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Furtwangler's Love (2008)

Elisabeth Furtwängler , Jan Schmidt-Garre  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elisabeth Furtwängler
  • Directors: Jan Schmidt-Garre
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013HA82O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,415 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This DVD focuses on Furtwaengler's loves, his wife Elisabeth, conducting, composing, and the aesthetic principle for whom every artistic expression was an act of love. Extras include all available interviews, speeches, and rehearsals with Furtwaengler.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Furtwängler fans, but has weaknesses June 26, 2009
This film presents the story of Wilhelm Furtwängler, arguably the greatest conductor of the 20th century, as told mainly through interviews with his widow Elisabeth. She shares personal memories, anecdotes, letters and photos in this short, 70-minute documentary.

The strength of the movie is clearly just the fact that this is Furtwängler's wife, telling a story that no one else could tell. A narrator gives background information and reads from Furtwängler's writings about how he reacted to various aspects of his career -- such as starting a career in conducting when he really just wanted to be a composer. There is some nice footage of Furtwängler conducting in rehearsal and concert.

Elisabeth Furtwängler does talk about her husband's well-known womanizing and illegitimate children, and she also talks about his decision to stay in Germany despite the Nazi regime taking power in 1933. While the film is not a whitewash of Furtwängler, it certainly presents him in a positive light overall. It is nice to get a feeling for his personal attitudes and characteristics through his wife's eyes.

On the other hand, the absence of any details whatsoever on the years under the Nazi regime is a big hole in the film and its most obvious shortcoming. Who better than his wife could have given us a picture of the man's personal attitudes and reactions to life under the Nazis?

The film does provide a great service by getting interviews with Furtwängler's wife recorded for posterity. This is a personal story only she can tell, and I'm grateful the film was made.

But in the end, it is a flawed work as well.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Account July 17, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I found this personal account by Elisabeth Furtwangeler of how she met Furtwangler, how he wooed her, and how she fell in love with him very fascinating. She met him after he had fathered several illegitimate children. But this seems to have not deterred her. She refused his early advances, but in time was overcome by his personality. She defends Furtwangler's decision to stay in Germany during the war (WW2). What is not clear to me is her relationship to the Nazi party and Nazi movement. She does not say much about her discomfort with the state of Germany under Nazism. Her account of Furtwangler's death is also quite interesting. I would highly recommend this video to anyone interested in Furtwangler.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth Furtwangler December 25, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This interesting documentary has some fascinating insights into the art of Wilhelm Furtwangler. It is well worth having if you are a Furtwangler enthusiast. The .mp3 files of his lectures and rehearsals are a great bonus. I found there to be a few too many long close-ups of Elizabeth's face. It would have been nice to know who the people were in the footage of the informal concert at her house. The excerpts of WF conducting Don Giovanni and rehearsing Schubert's Unfinished were beautifully restored. The footage of anonymous couples kissing did not add much to the content.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pocas imágenes del Maestro September 15, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Esta producción es muy buena desde el punto de vista testimonial, pero se torna en ocasiones monótona, pues es sobreabundante en este aspecto; sin embargo, en ella escasean las imágenes del gran director de la Berliner Philharmoniker. En ocasiones se abruma al espectador con prolongadas imágenes del Berlín de hoy. De todas formas, es muy valioso desde el punto de vista de conocer al Furtwängler de carne y hueso más allá del estricto y metódico Director de Orquesta.
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