EPIC SILENT FILM TO BE PRESENTED WITH IMPROVISED ORGAN ACCOMPANIMENT BY SAMUEL LIEGEON
Sunday, November 24, 2013 6 pm
Award winning organist and former Young Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France in New Orleans will present an improvised accompaniment for the 1928 epic silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc. Based upon transcripts of the trial of Joan of Arc, it depicts her trial, imprisonment, torture and eventual execution. Starring Renée Jeanne Falconetti, it is hailed as a landmark in the annals of cinematic history. Directed by Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer, the film has been rarely seen. Lost for many years, a copy was discovered in Demark in 1981. The legacy of Dreyer’s film is without equal. The New York Times noted that “other pictures appear trivial in comparison.” It has been ranked 26th Premiere Magazine’s “100 Greatest Performances of All Time,” the highest for a silent film. It has appeared in Sight and Sound magazine’s top ten lists three times (1952, 1972, and 1992). The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival voted it the most influential film of all time.
Samuel Liégon serves as the titular organist of St. Pierre de Chaillot in Paris. He was the 2012- 2013 Young Artist-in-Residence at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France. He studied organ, piano and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Besançon, and won the Prix d’Excellence for organ at the Conservatoire de Rueil-Malmaison. At the Paris Conservatory, he studied improvisation with Thierry Escaich, Philippe Lefebvre, and Jean-François Zygel and was the first student at the conservatory to earn a master’s degree in improvisation. Since returning to Paris in late April, he was awarded a Master’s degree in composition with honors. He is a prize winner of international competitions in Strasbourg (2008), Leipzig (2009), Haarlem (2010), Munster (2011) and Chartres (2012). As a performer, he regularly appears throughout Europe and on Radio France Musique as a recitalist. He is noted for his improvisations for silent movies at such distinguished series as the “Festival International Toulouse les Orgues,” the Musée d’Orsay and Le Balzac cinema in Paris.