Sunrise: A Song for Two Humans, filmed by Murnau in 1927 upon his arrival in the United States is considered a masterpiece. Sunrise embraces a forest of signs, of images and novel techniques. The city springs up in the middle of the country; comedy entwined with the monstrous, superimposed images, a montage of realism and the fantastic. A perfect cinematic dawn? Murnau never chose specific music to accompany the polyphonic image of his screaming, whispering drama. The composer Helmut Oehring, born to deaf-mute parents, rises to the challenge of a melodrama without mirroring the film’s intentions: Seven Songs for Sunrise performed by David Moss with the support of a chamber ensemble and the Sine Nomine Quartet.

Sunrise : A song of Two Humans © Droits réservés/Collection Cinémathèque suisse

Sunrise : A song of Two Humans © Droits réservés/Collection Cinémathèque suisse

Film by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau (Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, États-Unis, 1927, 90′, silent, black and white)
With George O’Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingstone

Music Helmut Oehring, Seven Songs for Sunrise, French Premiere

Jürg henneberger conductor and piano
Quatuor Sine Nomine
Patrick Genet, François Gottraux violins
Hans Egidi viola
Marc Jaermann cello

David Moss vocal soloist
Jörg Schneider trumpet
Nikita Cardinaux bass clarinet
Noëlle Reymond double bass
Jean-François Taillard sonorization

Quatuor Sine Nomine in partnership with the Cinémathèque suisse. With the support of the Fondation Ernst von Siemens pour la musique for the composition. An IRCAM/Les Spectacles vivants/Les Cinémas-Centre Pompidou coproduction. With the support of the Sacem.