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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 silent film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc is one of the most famous films about the medieval period, and its status as a classic, together with its loss to fire and subsequent rediscovery, has attracted various musical commentaries. Dreyer, later in life, pondered the idea of a historically appropriate score, thereby showing his commitment to historical research, but he did so at a time when the performance of such repertoire was in its infancy. A recent live soundtrack of music from the time of Jeanne d’Arc answers his implicit demand, however, in an era where the very viability of the performance of medieval music stands questioned. That soundtrack provides the starting point for an investigation of the visual and musical representation of the medieval era in the film and raises questions about music’s historicizing potential.

Keywords: Carl Dreyer, La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc, Joan of Arc, silent film, film music

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