Chaplin's Smile Feb 28, 2020 - Philippe Quint, violin; John Novacek, piano


Chaplin | City Lights Suite

from City Lights (1931) arr. by Quint and Coleman

Composed by Charlie Chaplin with musical arrangements by Arthur Johnson and musical direction by Alfred Newman. This was the first film score composed by Chaplin and he did so in a period of six weeks. The score’s main theme, La Violetera, was borrowed from Spanish composer Jose Padilla, to whom Chaplin lost a lawsuit for not crediting the composer for the leitmotiv of the Flower Girl’s Theme.

Debussy | Clair de Lune

Clair de Lune ( Moonlight), third movement of Suite Bergamasque by Claude Debussy, a piano depiction of a Paul Verlaine poem. Upon meeting Chaplin in Paris, Debussy exclaimed: “You are instinctively a musician and a dancer.”

Chaplin | Tango Bitterness

Monsieur Verdoux (1947) arr. by Quint and Coleman

Composed by Charlie Chaplin with musical arrangement and direction by Rudolf Schrager. Inspired by a film concept originally suggested by Orson Welles, Monsieur Verdoux is a black comedy starring Chaplin in a role greatly departing that of The Little Tramp. The story is based on that of bigamist and serial killer Henri Désiré Landru and the film was Oscar-nominated for Best Screenplay.

Stravinsky | Tango (1940)

After settling in Hollywood, Stravinsky found himself with financial difficulties. He decided to write new compositions entirely in America in order to exploit them, with the exclusive intention of making money. Tango, which was the first work entirely written in America, is one of those works. His encounter with Chaplin for a potential collaboration did not yield any results in the end.

Chaplin | Weeping Willows

A King in New York (1957) arr. by Quint and Coleman

Composed by Charlie Chaplin with musical arrangements by Boris Sarbek. The score to A King in New York ironically produced popular tunes while simultaneously mocking social trends, celebrity status and popular culture. This is another of Chaplin’s films not familiar to American audiences until its U.S. release in 1973.

Gershwin | It Ain’t Necessarily So

arr. by Heifetz

Paying a direct homage to Rhapsody in Blue in parts of his score of Modern Times, Chaplin was a big admirer of Gershwin’s music.” It Ain't Necessarily So" is one of the most well-known songs from Gershwin’s immortal opera Porgy and Bess (1935).

Chaplin | Eternally (Terry’s Theme)

Limelight (1952) arr. by Quint and Coleman

Composed by Charlie Chaplin with musical arrangements by Raymond Rasch and musical direction by Larry Russell. Although originally released in 1952, Chaplin was exiled from the U.S. in that same year and Limelight was not seen by American audiences until 1972, winning the Oscar for best musical score in 1973.

Brahms | Hungarian Dance No. 5

arr. by Joachim

Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 was accompanying one of the most well-known scenes in The Great Dictator, a film where Chaplin plays both leading roles: a ruthless fascist dictator and a persecuted Jewish barber. It has been said that Hungarian dances possibly paved the way for Ragtimes.

Tchaikovsky | Mélodie, Op. 42

Mélodie in E-flat major, which Tchaikovsky also described as a "chant sans paroles," is part of his Souvenir d'un lieu cher. Chaplin had great appreciation for a beautiful melody, and Tchaikovsky was a great source of his musical inspirations, sometimes borrowing a theme or two for his films and sometimes using Tchaikovsky’s score in its entirety—such as his waltz from the ballet Sleeping Beauty that can be heard in Chaplin’s Gold Rush.

Chaplin | The Kid Fantasy

The Kid (1921) arr. by Gurvitch

The Kid is a 1921 American silent comedy-drama film written by, produced by, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin, and features Jackie Coogan as his adopted son and sidekick. This was Chaplin's first full-length film as a director. It is here, yet again, that Chaplin revisits his favorite Tchaikovsky score of Symphony No. 6’s first movement and makes his own version of the main theme that becomes a leitmotif of the film’s soundtrack.

Chaplin | Theme from Modern Times (Smile)

Modern Times (1936) arr. by Quint and Coleman

"Smile" is a song based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for Charlie Chaplin's 1936 movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, inspired by Puccini's Tosca. John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954. In the lyrics, based on lines and themes from the film, the singer is telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile. "Smile" has become a popular standard since its original use in Chaplin's film.


Multi-Grammy Award nominee violinist Philippe Quint is internationally recognized for his unique and insightful approach to standard repertoire, championing and rediscovering neglected repertoire and embarking on imaginative, exciting journeys of explorations and collaborations with artists of different genres. “Truly phenomenal” is how BBC Music Magazine recently described him, also adding that “Quint’s tonal opulence, generously inflected with subtle portamentos, sounds like a throwback to the glory days of Fritz Kreisler.” An American violinist of Russian heritage, Philippe Quint is constantly in demand and regularly appears with major orchestras and conductors worldwide at venues ranging from the Gewandhaus in Leipzig to Carnegie Hall in New York, while making frequent guest appearances at the most prestigious festivals including Verbier, Aspen, Colmar, Hollywood Bowl and Dresden Festspiele. Quint’s award-winning 17 commercial releases discography includes a recent debut on the Warner Classics label, a CD titled Chaplin’s Smile that features 13 original arrangements of songs by Charlie Chaplin. The disc received worldwide acclaim, multiple Editor’s Choices from all major radio stations and such publications as Forbes, Gramophone, Limelight, Strad, and Strings. The album also inspired Philippe to create and produce Charlie Chaplin’s Smile, a multimedia show that will have debuts worldwide throughout the 2019-20 season, including the opening of the 5th International Tchaikovsky Festival in Klin, Russia, Ravinia Festival, Baltimore Symphony, and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, as well as its orchestral premieres of the show in Germany, Poland and Bulgaria, to name a few. Highlights of Quint’s 2019-20 season include performances with the Baltimore Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Bournemouth Symphony, Bochumer Symphoniker, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony and Thailand Philharmonic under the batons of Andrew Litton, Steven Sloane, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Rune Bergmann, Jorge Mester and Carolyn Kuan. Making his home in New York since 1991, Philippe Quint was born in Leningrad, Soviet Union (now St. Petersburg, Russia), and studied at Moscow’s Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, making his orchestral debut at the age of nine. After moving to the United States, he earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. His distinguished pedagogues and mentors included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt and Felix Galimir. Philippe Quint plays the magnificent 1708 “Ruby” Antonio Stradivari violin on loan to him through the generous efforts of The Stradivari Society®.

For more information, visit: www.philippequint.com | www.facebook.com/philippequint | www.twitter.com/philippequint


Grammy-nominated pianist John Novacek regularly tours the Americas, Europe and Asia as both soloist and chamber musician. The current season includes concerto performances with the Mexico City Philharmonic, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra, National Academy Orchestra of Canada, Traverse Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestras of Festival Mozaic and the Mendocino Music Festival. Frequent performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s David Geffen and Alice Tully Halls, Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Hollywood Bowl, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, London’s Wigmore Hall and Barbican, and Tokyo’s Suntory, Opera City, and Bunkamura Halls. Novacek is a frequent guest artist at festivals, having participated in Mostly Mozart, Aspen, Great Lakes, SummerFest La Jolla, Cape Cod, Caramoor, Colorado College, Mimir, San Luis Obispo Mozaic, Ravinia, Seattle, Wolf Trap; Scotia, Toronto Summer Music, Ottawa Chamberfest, SweetWater and Festival of the Sound (Canada); BBC Proms (England); Braunschweig (Germany); Lucerne, Menuhin Gstaad, and Verbier (Switzerland); Sorrento (Italy); Serenates d’Estiu (Mallorca, Spain); and Stavanger (Norway). A frequent presence on radio, Novacek is regularly showcased on NPR’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and (as featured composer/performer) A Prairie Home Companion; television appearances include CNN International, Entertainment Tonight, and The Tonight Show. A highly sought-after chamber musician and collaborator, Novacek performs with Leila Josefowicz, Lynn Harrell, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Cho-Liang Lin, Emmanuel Pahud, Jeremy Denk, Renaud Capuçon, Truls Mørk, Matt Haimovitz, and Elmar Oliveira, as well as with the members of the Emerson, Ying, St. Lawrence, Miro and Tokyo String Quartets. He is also a member of the versatile piano trio Intersection with violinist Laura Frautschi and cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper. An active composer, Novacek’s works have been taken up by many prominent international musicians; commissioning bodies include the 5 Browns, Ying Quartet, Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo, Eastman School, Scotia Festival, Concertante, Pacific Symphony, Millennium, Seattle Commissioning Club, Three Tenors, Kiri Te Kanawa, and pop diva Diana Ross. Novacek is an active recording artist whose many CDs have garnered numerous international awards (Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Grammy nomination for “Best Chamber Music Performance"); labels include Philips, Nonesuch, Naxos, Arabesque, Warner Classics, Sony/BMG, Koch International, New World, Universal Classics, Ambassador, Azica, Marquis, Arkay, Neuma, IBS Classical, Pony Canyon, Four Winds, and EMI Classics

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