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Schubert: Die Winterreise [DVD] [2000] [2001]

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: Classical, PAL
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Wmv
  • DVD Release Date: 23 Oct. 2000
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000505FS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,526 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Poetic cinema is a risky business: when the film is built entirely on intuitive (as opposed to the narrative) associations, the result can be confusion and bewilderment on the part of the audience. The blame for this is twofold: no artist's intuition is absolutely perfect, since we are all guilty to some extent of neglecting our spiritual development and secondly, the vast majority of the film audience refuses to put out even a modicum of inner effort to meet the artist half way, as they have become thoroughly accustomed to having everything spelled out to them in a way that insults not only their intelligence, but also their souls.
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.
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Format: DVD
It's an interesting exercise but, like the installations that Brian Eno did for Jessye Norman to sing Strauss in front of, does little more than remind me of the difference between talent and greatness. Also, as with attempted stagings of the Bach Passions, for example, this sort of thing tends to end up being more of a distraction than an enhancement. After all, what can you possibly add to a well-sung Winterreise, if Winterreise is the subject you wish to explore? Unfortunately, for me, this is not even well-sung. It's technically very competent - which is what my three stars are for - but I find the performances unmoving and occasionaly actively irritating. My sense it that Bostridge is just out of his depth here; not in terms of technical ability necessarily, but imaginatively. He is an intelligent man, but lacks insight and seems - every time I hear him - to be too in love with his own voice and reputation. Like a thin and ultra-light-voiced Pavarotti; big on personality and style but with little real musicianship. I find his performances in this instance superficial, nuanced and sometimes even trite; a bit like watching Branagh trying to cope with Hamlet and surrendering the attempt to a series of tricks and effects. I tried to imagine the "staging" bit of this DVD attached to a really great performance, and imagining it made me wish even more that the staging would go away. It adds nothing worth spending any time thinking about, and definitely gets in the way of the songs. It's a worthy attempt to "do" something with Winterreise, although there is little more you need to do with it than sing it well.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First off the music is great, the singing and piano are superb. The visuals are to say the least whacky and the producer seems to have fixed his mind that the subject is some sort of Germanic lunatic on the rampage.

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.
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Such a shame this title has been deleted on DVD. Really grateful to have found a copy via Amazon. Highly recommended.
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