Henry Hadley (1871-1937) conducts the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in the overture to Wagner's "Tannhäuser." Two cameras provide some visual variation: a stationary one that shows Hadley and the full orchestra of more than 80 musicians, and one that does a modest amount of panning and is closer to the musicians, usually showing us about 15 within the frame. All are men, in tuxedos. No words are spoken in this early talkie. Written by
The title might not be too familiar to many people but this ten-minute short is in fact rather historically important as it was actually the second film to debut Warner's new sound process. When the feature DON JUAN was shown on August 6, 1926, this short was second on the program right after Will Hayes introduces people to Vitaphone. In terms of quality this short certainly isn't anything overly special as we get the New York Philharmonic Orchestra being conducted by Henry Hadley as they perform the overture to Tannhauser (just as the title says). I'm sure some some music fans may want to check this out just to see the New York Orchestra from this period but the real highlight is simply in terms of the history surrounding the picture. Overall the music is quite impressive but that's to be expected. The most shocking thing for me was hearing how incredibly good the sound quality was because a couple of the shorts shown on the program this night were a little off in terms of quality and even DON JUAN had a few noticeable low-quality moments but the sound to this short is actually quite powerful.
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