Cinderella: A New Score for a Restored Silent Film
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Cinderella: Full Film
A full recording of the score to Lotte Reiniger’s Cinderella (1921), presented with the film.
Aaron Perdue, flute
Lin Ma, clarinet
Philip Hembree, cornet
Greg Hammond, trombone
Craig Hauschildt, vibraphone/glockenspiel
Ling Ling Huang, violin
Boson Mo, violin
Jarita Ng, viola
Max Geissler, cello
Jerry Hou, conductor
A view from the pit, featuring conductor Jerry Hou, Aaron Perdue (fllute), Lin Ma (clarinet), Philip Hembree (cornet), Grag Hammond (trombone), Craig Hauschildt (vibes, glockenspiel) and the Del Sol String Quartet.
Another still from Cinderella’s premiere performance at Zilkha Hall, Hobby Center, Houston.
A picture from the January 10th Musiqa premiere presentation of Cinderella.
Houston Chronicle Preview
A “teaser” trailer for Musiqa’s upcoming performance of Cinderella: Zilkha Hall (Hobby Center) Jan 10th, 2015, 7:30pm tickets
Cinderella Full Score
First page of the completed score. The rehearsal process begins in early January,
Exceprts from the manuscript score for Cinderella in progress, showing (on the right) the garden scene from Lotte Reiniger’s 1922 silent film.
Contemporary music group Musiqa, in partnership with the Houston Cinema Arts Society, has commissioned composer Karim Al-Zand to create a new film score to a classic of the silent film era. Al-Zand, one of the founding artistic directors of Musiqa, will write a score to a silent film by German filmmaker Lotte Reiniger (1899-1981), a recently re-mastered print of her rare 1922 short animated film Aschenputtel (Cinderella). Al-Zand is known for wide-ranging lyrical works, from settings of classical Arabic poetry to scores for dance and pieces for young audiences. His works explore connections between music and other arts, and draw inspiration from diverse sources such as 19th century graphic art, fables of the world, folksong and jazz, making him an ideal partner in this project. Reiniger was a pioneer of animated film with her distinctive paper-cut silhouette style. Working within the broader context of the German Expressionism movement, her intricately cut silhouettes marked a milestone in the development of film animation. The Houston Cinema Arts Society (HCAS) will oversee all details regarding the screening and presentation of the film. HCAS organizes and hosts the annual Houston Cinema Arts Festival, a groundbreaking and innovative arts festival featuring films and new media by and about artists in the visual, performing and literary arts.
This project will provide an exciting artistic opportunity for all participants. The unique style of Reiniger’s Cinderella is well suited to musical re-imaginings and retains a distinctly modern styling despite its age. The creation of a new score by a living composer attaches a vibrancy and freshness to an enchanting and often overlooked part of film history. Musiqa regularly collaborates with various Houston film organizations to present screenings of short films during Musiqa concerts. However, this collaboration is particularly notable as it marks the first time Musiqa will contribute the score to a film screening, resulting in a true collaborative project merging film and contemporary classical music.
More than a simple child’s fairy tale, Reiniger’s Cinderella is rooted in the original, and occasionally gruesome, tale by the Brothers Grimm. By addressing issues of oppression, longing and the constraints of social status, Cinderella evokes a range of emotions rooted in a much darker version of this fairy tale that will continue to resonate with modern audiences through this new presentation. Reiniger was known for the strong musical connections in her work. Her Dr. Dolittle had a score (now lost) by Paul Dessau, Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith. Cinderella features several on-screen musical allusions and references, and a colorful accompaniment promises to make vivid its cast of whimsical characters.
The commissioned musical work will be a 13-minute composition, scored for a large chamber ensemble of 10 players (flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello, double bass) plus conductor. The piece will be performed live to the film screening, and the presentation will be preceded by an introduction to Reiniger and her distinctive silhouette technique, including excerpts from the short film The Art of Lotte Reiniger (1971).
A large chamber work for 15 players, “Spinning Ballerina” is a movement from a larger work inspired by J. J. Grandville (1803–1847), one of the most popular and innovative French illustrators of the 19th century. His comical “Apocalypse du Ballet” features several of the artist’s characteristic “metamorphoses”: a ballerina emerges from a dancing foot, is transformed into a spindle and thread, then takes the form of a sprinting dog. The remarkable image objectifies a sort of frantic, madcap motion.
a. “Dance Mix” by Rob Smith, performed at Market Square Park on November 8, 2013
b. “Images”, Mvt. II. Tunnel by Marcus Karl Maroney, world premiere performance performed at Asia Society Texas Center on January 11, 2014
c. “Mother-of-Pearl” by Roshanne Etezady, performed at Zilkha Hall on April 6, 2013
d. “In C” by Terry Riley, filmed at the CAMH on January 30, 2014
“Lamentation on the Disasters of War” (2006) is an elegy. This string sextet is based on etchings by Francisco de Goya, and was written for the Enso String Quartet with Katherine Lewis and Valdine Ritchie. The piece is a response to Goya’s powerful anti-war work “Los Desastres de la Guerra” (1820) and a reflection on its modern-day significance, particularly in light of the US invasion of Iraq which, like Napoleon’s Peninsular War, was a senseless conflict with enormous and tragic consequences for civilians.
Start and End Dates
09/01/2014 — 05/01/2015