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William Tell 1923

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Here is an all but forgotten performance by the great Conrad Veidt. He plays Hermann Gessler in this accurate portrayal of the infamous swiss hero of the 14th century. A very entertaining film that follows the storyline very closely.

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I'm glad to hear you've enjoyed it. I have a few small cards of the film and the costumes look fantastic.

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Johanna,

 

This really was a great film. The 14th century settings and costumes were very impressive.

 

Two more Veidt films I have to watch soon are THE DARK ROAD 1921 and IMPETUOUS YOUTH 1926. His performances never disappoint!

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Wow Jeff, please let me know your impressions of the films! I'd love to hear about them.

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Of course, there was no sound, but most theaters would make up for the lack of sound by having an organist or piano player play along while the film was showing. And I can't help but wonder, if they did not play Rossini's "William Tell Overture," while this film was being screened?

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The Theater Organ was designed to take the place of an Orchestra this is true. However, while some theaters did have a Wurlitzer or a Kimball, it often proved more expensive to install a great big Pipe-Organ and all those pipes, than it was to hire a Small Pit-Band of Six to Nine players. Giant Organ's were not nearly as prevalent as history would have you believe.

 

Nine players constitutes a Tango Orchestra, and there were many Tango Orchestra's that accompanied Silent films in Mid-size theaters. A Six-Memember band was more of Jazz Sextet.Though bare in mind that Silent film Musician's were more inclined to use great classical themes, than contemporary fair In other words heavy Jazz scoring might have been OK, for comedies, but were not used nearly as liberally with dramatic subjects.If you listen to the Vita-phone and Movie-tone tracks of the late 20's this much is clear.

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The nine player structure of a tango orchestra was generally adopted around 1934. Before, from around 1917 on the orchestras had six people.

 

That was the basic musical structure that provided background music in second run theaters in Buenos Aires. Audiences went to those theaters not to watch the films but to listen to their favorite orchestras.

 

Among them, you had the Julio De Caro ensemble, Julio Pollero's, Cayetano Puglisi's, Carlos Di Sarli's, etc., that left recordings for Victor. Francisco Canaro's, Roberto Firpo's, Francisco Lomuto's and Osvaldo Fresedo recorded for Disco Nacional-Odeon. Pedro Maffia's, Edgardo Donato's and Ricardo Luis Brignolo's recorded for the ill fated Brunswick.

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Jorge.... this is fascinating. I had no idea the orchestras were so structured..... Just watched the very minor but enjoyable *Nickelodeon* by Peter Bogdanovich in which they show a scene where *The Birth of a Nation* is premiered accompanied by a full orchestra. From everyhting I have read, the premiere of this film was indeed accompanied by a full orchestra. It must have been a thrilling evening.

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> {quote:title=radiotelefonia wrote:}{quote}

. Pedro Maffia, recorded for the ill fated Brunswick.

Now the name makes perfect sense. I have a "X" series Columbia 78 from about 1930 or '31 labled "Orquesta Tipica Maffia", and I have always wondered about the name.

Thanks for the info Jorge!

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