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The Trout is the film of a now legendary performance on August 30th, 1969. Daniel Barenboim, Jacqueline du Pre, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Zubin Mehta, all old friends, found time in their busy schedules to perform the Quintet, and celebrate the optimism of the new Royal Festival Hall and its visions for music. They were all young, vibrant with enthusiasm. There was a tangible sense of excitement in the atmosphere. The short film follows them as they arrive in London, showing them as human beings. They horse around, full of vitality, and channel that verve into a wonderful, vivid performance, shown in full at the end. Nine years later, Jacqueline du Pre was to say "we were five friends, united by our youth and the pleasure we had in making music together, any excuse for fun and music. When we played the Trout it would have evaporated, as all concerts do, but Christopher Nupen saw the film in it and suddenly, there was a statement of our happiness! When I see the Trout it gives me back that feeling, which will always be so precious to me". After nearly forty years, we can still feel that excitement. Sadly, Jacqueline du Pre is no longer with us, her career cut tragically short. But the happiness and optimism of those moments remain forever, captured in film. At the time, the film was controversial because it showed musicians in an informal setting. Far from harming musicianship, the film shows how music making really works. It shows musicians interacting, picking up on musical cues and ideas just as others pick up on non verbal body language. Music making isn't a mechanical process. This film lets us follow the instinctive communication between musicians almost as if we were part of their circle. Just as Barenboim, du Pre, Perlman, Zukerman and Mehta were on the threshold of great things, so was Christopher Nupen, when he made The Trout. As Jacqueline du Pre said, he saw dramatic possibilities, and sensed that film could be used in new, imaginative ways to enhance the musical experience. The second film, Greatest Love and Greatest Sorrow is Nupen's exploration of Schubert. Using Schubert's own words from letters, and texts from his favorite song settings, Nupen gets Schubert to speak for himself. This is reinforced by drawings and paintings of the time, and plenty of music. Performers include Ashkenazy, Sawallisch and Andreas Schmidt, the baritone, dressed in period costume, who looks like Schubert himself. Making Schubert the narrator means that the film can go straight to the composer's inner life, on his own terms, Greatest Love and Greatest Sorrow refers to a dream Schubert had in 1822, which seemed significant enough that he wrote it down on waking. The text is quoted in full, because it seems to encapsulate Schubert's inner feelings about being a composer. He realised that to be a true artist, he had to find his own path, even if that meant isolation. The film amplifies these ideas through careful choice of music. Heine's Die Stadt and Muller's Die Nebensonnen, for example, and a haunting Der Doppelganger at the end. Yet Schubert was to die young, his full potential never known. His love of life and of music made his death all the more tragic. Underlying his later, beautiful music hangs a sense of mortality that may have been part of the Romantic time, but was also deeply personal to Schubert the man. This is a lovely, sensitive film, for those wanted to feel closer to the composer,understand him and his beautiful music.
19 di 22 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
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Here we have another release on DVD of Christopher Nupen's films, most of them shot in the 60's and the 70's, showing his very good intuitive view and understanding about those who will be first figures in the decades to come.
I have Jacqueline du Pre's one, that is outstanding, and now I have finally the possibility of watching this remarkable document that I knew it was great because other music lovers written commentaries on the web.
What we have here is a concerto and a documentary, both of them filmed by Nupen, the concert in 1969 and the documentary in 1994.
The concert is really outstanding, my favourite version together with the one played by the Hagen Quartett joining Posch & Schiff (Decca). Recorded in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in the South Bank Summer Festival; the performance it's technically a prodigy and it sounds with the great charm and freshness this players used to have in the late `60s, like we can listen in other chamber pieces played by them, in EMI, for example, in which is audible their great feeling playing together and the very close view on many works they have, like it's this case. Perlman's playing is vivid and perfect, full of life and energy; du Pre's one is so outstanding like most of the recordings she done; Zukerman is really a surprise playing the viola, not because we don't know he is very good, but doing it this way so young is not easy at all, if we think he really is a violin player; Mehta gives his best and that's good enough in a ensemble in which it was supposed he should be the weak piece, because of the many years he didn't play the double bass, anyway he do it really very well, as his partners happiness shows at the end of the concert. But the one who I think leads the ensemble is Daniel Barenboim, because of the way he has of looking the other players, and because of the rhythm and sense he gives to the piece and to the group from the keyboard.
Nupen introduced every musician before the concert, showing them arrival to London and the way the choose even their instruments, like it was Zukerman's case. I know in that time it was not very well seen, many people thought it was not very serious, much more because of the very relaxed attitude of the players, but I found it funny and a good example about making classical music it's serious but not boring at all. Their jokes, their commentaries, their songs... show a group of young people in their best time, with all a great musical life to be developed... what is really sad is knowing today the case of du Pre, that's really the worse, not if their behaviour is serious or not.
The documentary "The Greatest Love And The Greatest Sorrow" is based on Schubert last months of life, from Beethoven burial in Vienna, March 1827, a fact that affected Schubert very much, as Beethoven was a kind of God and musical father for him. I don't find it so good like other Nupen's films, even the own composer says it took a lot of time to be done, because it was complex to develop it the way they wanted, joining together Schubert music, most of them lieder, and texts. The musical base is Ashkenazy playing the piano with Andreas Schmidt singing Schubert Lieder, quite good really. Nupen tries to go into Schubert's mind through his letters, through the music close to that writing and through the editing of a way that shows the pain and joy that lived together on the composer's soul, basically about his family, about music and about his "problems" in love. It's a good work, with great sound and image quality, but is not outstanding.
Even in the backside of the DVD is written that both films are framed on 4:3, that's false, because 4:3 is only the concert; the documentary is shot in 16:9, so you should put it in this format on your TV if you want to watch it correctly. Subtitles are available in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian, and the booklet is very good too. I can not forget mention the very good trailer of other Nupen's films that is in this DVD, like it's on du Pre's one. I hope most of that films can be released on DVD.