Competition time! Answer one easy question and you could win a copy of Carl Davis’s stunning score for DW Griffith’s Intolerance (1916) on a shiny new CD – there are five copies waiting for a new home here at Silent London HQ.
An epic film demands an epic score and Carl Davis’s music, originally created for the Thames Silents presentation of the film in 1986, certainly rises to the challenge of DW Griifith’s monumental movie.
“Scoring Intolerance poses two distinct problems for the composer,” says Davis. “The first is to establish the four distinct stories in their precise periods. The second, to help the film present those stories as having one theme i.e. the destructive power of intolerance upon individual people and the civilisations they live in. Therefore, I decided that I would use a large orchestra with certain features that would allow me to characterise each narrative.
“The modern story mostly uses a small theatre orchestra, typical of a silent film orchestra of Griffith’s own time. The Renaissance story cuts down on strings and adds recorders and a guitar. The Biblical story has a Bach-like passion-music character and finally Babylon is majestic, lush and exotic. Throughout all of the episodes run a chorale-like theme which is the Intolerance Theme”.
Davis’s score was originally commissioned by Thames Television for a live premiere at the Leeds Film Festival in 1986, and a subsequent performance at the London Film Festival in 1988. The recording on this CD was conducted by Carl Davis and performed by Luxembourg Radio Symphony Orchestra in 1990. It is newly available on CD after more than a decade
If you want to win one of five Intolerance CDs simply email your answer and postal address to the following question to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 31 October 2019 at noon:
Which writer, whom DW Griffith described as “the world’s most brilliant woman” provided the intertitles for Intolerance?
- a) Anita Loos
- b) Dorothy Parker
- c) Frances Marion
Good luck! The winners will be chosen at random from the correct answers and will be notified by email. Please note this competition is open to UK residents only.