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New score for piano and cembalo: Wilfried Kaets

The score is reminiscent of the heyday of film music in the 1920s. It is a combination of compilation (excerpts from already existing compositions) and newly composed music and should recreate for the viewer the sound and feel of a film theater as it could have been, with the typical theater musicians on piano or organ, in 1921.

The compiled segments of the score employ themes from romantic period composers such as Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Schumann and Tchaikovsky, which were frequently used during the silent film era, but also „exciting“ or fast paced selections from film music collections, such as the Motion Picture Moods for Pianists and Organists, published by Ernö Rappé in 1924.

These collections were organized by category for the sake of practicality. One could choose from hundreds of selections corresponding to themes such as impatience, horror, courtship, car racing, Indian war dances, fear, etc. Some pieces were excerpts from already existing compositions (e.g., Weber’s Freischütz, Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, Schumann’s Kinderszenen [Scenes from Childhood], Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words), others were especially composed for the purpose – Huppertz (The Nibelungen from Fritz Lang) or Kempinski (celebrated for his music composed for Stroheim’s Greed).

Certain themes, however, are newly composed, some for a specifically assigned moment, others as more spontaneously useable modules for making transitions from one theme to another or to further enhance the dramaturgical atmosphere.

For the score to Murnau’s Nosferatu I have chosen two instruments, which, although very different in timbre, are closely connected in their origins.

The middle class soundscape, of harmonic-romantic piano music, underlies the young couple’s life in their homeland. In contrast, the obscure world of the vampire is represented by the cembalo, which breaks into the “real world” with wilful disharmonies overlaying the piano.

Let yourself be pleasantly surprised!