Goodbye... 3-Threads-In-1 deluxe combo
Hello and goodbye. I planned on spending more time here but the inevitable has happened. I didn't get to know many of you very well, but I enjoyed what little time I did spend here, in this forum. I have an account on talkingclassical, though I don't go there too often. But if you see an "Enescuvartet" - that is me. - Thus concludes thread #1.
I had planned on a thread about films portraying classical music composers. I would have said something like "no need to discuss Amadeus or Immortal Beloved, because the intent of this thread is to shed some light on lesser known composer-as-character films..." - Or something like that
The few films I wanted to mention were to be:
Leise flehen meine Lieder (1933) aka Lover Divine.
Un grand amour de Beethoven (1936)
Song of Love (1947)
Es war eine rauschende Ballnacht (1939) aka The Life and Loves of Tchaikovsky
Lover Divine is the first film directed by the great Willi Forst, though not one of his better films. It features Schubert.
The Beethoven film is an Abel Gance epic and stars Harry Baur, who isn't asked to do a whole lot here. It is actually a good, moving film, but by no means among the best Gance efforts. It does have a number of flaws. Jean-Louis Barrault also appears, but only in the last 15 minutes and isn't asked to do a whole lot either. One detractor throughout the film is that whenever something very dramatic happens on screen, the soundtrack blasts the first four notes of Beethoven's 5th! It doesn't even finish the phrase with the next four notes. Just the first four. It became distracting after the first 5 or 6 times.
Also, they played hell with the history. Compositions are out of sequence. Facts are rearranged or omitted. At one point a character asks Beethoven to finish "The Eroica" Symphony. This, after the character of Beethoven has already produced the 5th. Not to mention that it wasn't known as The Eroica until after it was finished.
These troubles aside, it is a beautifully shot film. Very deep and poetic in its images and pacing. Very troubled but there are big payoffs.
Song of Love is an okay USA film about the Schumann's, nee Wieck, Brahms and Liszt. unfortunately for them, however, the Germans did it better a few years earlier with Träumerei (1944).
Has anyone seen Klaus Kinski's Paganini (1989)?
Leonard Bernstein's "The Joy of Music"
I'm reading this book now. I'm enjoying it very much. I decided to read it after watching some clips of Bernstein's Harvard talks. Any fans of this book, or in general about Bernstein's waxing philosophic on the art and craft of music? He really had a beautiful mind.
This book, if it has one drawback, it's that it might turn away the average reader. He gives examples of his discussions by using musical notation. So some people who do not read music might not think that they'll 'get it'. But that's not entirely true. Even if you don't read music, you can still get his point because he makes it so clearly with the words. It's akin to a reader, who speaks no Spanish, reading Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano (1984): it's mostly in English. And you can get a general feel for the Spanish parts by what comes before and after it. Knowing Spanish would be an asset, just as knowing how to read music would be a definite asset with the Bernstein book. But it's not necessary.
That's all folks. It's been a business doing pleasure with you.
Will Hays is my shepherd, I shall not want. Will's prod and Will's gaff, they confound me.