MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

The Los Angeles Master Chorale commissioned Jeff Beal to write a new, chorus-based score for the F.W. Murnau film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. Grant Gershon leads the LAMC in the world premiere tomorrow evening. Here’s my essay on the background of this extraordinary film and Beal’s musical response:

On May 16, 1929, the first Academy Awards ceremony took place,
paying tribute to films presented in 1927 and 1928. One of the
big winners was Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which garnered
three awards. Along with distinctions for Best Actress (Janet
Gaynor) and Best Cinematography (Charles Rosher and Karl
Struss), Sunrise was named Best Unique and Artistic Picture.

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Filed under: commissions, film music, Los Angeles Master Chorale, program notes

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