It's A New Dawn For First Academy Award-Winning Film 'Sunrise'

(Courtesy of Master Chorale. )

The score is one of the hardest-working elements of a film. It helps set the tone, it creates character cues, and it provides an enhanced emotional life for the story. When it's done right, you might not even notice it—but when it's not, well, it can diminish the entire film-watching experience.

That was the case with F. W. Murnau's Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, which won three awards at the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. Despite its historical standing as one of the best films ever made, Sunrise's original soundtrack was considered clumsy—especially unfortunate because it was still the silent film era. "The US release of Sunrise was saddled with a Movietone soundtrack - music mostly, some animal noises and car horns, but no dialogue - arguably, 21st-century viewers will find the sound the most dated thing about the film," wrote Pamela Hutchinson in a Guardian review.

But now it's time to look at Sunrise in a new light, as the Los Angeles Master Chorale performs an entirely new, long overdue score for the film, composed by Jeff Beal (House of Cards, Pollock, The Biggest Little Farm). He's joined by Conductor Grant Gershon; sopranos Holly Sedillos and Suzanne Waters; tenor Dermot Kiernan; a chamber orchestra; and the Master Chorale. There's just one screening and performance, 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Tickets are available now through the performance date and start at $29.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

  • Sunday, January 26th at 7pm
  • Tickets start at $29
  • Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles - Google Maps