EDMUND MEISEL (1894-1930): Berlin, Die Sinfonie der Großstadt - Original Motion Picture Score (instr. Bernd Thewes [b.1957]).
Catalogue Number: 04N068
Description: Walter Ruttmann's hour-long silent film from 1927 was conceived in musical terms and he was quoted describing various shots as "the image of a tender crescendo, there an andante, a brassy sound or a flute" and Meisel responds, talking of "quarter-tone chords of the sleeping city - march of the workers - rhythm of the machines - march of the pupils - office rhythms - rhythms of traffic - counterpoint of Potsdamer Platz - midday chorus of the metropolis - fugue of traffic... all sounds of the metropolis in conrapuntal execution of all pricipal themes to the final fermata - Berlin." Some call this score "noise music" or "machine music". Whatever. It is often loud (although at one point it can be as quiet as a solo accordion) and highly rhythmic but it can also be static - the static of a surface under which teeming life is suggested. Thewes orchestrated the music from the sole surviving source - the piano reduction of the original which, however, was full of orchestrational details. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra; Frank Strobel.