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Thread: Movies about Composers/Classical Music and Pianists

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    Newbies andreea's Avatar
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    Smile Movies about Composers/Classical Music and Pianists

    Hello!

    I've made a YouTube video with movies about composers and so (there are 62 movie titles) maybe you'll enjoy it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKaGvwPEp4o

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    Senior Member Il_Penseroso's Avatar
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    Films about composers and musicians... Well, to be honest, my favorite list is still empty! I haven't found a sign of the internal agony of a soul who has efforted himself to creat a world of beauty in any movie I've watched devoted to a composer or a musician yet. Most of the directors prefer to present an extraordinary melancholic character, sometimes with a bit of madness which I haven't found pleasant at all. Yes, we all know Schumann was a sort of mental disorder person or Mussorgsky died of alcoholism, but these are some facts (of course) which are, in my personal opinion, not the most important issue when you really aim to bring an artist's life, his source of inspiration or his creativity into media. Well, perhaps I can recall a beautiful old film The Composer Glinka (Композитор Глинка) as a good one, but it's a soviet production less known in the West, and still not reliable in some details which are to be clarifying such as the scene where Liszt (Sviatoslav Richter) is playing the piano transcription of Chernomor's March (from the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila) supposed to be the original 1843 version, but instead we're hearing the 1875 second - and revised version which was written long after Glinka's death!
    Last edited by Il_Penseroso; Feb-05-2014 at 09:25.
    In a world which is ruled by gangsters and maniacs, art means nothing but just a junk food and there's no hope for human's salvation throughout... (Shāmlou)

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    Senior Member DavidA's Avatar
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    The best one I have seen is called Eroica which is about the first performance of Beethoven's third symphony. While not exactly historically accurate (what movie is?) It is none the less very entertaining.

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    Senior Member GioCar's Avatar
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    Few of them have the great merit of introducing new people to classical music, just think of Amadeus.

    Anyway I agree that most of the films about composers & musicians are so so. Nobody directed a sort of Andrej Rublev for music so far.

    One the best imo is "Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould", and there was also a more recent film about a piano tuner working for Steinway (in his works he meets pianists such as Aimard, Brendel, etc) which was good. I don't remember the title.

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Ken Russell did many movies on composers. I've seen only Song of Summer on Delius and I recommend it without a doubt, especially if you love the music of the british composer. Max Adrian is a perfect Delius.

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    I think it's exquisite, re Eroica. It's readily available on youtube with search words Beethoven documentaries.
    Last edited by wasborntoolate; Sep-22-2014 at 14:21.

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    If you look for an overview I can also recommend this collection: https://movie-navigator.com/movies?s...vance&theme=60

    I really enjoyed most of their recommendations - the top-10 movies include: 1. Amadeus (1984), 2. The Concert (2009), 3. The Red Violin (1998), 4. Shine (1996), 5. A Late Quartet (2012), 6. The Soloist (2009), 7. The Piano (1993), 8. Copying Beethoven (2006), 9. Immortal Beloved (1994), 10. Hilary and Jackie (1998)


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    That's a pretty complete list, Jordanbuttler. Thanks. There was one title with "Mahler" in it, but not the movie, "Mahler". There is also "Bride of the Wind", about Alma Mahler. I have enjoyed many of the movies on the list. The most tragic was "Hilary and Jackie". It was certainly not flattering to Jacqeline DuPre.

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    Senior Member The Deacon's Avatar
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    Powell "the Red Shoes" is a must.



    Yes the Russell Delius is excellent. And his Mahler.

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    Junior Member adamrowe's Avatar
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    One of my favorites is still 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould.

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    Member goatygoatygoatgoat's Avatar
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    There's also "Tous les matins du monde".


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    Senior Member aussiebushman's Avatar
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    I cannot agree that movies about composers, musicians etc do not contribute to introduction and/or understanding of the subjects, though it must be said that a movie is a movie and is rarely historically accurate. If enjoyment leads to further engagement with the subject, so much the better, For example, Ken Russell's "Mahler" may not be very accurate but it is vert engaging cinema and a good introduction to many of the issues that contributed to his work. The same might apply to "Testimony" as an introduction to Shostakovich. "The pianist" would surely introduce Chopin to many who claim not to like classical music. There are many other examples, too numerous to quote here

    I have just watched "Taking Sides" for maybe the third time. Directed by the brilliant István Szabó, it received some negative reviews, but only from those who regarded the portrayal by Harvey Keitel as being "over the top." On the contrary, IMO it depicted very accurately the negativity of many Americans of that generation to what they saw as "elitist" art/music and European art/music in particular. The sneering references to Beethoven in the opening sequence depicts that attitude very well.

    Furtwangler certainly did leave himself exposed to criticism but the way he is treated in the movie is not just objectionable. it is also likely to be accurate. Back to the original point, if it helps to introduce non-classicist to Beethoven, Bruckner and Furtwangler that alone justifies its position.

    The official trailer has much to commend it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfURytVFKB0

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