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A 'Silent Movie' Suite

Duration: c. 10.30 minutes








Programme Notes:

A 'SILENT MOVIE' SUITE was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, Andrew Bassey and Northamptonshire Orchestral Winds. NOW, conducted by Timothy Reynish, gave the first performance at Caroline Chisholm School, Wootton, Northamptonshire on 10th February 2013. The work is a light-hearted, fun piece in parody style evoking the lost era of black and white films shown without dialogue and clothed with just a musical accompaniment. Listeners are encouraged to use their imagination during the six individual movements all of which have an appropriate subtitle to assist:


1. Hollywood Fanfare

A brief flourish sets the mood and period in the style of a Golden Age film studio ident. This leads immediately into the next movement proper.


2. Follow that Cab!

A racy 'swing' idiom evokes a pursuit scene through the streets of  'Tinsel Town' with the police showing great interest and ringing their bells from time to time as the scenario builds to its inevitable conclusion - the case is solved!


3. Gangster's Moll

A soliloquy for the lonely girlfriend waiting for her gangster boyfriend to return home after a hard day's work at the 'office' pushing illicit liquor and busting a few heads! She knows nothing of this, of course, as 'Scarface' is an angel in her eyes...


4. Bungling Burglars

Time for a night time raid on the local bank. The robbers break in, fumble around and get more and more animated as their search for the safe leads them nowhere but into each other!


5. Matinée Idol

'Valentino', the darling of them all, reflects on his rise to fame, his multiple Oscars, his magical allure with the ladies and his sure-fire place in the history books - the art of delusion!


6. Slapstick!

All aboard for the grand finale: Chaplin, Keaton, you name 'em, they're there! Someone's always chasing someone but no-one knows who or why. The police turn up, the fire brigade turn up, even the army turn up! After a suitable smattering of pies in the face, obligatory rumbles and tumbles the movement concludes with the whole ensemble vanishing into the end credits...




Piccolo, Flutes 1.2, Oboe, Bb Clarinets 1.2.3, Bb Bass Clarinet, Bassoon,

Eb Alto Saxophones 1.2, Bb Tenor Saxophone, Eb Baritone Saxophone,

Bb Trumpets 1.2.3, F Horns 1.2., Trombones 1.2.3, Euphonium, Tubas 1.2,

Double Bass,

Timpani, Percussion


Percussion Requirements:



Performance Notes:


Available Recordings:

Bells across The Atlantic - Great British Music for Wind Band - Vol. 19

Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra

Cond.  Jeffrey Mathews


Polyphonic Reproductions Ltd.


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