excerpt from 'Interview with Alfred Deahl' (243 words)

excerpt from 'Interview with Alfred Deahl' (243 words)

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Interview with Alfred Deahl

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[Alfred Deahl recalls music-making in the silent cinema]


AD:  [Y]ou always had a trio.  You always had piano, cello and violin.  You generally had that.  […] [T]here was only a relief pianist would come on for the light comedies and the main film you had the trios always, mainly trios.  I played, oh, years I played.  It was just piano and violin where I finished up, just me and a piano.  I always remember that.




Oh, I’ve had some very nice times playing in the cinema.  Used to be a good old slog, but it was damn – it was nice.  Used to feel satisfied when you’d finished with it.  And of course, when Ben Hur came, I was engaged as leader of the orchestra in the cinema, the old Palladium, where they showed.  I was engaged as leader for that, Ben Hur.  They had their own music, of course




PJ:  And what kind of music, was it, um, classical?


AD:  Oh, yeah, all sorts of good stuff.


PJ:  Was it anything written specially for that?


AD:  It was, but we changed it.  […]  Instead of the music for the chariot race we played Rienzi, Wagner’s Rienzi.  […]  It was very effective.  […]  And I had a solo bit to play and when I finished one night he [the music director] whispered to me, ‘Absolutely per.’


[Deahl is referring to the silent film version of Ben Hur, made in 1925 and starring Ramon Novarro]

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