Friday, September 24, 2004

Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and Charlie Chaplin

Under the direction of Maestro Crafton Beck, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra (MSO) will open its 2004-2005 Pops Series at 7:30 pm on October 9 with “An Evening with Charlie Chaplin”, featuring silent-film legend Charlie Chaplin’s original scores to two of his classic films. The scores from “The Idle Class” and “The Kid” will be accompanied by the full-length, black and white films at Thalia Mara Hall in downtown Jackson. In previous seasons, the MSO has presented Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush” and “City Lights” to nearly sold-out audiences. “We are excited to again bring cinema’s first king of comedy to the people of Mississippi,” says Beck.


An icon of the silent film era, Chaplin wrote, directed, produced and stars in both films. He also wrote the scores to both films, after having taught himself to play the violin and cello. Each score was written down with the help of a musical arranger, since Chaplin knew exactly what he wanted to hear but lacked the ability to write it down. “Although untrained in traditional western musical notation, Chaplin was a gifted musician with an instinctive sense of melody and harmony, and an ability to perfectly accompany the action in his films. Like his famous film character, his scores employ a wonderful equilibrium of comedy, tragedy and skill,” says Beck.


After more than 80 years, the films of Charlie Chaplin continue to inspire and entertain a new generation of fans. “’The Idle Class’ and ‘The Kid’ are two of Chaplin’s best films,” says Anita Modak-Truran, local filmmaker and critic. “They both seamlessly weave meticulously engineered schtick and gags, a theme of unfailing hope, and a tear of bittersweet into enduring works of art.” Gale Sisulak, long-time MSO supporter and season ticket holder, attended both previous Chaplin concerts. “We had such fun; it introduced us to a whole new idea of live music with visual entertainment,” she says.


Tickets for “An Evening with Charlie Chaplin” range from $15 to $30 for adults, $10 to $25 for seniors 65 and over, and $5 for students 18 and under. College students are also eligible for $5 tickets upon presenting valid ID at the box office. The box office will open at the event at 6:30 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the MSO office at (601) 960-1565.

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