1(=picc).1(=ca).2(II=Ebcl+bcl).1 - 2.2.btrbn.0 - perc(3): 4 timp/SD/tgl/BD/tam-t/2 cyms/susp.cym/fielddrum/high gong/tom-t/xyl/tamb/ruthe/glsp/siz.cym/acoin/TD/wdbl/vib/whip - banjo - harmonica - pno - synth - strings (


Full score and parts for hire

Programme Notes

Starring: Buster Keaton, Mairon Mack
Director: Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
Production company: Joseph M. Schenck Productions USA, 1927
Film Print: 35mm B&W print struck from the original camera negative available from Photoplay Productions (UK and Europe), 35mm print and DCP available from Cohen Film Collection (Rest of World) (Film Speed; 25 frames per second)
Recorded for video

Buster Keaton represents all that is most brilliant and original in silent film comedy, and he is at his very best in this ultimate chase movie. The General is based on a real-life incident from the American Civil War. A daring raid by Northerners to capture a locomotive and burn bridges in order to break communication lines was thwarted by an alert and quick-thinking Southern railroad engineer. The film contains the most expensive single shot ever staged for a silent film. A full-size railroad bridge was built specifically to be destroyed, along with a multi-wagon train. Carl Davis's symphonic development of a mock-heroic theme builds up an atmosphere of sustained tension and anticipation. He brings out the Civil War conflict through ingenious use of songs of the period.

The General

Théâtre Antique d'Orange (Orange, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

Orchestre National Avignon-Provence/Debora Waldman

The General

Cowan Performing Arts Center (Tyler, TX, USA)

East Texas Symphony Orchestra/Richard Lee

The General

Stadthalle Reutlingen (Reutlingen, Germany)

Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen/Stefan Geiger

The General

Salzburg University Auditorium (Saltzburg, Austria)

Philharmonie Salzburg

The General

Stadwerke Sommerkino (Duisburg, Germany)

Duisburger Philharmoniker/Carl Davis CBE