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The visionary film-maker Alfred Machin’s Maudite soit la guerre is one of the earliest pacifist films, released in 1914 just one month before the outbreak of the First World War. Nearly 100 years later in 2013, Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth was compelled to write a score for the film, fusing traditional silent-film piano accompaniments with brusque strings and creeping electric guitar to bring its spirit to life.

Maudite soit la guerre “reminds us how valuable, fragile and finite life is” says Neuwirth. Experience this poignant and startling depiction of war, with Neuwirth’s heart-rending score bringing it firmly into the 21st century.

The precision and economy of her writing are extraordinary. " The Times
For all its wide-ranging imagination and wealth of stylistic references, the music is always tactful, always allowing Machin’s images to speak for themselves. The Guardian

Watch the film trailer

Production overview

Duration: 48'
Genre: Film music war requiem  
Orchestration: 0.0.1/bass.0   0.1/toy trumpet.1/toy trumpet.0    1*.0.1*.1*.0 (* doubling almglocken)  1 percussion 1 synth  1 electric guitar + film (+ audio) (ensemble amplified) = 9 players + conductor + sound projection
Film: Available to hire from Cinematek (Brussels)
Artists: Conductor - Gerry Cornelius / Sound Projection - Sound Intermedia
Publisher: Ricordi
Language: English

Find out more

Please contact London Sinfonietta CEO & Artistic Director Andrew Burke for more information.

Click here to return London Sinfonietta's Projects.