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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the presence of genius..., 2 Oct 2011
By 
Dr. V. Stewart (Somerton,, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carlos Kleiber - Traces To Nowhere [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] (DVD)
It's difficult for me to write an impersonal view of this film - or of its companion 'I am lost to the world' because it had an emotional and intellectual impact on me that's still buzzing weeks after I first watched it. There's a review of one of his Beethoven performances that says 'It's as if Homer came back to read the Iliad,' and (sorry for repeating a truism) his interpretations make you feel as if you're hearing the music for the first time.

It's a film that fires the imagination - like, what would it have been like to play with him conducting? Even to be in the audience? You get to see something of his particular conducting technique - with eyes and fingers and butterfly-baton - but I treasure especially his metaphors (he had six languages) ... preparing for the Liebestod, he says that Isolde is on her way to her first communion, she is in ecstasy and it's the audience that's heartbroken. On another occasion he clarifies his direction by telling the orchestra 'it's like making love to the same woman, but in a different position.'

Watching the excerpts from the New Year's Day concerts from Vienna, I had the insight that he conducts the VPO as if they were a Bavarian band and the Bavarian band as if they were the VPO. My Dad, who idolised Beethoven and died well before Kleiber came on the scene, would have been stunned by this; I can feel him on my shoulder whether I be laughing, crying, or simply entranced.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary on Carlos Kleiber, 6 Sep 2011
By 
G.C. (St. Louis, MO, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Carlos Kleiber - Traces To Nowhere [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] (DVD)
On one level, this film must have been a nightmare for the filmmakers to make, because Carlos Kleiber never gave interviews or ran the PR-gamut that musicians now do. Thus the only footage of him in action is the rehearsal footage (also featured on another, separate DVD from another company), or still photographs, including rare shots of him with his wife as just regular folks on the street.

However, where the film scores is in getting people like Kleiber's sister, Veronika Kleiber, to reminisce about her brother, where her memories are quite touching. Likewise, orchestral musicians and opera stage collaborators who aren't big names get to lend their voices, in addition to more celebrated people like Placido Domingo, Brigitte Fassbaender, and Manfred Honeck. There isn't much in the way of criticism or sniping, as one might expect (except perhaps the one gentle allusion that he was quite the ladies' man, even when married). But that is a measure of the huge esteem in which fellow musicians and opera stage artists held him, and continue to hold him even after his death.

75 minutes is a somewhat odd length for a film, and some might initially consider it slightly short measure. However, working with the initial constraint mentioned at the start, this film makes for a good introduction to Carlos Kleiber the person, beyond Carlos Kleiber the musician via his recordings. By the end, the 75-minute length feels kind of just right. (Let's hope someone writes a full-scale biography of him at some point.)

BTW, the title is a rough paraphrase of the apparently Chinese/Buddhist concept expressed in the film that one should leave as little trace of one's presence in the world. Maybe that explains partly why he made so few commercial recordings, or conducted so few concerts in his life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 9 Nov 2013
By 
J (Ripponden, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Carlos Kleiber - Traces To Nowhere [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] (DVD)
Such an amazing conductor and a good film although a little less talking would help and more chance to see the footage
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Carlos Kleiber - Traces To Nowhere [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
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