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The Kid
Damian Szymczak (clarinet, piano, compositions)
Piotr Tomala (accordion, percussion, compositions)
Ludwik Sarski Orchestra
rec. August 2020, FabLab Pobite Gary! Studio, Warsaw
DUX 1770 [53:15]

Charlie Chaplin produced The Kid in 1921, and the silent-film classic has been a favorite for the last 100 years. Charlie wrote, directed and starred in the movie as The Tramp, a vagabond character who finds a baby in an alley and takes him home and raises him as his own. The original film was 68 minutes long and accompanied by a live orchestra music score, an assortment of selected classical and parlor music extracts synchronized and cued to the film’s scenes. In 1971 Chaplin reworked the film, removing some scenes and shortening the length to 53 minutes, created and added his own new original score, and re-released the film in 1972.

The Ludwik Sarski Orchestra is a collaboration of two talented musical artists and composers, Damian Szymczak and Piotr Tomala. They have written and produced a new original score for The Kid, a mix of tunes and melodic period pieces composed and synchronized for each scene in the film. Their score, recorded on this disc, is an engaging tribute and captures the essence of the film’s freshness and originality. The tunes are all instrumental and vary in length, mood and style, ranging between waltzes and klezmer pieces to rags and early jazz styles. The overall score works well as background music and is well-cued to the film, seamlessly moving between scenes. Several of the tunes stand out, particularly the waltzes. Impresario Waltz is a piano-accordion duet and accompanies a scene in the film where the Kid’s mother accidentally meets the Kid, now 5 years old, on the street, not knowing that he is actually her child. Waltz For John is another duet and the closest tune to be considered a theme song, as Chaplin’s Garret Waltz was for his original score. One of my favorites is Charlie’s Rag, performed by Damian and Piotr on multiple tracks with accordion, piano, clarinet and some really raspy percussion effects, with the music accompanying Charlie’s first appearance in the film, shuffling down the street and finding the baby.

An illustrated 16-page booklet is included, with comments in Polish and English. This audio disc is best appreciated if the listener can get a video copy of The Kid, turn down the film’s volume, and turn up the volume on this disc. We were able to synchronize the audio and video within about 5 seconds and thoroughly enjoyed both.

Bruce McCollum

Sarski’s Theme [1:20]
Loneliness [3:58]
Charlie’s Rag [3:05]
Please Love Me [4:26]
Dailyness [2:49]
Working Day [2:33]
Dangerous Flirt [0:46]
Run! [0:29]
Blues? [0:27]
Impresario Waltz [3:30]
Pancakes [2:46]
Brawl [1:11]
Big Brother Blues [1:21]
Brawl II [0:31]
Big Brother Blues II [2:04]
Please Love Me II [0:24]
Waltz For John [2:53]
Father’s Sadness [5:45]
No Home [6:35]
Dreamland [5:00]
Waltz For John II [1:23]

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