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In Search Of Beethoven [DVD] [2009]


Price: £17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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£17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details Only 5 left in stock. Sold by becksdvds-co-uk and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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In Search Of Beethoven [DVD] [2009] + In Search Of Mozart [2005] [DVD] [NTSC] + Immortal Beloved [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Phil Grabsky
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Seventh Art Productions
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Sept. 2009
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002EAKWCU
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 27,014 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

'One of the finest movies about a great musician I've ever seen' The Observer.

In Search of Beethoven offers a comprehensive documentary about the life and works of the great composer. Over 65 performances by the world's finest musicians were recorded and 100 interviews conducted in the making of this beautifully crafted film. It delves beneath the mythical image of the tortured, cantankerous genius to search for the real Ludwig van Beethoven.

2 DVD set. Extras:

  • in the edit room
  • complete movements
  • deleted scenes
  • interview with the director

Review

A hit...it was so terrific I wept --Mail on Sunday

In Search of Beethoven is fit for a maestro…As good as Grabsky's In Search of Mozart which also took the usual cliches about the man and gently tore them apart --Evening Standard

clear, intelligent documentary-making…with some utterly refreshing laugh-out-loud moments --www.classicalsource.com

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By S. P. Tustain on 23 Sept. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Congratulations to Phil Grabsky and all those involved in putting together this excellent 2-disc DVD set. I first saw the more than 2-hour documentary at a cinema and was enthralled. Since then I have been waiting with great anticipation for the release of the DVD. Now that it's here I'm not disappointed. Doing justice to such a complex and fascinating genius as Beethoven is no easy task, but this documentary achieves it admirably. We are left feeling that, despite a few forgivable foibles, Beethoven was truly a wonderful human being whose legacy is an unrivaled body of music that spans the spectrum of emotions. For me the most memorable part in the film, where music, musician and film-maker work sublimely is around the 88th minute. Hélène Grimaud is playing the slow movement of the 5th Piano Concerto. It brought tears to my eyes. On Disc 2 there are interesting and useful extras, including an interview with Phil Grabsky and full movements of works shown in part during the main feature. As a result of seeing the documentary I'm sure you will be inspired to listen again to your old Beethoven CDs (or vinyl), or to buy some new ones. Cheers, Richard.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Pfundner on 22 Aug. 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Saw this in a mini cinema. I was enthralled for the entire film, which i believe is almost 2 hours long. The film portrays Beethoven's character very well with a fitting mix of tragic, comic, outrageous and inspiring scenes. Contempary sources such as letters to and from Beethoven are coupled with interviews with modern day top-level conducters and performers to give a well rounded look at this extraordinary man from many perspectives. And of course, the best thing of all is that throughout there are many snippets of Beethoven's music, and in my book thats a good enough reason in itself to watch a film.

Highly recommended.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By G. Ward on 11 July 2009
Format: DVD
I saw, over 2 days, both In Search of Mozart & this DVD, In Search of Beethoven. Both are excellent productions, and of the two I think this is perhaps the best, because it is a pretty balanced look at a very difficult - and in many ways a very unfortunate - man, and offers a very decent sample of his music placed in the context of his life.
I haven't see the "extras" DVD, but since I've heard Phil Grabsky talk about the difficulties of producing things like this, including spending 6 months editing down from umpteen hours to less than 2, I think they would be pretty interesting too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K.S.Chin on 29 May 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary started with Beethoven's music, and ended on the same topic. Many great performances by great artists are included. A short two-hour time-travel of a great composers life is a bit of a rush, but it is a great introductory material to the great composer. Not much is said about his personal life - only one word description of his father ("stern"), minimal is said of his supposedly one-sided failed romances, and the court cases he embroiled himself with fighting over the control of his nephew Carl from his mother after the death of Beethoven's brother. The Beethoven's letter hinted on the dark personal side of the great composer. Magnificently, his despair/anger/compulsion transforms into many beautiful pieces of music in various emotions - who can describe a storm in music (Pastoral Symphony) so well?

It would have been more satisfying if this documentary were at least twice as long, one more disc perhaps. The director said that they have to trim the sixteen-hour material down to two. However, for two discs (the second bonus disc includes a few full movement performances) and the price, it earns five stars from me.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Sept. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In my review of the same director's "In Search of Mozart", I said I looked forward to reviewing a documentary that focussed on a true genius, someone like Beethoven. Well here we are! Alas it follows the same format of the Mozart DVD, although with some subtle and commendable differences.

We still have the same form of extended narrative of the composer's life; the same form of musical extracts; the same hagiography by the same large number of talking heads (only twenty-eight this time, instead of the forty for Mozart). But at least those talking heads seem to have been directed to talk direct to camera rather than to the director.

Eight of those talking heads are pianists, and - rightly or wrongly - there is a definite leaning in the narrative towards Beethoven as a pianist rather than towards his composition in other formats. But then, as a pianist is how the composer viewed himself in his early life. However, what this means is that we have all five piano concertos covered in the film but not, for example, his Egmont Overture. Fortunately, though, we have more examples of pianists, cellists, conductors talking us THROUGH the music rather than just talking ABOUT it.

Good use is made of coloured engravings of contemporary Vienna, which is an improvement on the Mozart disc, but still there is no interest by the director in following the composer around the city or out to Baden or in delving too deeply into his custody battle over his nephew. No, the search here is for the musical man, not the man himself. There was one moment, though, when we were told all about Beethoven's argumentativeness. Amusingly, this was said as we see Riccardo Chailly's becoming more frustrated as the orchestra fails to provide him with the sound he wants.
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