RIAS Sinfonietta - Conductor: Hans-E. Zimmer
BMG CLASSICS 09026-68144-2 / 57'

This record has a double interest: musical and historical. Musical because it's about some of the film scores which Paul Dessau, one of the more interesting centereuropean composers of this century and emblematic figure of the extinct East Germany, composed on the twenties. The historical value is centered on the recovering of a music-film material different from the usual, since although its music composed for a certain film (on this case, four shorts of Walt Disney's first times, on which it is mixed real images and primitive cartoons, and a french film from the same times which also mix reality with animation, this time with puppets), it is not a material sanctioned by the creators, but one of the multiple musical interpretations which can be maked from a movie. We must remember that in the twenties it was very rare to find a movie with a musical soundtrack, which left on the exhibitors hands of each place the possibility to concrete the sound aspect of it; here Paul Dessau, who at that time worked as composer and musical director of Berlin's Alhambra Theater at the end of the twenties, created his scores with a brief margin of work, watching the films previously, taking timings, composing quickly, and premiering on live with even more promptness. This curious work method (on the other side nothing strange then) may produce scores of diverse condition, and of the five here presented it is unstrange to find that the best material goes for the long score of L'Horloge Magique, divided on two parts, and which makes use of many of the musical theories so in fashion then, atonality included. The four brief musical recreations of Walt Disney's material shows, at the opposite, an enviable rhythm and vivacity, making an excellent use of proper themes and gestures when necessary (the famous Dixie in Alice in the Wooly West, as an example), and obtaining a terrific result from the small orchestra. By the way, and if someone thinks about it, the conductor of the record Hans-E. Zimmer is NOT the renowed film composer. A delight. M.A.F.

Alice in the Wooly West (1926 - Music:1928) - 7:10
Alice the Firefighter (1926 - Music:1928) - 7:20
L'Horloge Magique (1928) - 28:29
Alice's Monkey Business (1926 - Music:1928) - 6:58
Alice Helps the Romance (1926 - Music:1929) - 7:02