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273 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Often Rewatched/Listened to by Me
I own most of the major videos celebrating major pianists - from the 1940's Katherine Hepburn portrayal of Clara Schumann to this 2002 Polish production. There are two that I frequently rewatch (at least my favorite scenes/music) and they are Amadeus and Chopin: Desire for Love.

I lent this Chopin movie to my piano teacher from the Peabody Institute (America's...
Published on December 30, 2006 by Michael J. Cashen

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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sounds better than it is
The music in this film is exquisite, with Chopin's compositions primarily played by Polish virtuoso Janusz Olejniczak, and other musicians in the soundtrack are Emanuel Ax and Yukio Yokoyama (piano), Yo Yo Ma (cello), and Vadim Brodsky and Pamela Frank (violin). The music however, no matter how glorious, didn't keep my interest throughout this rather overlong film. Not...
Published on December 31, 2004 by Alejandra Vernon


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273 of 275 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Often Rewatched/Listened to by Me, December 30, 2006
By 
Michael J. Cashen (Glen Burnie, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
I own most of the major videos celebrating major pianists - from the 1940's Katherine Hepburn portrayal of Clara Schumann to this 2002 Polish production. There are two that I frequently rewatch (at least my favorite scenes/music) and they are Amadeus and Chopin: Desire for Love.

I lent this Chopin movie to my piano teacher from the Peabody Institute (America's oldest world-class music conservatory), a concert pianist on three continents. She was a major student of Laires who studied under Philip who studied under Mathias who was Chopin's most famous student. She missed the credits then asked me, "Who played the music for that movie? Those were excellent performances played the way I was taught Chopin wanted them played."

Most of the piano music is played by a prize winner of the great Warsaw International Chopin Competition and other instruments are played by world class artists including cellist Yo Yo Ma.

There is a lot of Chopin music in the film, sometimes as background music or sometimes as the focus of a scene. There are several interspective moments where two or three minutes of beautiful music play continuously - including a scene where Franz Liszt plays Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude".

The Chopin: Desire for Love storyline has weak moments but flows well and is relatively historically accurate (I read Chopin biographies/letters extensively and play Chopin on the piano) and the acting is excellent. The characters are refreshingly believable and not simply the lineup of gorgeous models Hollywood seems to believe are required for leading roles these days. The costumes and scenery are top notch.
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88 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film on Frederic Chopin I ever seen, April 28, 2006
By 
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
So far this is the most historically correct film on the life of Frederic Chopin I ever seen. Why do you say is George Sand a central figure in this? Simple-Chopin's most poetic and expressive works were created when he had his "sinful laison" with this Sand woman. (What the movie failed to show to viewers when Chopin first met Sand, he was revoted by her....Chopin commented "Is this George Sand really a woman? I tend to doubt it!") Interesting to note--despite all of the wonderful musical compositions he created while living with her, NOT A SINGLE PIECE OF MUSIC WAS EVER dedicated to Geoge Sand. Perhaps Chopin was just using George Sand for a stable place to stay, bed and board (I'm not certain of the financial arrangements between these two, but I tend to think she paid most if not all the bills!). Chopin also most likely viewed Sand as socially inferior, and there is evidence he thought her inferior to him, but was equally extremely jealous and possessive of her; remarkably, Chopin was considered an aristrocrat, and not merely a performer of music, among all social circles. So, he never felt her worthy to dedicate a single composition to her.

I tend to think Chopin viewed George Sand as a strong motherly figure who took care of him. As he was very sickly, and possessed an obsessional personality.

True Chopin created his Etudes while he was 19 years old, but never in history was there more beautiful and heavenly tones ever penned during his years with that Sand woman. George Sand cared for him, but her incredibly spoiled children drove a wedge between them. Maurice, the son of Sand, was jealous of his mother's attention to Chopin. Solange--well--she wanted Chopin for herself, and tried to seduce him. Sooo...can you imagine how things went in the family.

Despite all of this perhaps due to the caring of Sand Chopin felt "settled" thus produced his most remarkable works.

I would say his film far exceeds the movie "Impromptu". Chopin: Desire for Love, if you want to have a pretty good idea of Chopin's personal relationship and how it affected his works, please see this movie. I'm not saying it's 100% accurate, and things historical should in my opinion have been included. (For example, a main reason why the couple took off to Majorica is to escape the SCANDAL.) Still, it's a pretty remarkable work. It's VERY WELL acted. Chopin had a lot to blame for the breakup--he was emotionally cold, easily roused to jealousy, and to add to this Sand's spoiled children. Add years of this sort of behavior. The movie SHOULD have included-Just before the Sand and Chopin breakup, Sand wrote a novel entitled Lucrezia Floriani. I truly believe this was the "final straw" that broke up the relationship for it is a thinly disguised account of their rocky relationship. Everybody in social circles, including Franz Liszt, recognized Prince Karole as Chopin, and Lucrezia Floriani as George Sand, even reading to her distingued guests this most back stabbing novel, revealing to all quite shamelessly a thinly disguised account of their own relationship to the world. While Chopin himself listened to the novel being read to her guests, he kept a quiet exterior. It was a kind of revenge George Sand had. It was not far after this reading, Chopin left Nohant and Sand's life forever. THAT should have been included in the movie, as I feel it was extremely important contributing to the breakup. Drama Trauma. Can you imagine how it must have felt for Chopin, who is socially conscious, to have his dirty laundry aired before the world?

The Sand-Chopin affair is reflected in Chopin's music-some creations most sublime and highly emotional; others dark and turbulent. Their relationship was the sum total of Romanticism: Emotion, and huge quantities of it, and extreme. (It was fashionable at the time, for example, to threaten suicide, because it represented emotional turbulence, and anything emotional was....art.)

Did Chopin and this Sand woman really have sex as the movie depicted? To be honest I tend to seriously doubt it. He was infected with tuberculosis, and it's short of a miracle the whole household didn't die of it.

You gotta see this movie! I absolutely worship Frederic Chopin and practice only his music, and I have read many biographical sources of his life including his letters, and George Sand. This movie is closest to the actual relationship that I can think of. I think it's pure genius.

But George Sand should never be seen as a villian, for she was a remarkably liberated woman who was ahead of her time. Remember she existed when the slave trade was going on in the United States in the 1800's. She viewed woman as equals to men, and nothing wrong with being independent. And her contribution of great quantities of love and care toward Chopin that inspired the most sublime works for the pianoforte ever in history that far exceeds the complete powers of an entire orchestra and chorus combined, was undeniable due to the influence of Chopin's love for George Sand.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It finally arrived! The waiting was all worthwhile., December 29, 2004
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
After so many musical biographies being made to the big screen, a film about Chopin was long over due. Now it finally has arrived. And the waiting was all worthwhile.

Chopin: Desire for Love is an exquisite film about Chopin's life. Chopin's music is played throughout the film and the director's musical selection for each scene is most appropriate and touching. The entire cast, all Polish, is great. Piotr Adamczyk as Chopin is fantastic. In the second half of the film, his portrayal of a lonely and ailing Chopin just breaks your heart. The story is very close to history. I'm a huge fan of Chopin and have read every version of his biography that I could get my hands on. Many scenes are based on true stories, including some of the dialogues and letters quoted. Chopin and George Sand's last meeting in the film is almost identical to what actually happened, according to many Chopin's biographies. The part about Chopin and Solange, George Sand's daughter, is a little further than the truth. Still, this is the closest version to Chopin's life, compared with Impromptu and A Song to Remember.

The film runs 134 minutes long and you just don't want it to end. It is made with limited budget, but completely satisfying for its story, music and fine acting.
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79 of 91 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars sounds better than it is, December 31, 2004
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
The music in this film is exquisite, with Chopin's compositions primarily played by Polish virtuoso Janusz Olejniczak, and other musicians in the soundtrack are Emanuel Ax and Yukio Yokoyama (piano), Yo Yo Ma (cello), and Vadim Brodsky and Pamela Frank (violin). The music however, no matter how glorious, didn't keep my interest throughout this rather overlong film. Not only does the film need editing in length, but some of the cuts are peculiar, and don't flow well.

It's an uneven tale of Chopin's relationship with novelist George Sand and her children, and Chopin's destructive self-obsession that turn the family into the ultimate dysfunctional scenario. The scene about the chicken leg versus the breast meat descends into the absurd and humorous, and though I realize there are people as silly and petty as how Chopin is portrayed (and I know little about his history), 134 minutes of this sort of petulance gets very boring.

Piotr Adamczyk plays Chopin with a remarkable physical resemblance, and Danuta Stenka fares the best in the thankless role of George Sand, as she tries to keep the sun revolving around Chopin, while keeping her children from doing something unhelpful, like committing suicide.

Filmed in Warsaw, Paris and Majorca, the cinematography is nice (by Edward Klosinski), with a lot of meadow scenes and wildflower picking.

If this film resembles Chopin's life, then perhaps it is best to just listen to his music. Self-absorption tends to become exceedingly tiresome...and one wants to yell at the screen "get over it !".
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chopin, simply a great movie!, December 28, 2004
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
finally, this DVD is here on Amazon. simply a great movie.

please buy it or see it, if only to hear the astonishing 57 pieces of Chopin's great piano music, it will leave you breathless.....you will know most of the music by heart.

Chopin: Desire for Love is directed by the famous Oscar nominated Polish director, Jerzy Antczak (best foreign movie- Nights and Days, Noce i Dnie, 1974), currently professor at UCLA.

the music is sublime, played by the famous polish pianist one and only- Janusz Olejniczak, winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Olejniczak also played piano in The Roman Polanski movie, 'the Pianist', playing piano for Szpilman. wasn't he amazing? just like in the Pianist here you will hear simply the best piano works by Chopin played by a legend. only here you will hear different works by Chopin....some of it fun, like when we see Chopin playing with his puppy, very cute, :)

if you loved the other Chopin movie, 'Impromptu' with Hugh Grant, you will find this movie equally engaging.

i only wish that the historical events were better presented in the movie. not all people today understand what Europe was like in the early 19th century. but, the director gives us some credit for our own intelligence and does not bore us with facts but instead creates a movie about Chopin and Sand's 'Desire' for love.

i am so happy that this movie is available here for general distribution along with other movies about great composers such as Mozart or Beethoven. Chopin deserves to be remembered by a great movie. thanks to Jerzy and Barbara Antczak for giving us this masterpiece.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Desired Love...did anyone give or receive it?, September 22, 2008
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
First of all, the sound was terrible. The actors either whispered or shouted. I think there was only one guy (Alberto? don't know what his function in Chopin's life was)who spoke normally. I was either turning the sound way up or way down.

The subtitles are only in Spanish, which helped a little, but the language wasn't always accurate.

There wasn't much story there at all. Chopin and Sand catch each other's eye in a courtyard, later she sees him play, and sends him a note. Although she was speaking English, her accent made it impossible to understand her - she was one of the whisperers...except when she was shouting that Chopin drove her crazy with his refusal to answer her questions...anyway, I did not understand the attraction on either's part. They meet and immediately move out to the country, together with her children (they screech - sound DOWN). They get kicked out of one house, I forget why, and find another. Sand's son Maurice skulks around spying all the time, this gets on Chopin's nerves. Sand wants everybody to get along, but it's like having three kids instead of two...Chopin does not see why her children need any attention from her and he resents them. Maurice is sick with jealousy of Chopin, and Sand tries to soothe him. Chopin appears to never have shown any interest in the children...so Sand is running between her children and him and trying to please everyone (for what?)...Chopin is diagnosed with TB, and the doctor tells Sand it is very contagious and to get her kids out of there. She makes no comment...later daughter tells her suspicions that Chopin is consumptive and they shouldn't be around him...Sand ignores her. Chopin doesn't start coughing (loudly - sound DOWN)until the very end of the movie. Chopin and Sand have an argument and he tells her to get out. End of scene.

Next scene "Years Later" we are told....how many years, or what transpired in those years, we are not told. Chopin and Sand are living together with the kids...daughter Solange has grown and now considers herself in love with Chopin because he is a "genius." Tries to seduce him, accuses Mom of hiring a maid to have sex with him because she no longer wants to...Sand just wants to be "friends"...huh? What happened to their great passion? Chopin's stupid butler is loudly clanging pans together and laughing (sound DOWN) which drives Maurice crazy and I don't blame him...too much noise already in this freaking movie. Maurice says he has the authority to throw Chopin out....maybe this is Maurice's property? We are not told. There's lots of running through the field, running down the road (fast forward!) and much screeching with laughter (sound DOWN)for no apparent reason. Also lots of closeups on Chopin's face looking all gooey-eyed, remembering times with his family.

The messed up sound was an extra annoying punishment on top of a completely dull movie. I cared about no one in this film, and I saw no motivation for Sand to to kowtow to the spoiled, whiny Chopin as she did.

I think the kids are the ones who desired love.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What love?, July 14, 2005
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This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
This is not the first treatment of the Sand/Chopin love affair. It is the second of the lot that I have seen. What intrigued me about it was that it was firstly a Polish production and it was mostly from Chopin's point of view.

The costumes and the music were fantastic as was the casting/make-up of showing the dispairity in age and health between Sand and Chopin. Sand looks more mature but exceedingly healthy while Chopin is clearly younger and weaker.

The movie is a little drawn out, as far as I am concerned. And while it does attempt to explain what went wrong in Sand and Chopin's relationship it never really does much beyond a few Florence Nightengale scenes to show what went right--why they stayed together for eight years, as far as the movie is concerned it was mostly intolerable. It also wasn't the best at introducing new characters or certain plot points. I was only able to figure certain things out from all of the reading about Sand that I have done.

Not only is the movie drawn out, but it also seems disjointed in places. Especially the leap from Majorica and a 12 year old Solange to Paris where Solange is now a woman, in love with Chopin (something that is not a proven fact--only a bit of lore--thought it is true that in his last days he was closer to her than her mother).

I think my favorite scene in the whole of the movie was the moment on the stairs when Chopin informs Sand of her grand-daughter's birth. It was as if it was right out of time, it so captured the awkwardness and lingering pain and longing of what their relationship had degenerated into.

All of the actors do an amazing job. Especially the leads (Chopin and Sand) she is feminine and strong and he looks amazingly like him (though he doesn't play any of the comedy that Hugh Grant did) caputuring that delicacy that Chopin always seemed to be known for.

Not a bad movie, but probably confusing to anyone who is unfamiliar with the story of Sand and Chopin.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Feast for eyes and ears, July 17, 2007
By 
El Critico (Aventura, Florida) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
This movie may seem long to some, but the cinematography is exquisite, the music is glorious,performed by the likes of Emmanuel Ax and Yo-Yo MA
among other virtousi, I truly enjoyed this movie in spite of some historical inaccuracies.
If you enjoy beautiful cinema, do not miss this one.
...and the price!! Just barely a few pennies more than a cup of coffe at Starbucks.
It is in English with optional Spanish subtitles, but beware, it is a very poor translation.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, July 17, 2008
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
I wasn't able to play this DVD on my player - finally watched it on another and found it disappointing. The music is exquisite, of course, but I have several CDs of Chopin music to listen to without the talking. And there are visually beautiful scenes. But in all, it came across as a cheesy soap opera in an aesthetic setting. There was almost no attention on Chopin's creative process, thoughts about music, etc. It was all about the craziness of Sand and her children in relation to him. One thing I found distracting and annoying is that when we first meet Sand's children, there is a little girl and a son who appears to be in his 20s but behaves and is treated like a 12 year old. Then the story jumps to "years later" and the daughter (different actress) is a young woman and the son (same actor) looks and acts the same as before. It adds to the obsurdity of the story. A lot of artistic talent went into the making of this movie - it just wasn't put together all that well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chopin as George Sand saw him, April 19, 2005
This review is from: Chopin: Desire For Love (DVD)
If you've read George Sand's novel Lucrezia Florizani everything about this movie makes perfect sense including its unusually melodramatic style. Chances are though you haven't unless your a Chopin/Romantic history buff. It is my understanding that Lucrezia Florizani , though it never mentions Chopin directly is George Sand's scandulous appraisal of their relationship after their breakup. Seeing, that the story is told through her eyes, and that she was such a writer of taudry novels, makes this movie kind of stylistically facinating. The melodramatic style is taken to a squirmingly edgy extreme. I can see what thedirector was trying to do. If you are a fan of the Romantic period in history you would probably like this film on one level at the same time it might push on and possibly even disgust your modern sensibilities.
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Chopin: Desire For Love
Chopin: Desire For Love by Jerzy Antczak (DVD - 2004)
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