Friday, March 28, 2014
Silent no more
During his 12 years as music director of the Museum of Modern Art’s film department in New York City, composer William Perry penned more than a 200 scores for the museum’s silent film collection. Acclaimed for their melody, dance rhythms and sense of period and style, several of the pieces were later given full symphonic treatment and gathered into an album, “Music for Great Films of the Silent Era.”
On Saturday the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra will premiere a new work by Perry that proposes to answer the question: If they could sing, what would the actresses of the silent screen say to us today?
Including portraits of Lillian Gish (featuring Perry’s music for her 1921 film about the French Revolution, “Orphans of the Storm”), Gloria Swanson (drawing on music for the 1926 comedy “Fine Manners”), the Hungarian actress Vilma Bánky (represented by romantic music from her 1927 work “The Night of Love”) and a musical salute to Marguerite de la Motte (who starred with Douglas Fairbanks in the 1929 adventure story “The Iron Mask”), “Silent Film Heroines, A Song Suite for Mezzo Soprano and Orchestra” will be performed by Wallis Giunta (pictured), whose “chocolaty and penetrating mezzo-soprano voice” (The New York Times) was on display this season in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of “Rigoletto” and who is set to return to the Met next fall with Renee Fleming in “The Merry Widow.”
Also on the program: “The Swan of Tuonela,” a soulful short tone poem by Jean Sibelius, and Anton Dvorák’s Symphony No. 5 in F Major.
7:30 p.m. at Frontier Regional School, 113 North Main St. in South Deerfield. Preconcert talk by David Schneider at 6:45. $20 general admission; $17 seniors; $6 students and children. pvso.org
Don’t let last weekend’s mass arrests in Amherst dampen your enthusiasm for blarney and blowouts. John Allen of the Big Bad Bollocks certainly isn’t. “We can’t wait to wet the boards with another mental showing of our disregard for moderation!” says Allen of his band’s annual St. Patrick’s gig Saturday at the Iron Horse in Northampton. “Please come and join our collective expression that winter should just f**k off already! We’ll drink and dance and sweat and generally rave it up at the best sounding room in the Northeast!” Between sets Allen will be shouting from — and signing copies of — his new memoir, “Marmite Cowboy: An English Lad’s Unrelenting Pursuit of His American Daydream.”
7 p.m. $12.50 advance; $15 at the door. 586-8686, iheg.com
— Dan DeNicola