Schubert: Die Winterreise [DVD]  
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David Alden directs this Channel 4 television production, in which Ian Bostridge performs Franz Schubert's 'Winterreise', accompanied by Julius Drake on the piano. Also included is the documentary 'Over the Top with Franz', which examines the difficulties of staging Schubert's stark work.
From the Back Cover
This unique and innovative performance of Winterreise has been shot entirely in studio, the sound recorded "live" to capture the emotional intensity of the performance. It brings together the distinguished young tenor Ian Bostridge and his celebrated accompanist Julius Drake, with opera director David Alden and designer Ian MacNeil. Schubert's masterpiece presents a stranger who lacks definition or social bond wandering through wintry nature. Alden dramatises the song cycle around two spaces: one a vacant and romantic room which perhaps houses the ghosts of the past; the other a white void, a landscape of isolation. Actors appear as the family who jilted the singer and who have perhaps set the protagonist on his life of endless wandering. Terrifyingly beautiful, Winterreise is an agonising portrayal of a man who wants to be dead - a nervous breakdown, a story without end.
Over The Top With Franz
This accompanying documentary is an exciting and revealing record of the anxieties, frustrations and triumphs experienced by collaborators, Bostridge, Drake, Alden and MacNeil, in recording Schubert's Winterreise for television. The film opens with Bostridge and Drake performing Winterreise in recital at the Royal Brighton Pavilion. Nothing, however, can prepare them for the experience they have with David Alden. This film is a record of that experience. We follow the ideas, lines of approach and often conflicting opinions of the artists as they rehearse and prepare for this dynamic new film version from the first day of rehearsal to the last day of filming.
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Top Customer Reviews
Therefore, it is little short of a miracle, when a film like "Winterreise" succeeds on all levels. The credit for this must first of all go to the musical genius of Schubert, whose song cycle of scorned love manages to penetrate to the souls of even today's audiences, combining contemporary notions like "goth" and "angst" with the eternal expressions of romanticism, idealism and just pure beauty. It is apparent from the start that the director, David Alden, stands squarely in the tradition of poetic, high-art cinema. The haunting opening of the slow tracking shot, the agonizingly slow movements of the camera into tight close-ups (matching the inner agony of the main character) are all reminiscent of the great Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, yet they appear totally fresh and "new" and unexpected in the context of the film. The inventiveness and, at the same time, the astonishing simplicity of the mise-en-scenes throughout the film continues to amaze even on repeated viewings.Read more ›
Is the torment and desolation of a poor soul who has lost his love just a madman? No I suggest not, but this producer does and treats it like a gothic horror. I liked the white background which worked for me. I didnt like the bonkers bit with getting the twigs from behind the skirting board and dropping them on the floor or the knife, whats all that about, why a knife?
Its still very much worth watching for the musical performance alone thank goodness. Most of all thanks to Schubert.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beware, this version may not play on your DVD player but works fine on my computer.Published 16 months ago by Mr. M. T. Green
This is a great piece of Musical Art - if you don't mind listening to Songs sung in a foreign language. Read morePublished on 1 Feb. 2010 by FAMOUS NAME