City of Álcalá Orchestra Concert

The Chaplin Reel: A Symphonic Adventure and The best soundtracks of 20 years of closing ceremony concerts at the Alcalá de Henares / Comunidad de Madrid Film Festival

The stars of celluloid and the big screen are celebrating 50 years of the most prestigious short film festival in Spain. And since the stars do not belong to any country, but rather to the universe, it is surely the most universal of festivals. Because that is what universal culture means; belonging to and for everybody. And cinema also adds another dimension to culture by making it a crossroads. Before cinema, only opera had achieved this thanks to the performing arts. When the performing arts are set in motion thanks to film, they criss-cross with the music supporting the plot, adding polish and emotional character to the story; the story that the City of Álcalá Orchestra has been telling for 20 years with sounds to provide the final touch to the city’s film festival. 

20 uninterrupted years of closing ceremony concerts at which the orchestra has performed music linked to film from in every which way. A kind of thousand-sided crystal which always converges at the same point of light: music and cinema. Music composed specifically for the big screen. And also for the small screen. The last two years we have championed music for television series over the last 50 years in Spain and the USA. Music for the smallest screens, game consoles and video games. Music for telling great film stories: “Casablanca”, “Doctor Zhivago”, “Gone with the Wind”… Music with a specific focus: women in film, musicals, music in Spanish film today, with its most representative composers, and in Italian or French film. Music from westerns. Classical music from every era, unknown to the public at large but which film has brought into their lives. Themes, motifs of films that have taken us all off to idyllic worlds. Otherworldly music (science fiction) or from our childhood (cartoons). From our favourite heroes: “James Bond”, “Tarzan”, “Mission impossible”, “the pink panther... From our cinema, which is not ours, but rather everybody’s. Music from the silent film era, from when talkies began, from when black and white turned to colour… Music to transport us on a kind of black carpet edged with white dots on which the images come one after another in a undulating strip that extends to infinity. An imaginary world with no continuity solution. 

Music fusion when nobody else was doing it: symphonic jazz, symphonic pop, symphonic country, symphonic rock, symphonic heavy metal …, all with the flavour and aroma of celebrated soundtrack themes. And we are now bringing you something never brought to the festival before. 

Music by an actor and film director. Probably one of the most iconic characters in the history of film, Chaplin. But in his composer guise. There are a large number of actors and directors who write their own music. Maybe the most famous is Clint Eastwood. But Chaplin’s greatness is beyond question. His character, his acerbic and humanist viewpoint of the world enabled his character to survive as silent film turned into talkies and then filmed in colour. There are very few characters, or rather none we could be talking about other than Charlot. 


 “The Chaplin Reel”, a symphonic adventure. 

What better title to sum up these 20 years of concerts. An exquisite suite of the themes composed by Chaplin for his most emblematic films. Keep your eyes and ears peeled and discover them all. Or just relax and enjoy. 

The rest of the concert is a surprise. We have selected those soundtracks we feel have been of most significance over these yeas. That is, the music composed exclusively for images and film. 

20 years of concerts bringing ALCINE, the Alcalá de Henares / Comunidad de Madrid Film Festival to a close. And to cap it all the 25th birthday of the Ciudad de Alcalá Orchestra this year, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the festival.