Everything about Piotr Anderszewski is extraordinary: his talent, his repertoire, his constant questioning of his work as a performer. Any film about this highly unconventional pianist owes it to itself to depart from the beaten path: On the borderline between documentary and fiction, this "road movie" is set against the backdrop of a winter journey by train across Poland with a piano installed on board… Punctuated by Piotr's highly personal reflections, the repertoire consists of essential pages by Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven, Schumann and Szymanowski.
Seldom has the genius of one man so influenced the musical conscience of his age. Leonard Bernstein triumphed as composer, conductor, writer and teacher. The spontaneous joy of his Broadway hits, the bold, spiritual quest of his orchestral works, his intensity and vitality as conductor, made Bernstein one of the central figures in 20th-century music. In Leonard Bernstein – Reflections , he discusses his Boston childhood, his musical growth at Harvard and the Curtis Institute and the influence of great masters like Reiner, Mitropoulos and Koussevitzky. He shares his feelings on the primacy of tonal music and speculates on the nature of the creative process. From Carnegie Hall, scene of his début, to the living room of his home and his private studio overlooking New York's Central Park, Reflections explores the artist's varied and colourful career.
Milhaud, D.: Le Boeuf sur le toit - Ballet, Op. 58
Orchestra National de France
Leonard Bernstein, conductor
This film is a docufiction on the great Toscanini directed by well-known film-maker Larry Weinstein who pushes the boundaries of conventional documentary storytelling by borrowing tools from fiction films, including dramatic reconstructions and historical cinematic stylings. Arturo Toscanini (1867-1957), arguably the greatest and most famous conductor in history, was paradoxically one of the most private. He never granted interviews, left diaries or journals of any kind. But during the last years of his life, his son Walter secretly recorded 150 hours of intimate conversations that Toscanini shared with friends and family who visited his home. TOSCANINI: In His Own Words , is based on these tapes which remained vaulted for more than 50 years. Recreated conversations reveal aspects of the Maestro never seen before. Subjects such as his loves, opinions about colleagues, his clashes with Mussolini and Hitler, his personal memories of Verdi, Puccini, Furtwangler, Stokowski, as well as his greatest joys and causes of his endemic sadness are all part of his frank conversation. Interwoven throughout the film are many of Toscanini's greatest musical performances.
In 2003, after a career spanning nearly forty years, Julia Varady discreetly retired from the public stage. She now dedicates her time to teaching. While for most great singers the transition from performing to teaching generally follows signs of vocal deterioration, Julia Varady's voice has never been so dazzling. She constantly sings in full voice during her classes, with the same intensity and generosity of spirit that made her one of the very finest lyric sopranos of our time.
The complete master class with Julia Varady (110 mins)