Press Contact: Jeff Pines (202) 707-2916
Public Contact: Wolf Trap (703) 255-1860

July 20, 1994

Library of Congress Specialist Conducts Premiere at Wolf Trap

Gillian Anderson, a Library of Congress music specialist, will conduct the National Symphony Orchestra at Wolf Trap Farm Park in Vienna, Va., in her reconstruction of Hans Erdmann's original musical accompaniment for the 1922 German film classic "Nosferatu." The film will be shown on two screens as part of the synchronized live performance.

The original score to the first film to be based on Bram Stoker's Dracula was probably lost during World War II. Fortunately, within its vast collections the Library of Congress has other works by and about Erdmann.

Anderson reconstructed the score from four sources: a set of suites for full orchestra derived from the original score by Erdmann, published and deposited for copyright by the German publisher; a two-volume handbook about film music written by Erdmann; a full-score of the overture to "Nosferatu" taken from Heinrich Marschner's opera "The Vampire," along with many other operatic scores, which were hand-copied in Europe by Library of Congress employees at the beginning of the century; and German press reviews of "Nosferatu's" 1922 premiere in Berlin.

Silent film-era movies are not considered to be fully restored until they are performed with their original musical accompaniments and projected at their original speeds for modern audiences.

Anderson's work is part of a larger effort at the Library of Congress to preserve this country's film and music heritage. The 8,000,000 items in the Music Division range from original manuscripts to holograph full scores of operas and multivolume encyclopedias. The Library's unsurpassed holdings of original manuscripts by 20th century composers have been acquired partly through the commissioning activities of the Coolidge and Koussevitzky foundations and the McKim Fund and partly through donations by composers, their estates and other benefactors of the Library.

Anderson has participated in the restoration and reconstruction of the original scores to 17 silent films, including Charlie Chaplin's "The Circus," which was presented at Wolf Trap last year.

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PR 94-117
ISSN 0731-3527

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