01. September 2009 · Comments Off on Charlie Chaplin & Music · Categories: Links, San Francisco Symphony, Symphony

Last week at the San Francisco World’s Fair, the San Francisco Symphony, under Composer-Conductor Meredith Willson, played a work listed in the program as Prelude to The Great Dictator, by Charlie Chaplin. The program was not quite accurate. Actor Chaplin made up the four themes of the Prelude (“Invasion of Osterlich,” “Hanah Theme,” “Barber Shop Theme,” “Charlie Motif”), but the music was fashioned, and orchestrated, by Composer Willson. Although Actor Chaplin always writes music for his films, this was the first to be performed in concert. Said the critics: “Obvious as most satirical attempts. . . . Interesting. … A pleasant trifle. … It cannot claim to be concert music.”

This is from Time Magazine, September 9, 1940. RTWT

I had no idea Meredith Willson conducted San Francisco Symphony. Nor that he played in the NY Phil. Nor other tidbits I read here.

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