I wonder how many listeners would be interested in a Carl Davis CD titled “Loitering Without Intent.” In the silent movie days, thousands of pianists were in demand to play along with the film in cinemas. Usually they would improvise, sometimes the film would arrive accompanied by a score composed especially for it. Carl Davis is a specialist in restoring that kind of score.
It was decided that screenings and video versions of Charlie Chaplin’s films made at the Mutual studios in 1916 and 1917, for which there were no official scores, would be accompanied by scores composed by Davis and played by a full orchestra. And so, this CD contains selections from these original scores made for 12 Mutual films, among which are “The Floorwalker” and “The Pawnshop.”
But take note that Davis closely studied the music Chaplin did compose for several of his later films and he carefully adopted and adapted Chaplin’s musical techniques to make these new scores sound as if Chaplin might have created them himself.
The results are pleasant enough, as played by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and The Wihan Quartet. But yet I wonder, who but film majors and Chaplin devotees would be interested? But the project is a noble one and the disc worth a hearing.