William Perry

The Beloved Rogue and Other Scores from the Silent Years

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In the years since this CD's release, some of William Perry's film music -- most especially that associated with adaptations of the work of Mark Twain -- has been recorded in the orchestral mode in which it was written. But early in his career, he was most closely associated with silent classics, first at the Museum of Modern Art, for which he provided accompanying scores to numerous silent pictures for their theatrical presentation, and culminating with his work on the PBS series The Silent Years. This nearly hourlong CD presents the highlights of his work for the latter series, on behalf of such movies as The Beloved Rogue, The General, The Mark of Zorro, The Gold Rush, Orphans of the Storm, and Blood and Sand. His music is melodic, expressive, and highly animated, whether he is conveying expressions of playfulness, wonder, nobility, harrowing action, or villainy in action. And what's more, it stands on its own, completely separate from the films for which he wrote these scores, which run between six and nine minutes each. The sound is, of course, state of the art, and the only flaw might rest in the annotation, which devotes far more attention to plot details than to the music at hand.

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