Sunday, November 24th, 2013: Relâche Classics and Silent Comedies at Penn Museum

Relâche Classics and Silent Comedies at Penn Museum
At Relâche New Music Ensemble Concert Sunday, February 9, 3:00 PM

Les Films Muets opening note

The octet, comprised of winds, strings, keyboard, and percussion, opens its first program with Eric Moe’s gripping Eight Point Turn, commissioned in 2001. A Relâche standard, Tom Albert’s serene A Maze [with Grace] is followed by Raymond Scott’s madcap The Penguin, arranged for Relâche by Darin Kelly.

The second half is devoted to three silent films with the musicians providing live accompaniment. The dream sequence from Beggar on Horseback (1925) involves an impoverished composer, played by a young Edward Everett Horton, who contemplates marrying the daughter of a wealthy industrialist with comically surreal results. The program concludes with two Relâche commissions accompanying two comedies by Frenchman Max Linder, who was an inspiration to Charlie Chaplin. Be My Wife (1923) is a film Linder produced in Hollywood and features Max as a comic suitor, sweet and sincere but also quite clumsy and heavy-handed. The pop-oriented score is by Chris McGlumphy. Chuck Holdeman wrote and conducts his period-tinged music for Max fait de la photo (Max Takes a Picture) from 1913. This riotous short has Max pursuing a bathing beauty who eludes him, disappearing under the waves, and a brilliantly frantic Max Linder swings into crisis mode.

Relâche, Philadelphia’s internationally-renowned new music ensemble, continues its new three-concert series, “New Sounds and Cinema,” featuring both commissioned music and live accompaniment to old silent films, at the Penn Museum. The series is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Year of Sound.
Relâche concert tickets are just $10 for Penn Museum members; $15 for the general public, in advance or at the door, while supplies last. $10 for Penn students with PennCard at the door.