouTube:



This performance comes not too long after the last in a spaced-out series of performance of a different score with the film, prepared by rock/pop composers Adrian Utley (of Portishead) and Will Gregory (of Goldfrapp). I attended the Queen Elizabeth Hall performance and screening back in April and was won over by the inventiveness and integrity of the music which never once took its eye off either the film or abandoned the idiomatic roots of its composers' own music. Here's a promotional video from the beginning of that project:



Indeed Einhorn's music also pertains to a specific idiomatic sub-genre, recalling the episodic, post-19th century oratorio style of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, using a chamber group of singers (Anonymous 4 in the original) as a sort of ecclesiastical ripieno group, a tiny, Gregorian-Greek chorus. What's interesting I think is that even more than the Gregory/Utley collaboration, Einhorn's work could stand alone, separately from the film. This is probably a testament to the strength of the film that, paired with a piece of music that essentially has its own identity, can still absorb it.

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