|The Barrymore Theater on W. 47th St. in NYC|
Saturday, July 7, 2012
The Music in His Life
"It was here that I first discovered music, or where I first learned its rare beauty, a beauty that has gladdened and haunted me from that moment. It all happened one night while I was there, about midnight. I recall the whole thing so distinctly.
"I was just a boy, and its beauty was like some sweet mystery. I did not understand. I only knew I loved it and I became reverent as the sounds carried themselves through my brain via my heart.
"I suddenly became aware of a harmonica and a clarinet playing a weird, harmonious message. I learned later that it was 'The Honeysuckle and the Bee.' It was played with such feeling that I became conscious for the first time of what melody really was. My first awakening to music."
"The Karno sketches had splendid music. For instance, if they had squalor surroundings with a lot of comedy tramps working in it, then, you see, they would have very beautiful boudoir music, something of the eighteenth century, very lush and very grandioso, just purely as satirical and as a counterpoint; and I copied a great deal from Mr. Fred Karno in that direction."
"Music is extremely important....that is why I welcome the efforts being made to provide music by mechanical systems, such as the DeForest and the Vitaphone. Mechanical music which has the quality of a symphony orchestra is much better as an accompaniment than feeble vamping on a piano or the excruciating efforts of an incompetent or ill-led orchestra."
And as any Chaplin fan knows, he had zero tolerance for incompetence.