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William Perry (b.1930): Music for Great Films of the Silent Era, Part 2 / Wallis Giunta, mz; John Brancy, baritone; Timothy Hutchins, flute; Nick Byrne, ophicleide

Album Summary

>Perry, William (i) : Silent Film Heroines, song suite for mezzo-soprano & orchestra
>Perry, William (i) : Summer Nocturne for flute & orchestra
>Perry, William (i) : Brass from the Past, concerto for ophicleide & orchestra
>Perry, William (i) : Hearts of the World, ode for mezzo-soprano, baritone & orchestra
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Composer-Producer William Perry has played a major role in the revival of interest in silent films, both through his 100 silent film scores and his Emmy Award-winning TV series 'The Silent Years', hosted by Orson Welles and Lillian Gish. The critically-acclaimed Naxos recording 'Music for Great Films of the Silent Era' (8.572567) presented a rich array of Perry's film music; this companion volume offers a further view of Perry's colorful, exuberant writing, including his new "Silent Film Heroines" song-suite for mezzo-soprano and orchestra, celebrating eight legendary silent cinema actresses. Perry's supremely melodic sense of period and style captures perfectly the romance, grandeur and humor of those entertaining days when "Movies were movies!"

American Record Guide, September/October 2015

American Record Guide, September/October 2015
The release is called Music for Great Films of the Silent Era 2. Three of the pieces are recording premieres. The Song Suite for mezzo-soprano and orchestra is individual songs written to describe eight silent movie actresses and their personas: Lillian Gish, Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Vilma Banky, Betty Bronson, Pearl White, and Janet Gaynor. These are all melodic, and if you're familiar with the actresses and their acting style, describe them well. The Ophicleide Concerto is actually a suite of pieces in varying tempos to show off the instrument. The ophicleide is a brass instrument that was used by several 19th Century composers before it was superseded by the modern tuba. It sounds unusual, like a cross between an English horn, French horn, and trombone, all of which would sound better in the concerto. The music is similar to English light music with jazzy, pastoral, and Latin themes. Hearts of the World is based on Perry's complete 1964 silent movie score for the 1918 DW Griffith film about WW I. The suite is interesting. The Summer Nocturne (flute & orchestra) is the only piece recorded before. It is evocative of a quiet summer evening similar to Delius's, with pastoral themes. Timothy Hutchins's flute playing is very beautiful. This is worth discovering and is a good reason for buying the CD.

Paul Phillips conducts the Irish Radio Orchestra very well. The booklet describes Perry's musical background, the eight actresses in the Song Suite, and his re-discovery and use of the ophicleide. The sound is excellent. If you want a sample of Perry's work beyond silent movie scores this is a good place to start.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: National Concert Hall, Dublin (06/11/2014-06/13/2014).



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Works Details

>Perry, William (i) : Silent Film Heroines, song suite for mezzo-soprano & orchestra
  • Performers: Michael Chertock (Organ); Michael Chertock (Piano); Wallis Giunta
  • Conductor: Paul Phillips
  • Ensemble: RTE National Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 31 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Perry, William (i) : Summer Nocturne for flute & orchestra
  • Performer: Timothy Hutchins (Flute)
  • Conductor: Paul Phillips
  • Ensemble: RTE National Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 12 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto

>Perry, William (i) : Brass from the Past, concerto for ophicleide & orchestra
  • Performer: Nick Byrne (Ophicleide)
  • Conductor: Paul Phillips
  • Ensemble: RTE National Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 21 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto

>Perry, William (i) : Hearts of the World, ode for mezzo-soprano, baritone & orchestra
  • Performers: John Brancy; Michael Chertock (Organ); Michael Chertock (Piano); Wallis Giunta
  • Conductor: Paul Phillips
  • Ensemble: RTE National Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 12 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern