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Karajan, Or, Beauty As I See It


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Product Details

  • Actors: Herbert Von Karajan, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Seiji Ozawa, Christian Thielemann, René Kollo
  • Directors: Robert Dornhelm
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: May 13, 2008
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012EF7M4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,737 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Karajan, Or, Beauty As I See It" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

First release in any format! Not just a biographical film,
Karajan uncovers the true, personal essence of the unique
artist behind the public figure, a portrait of a man who was
full of contradictions and remained a mystery until his death.
On the occasion of the 100th birthday of Herbert von
Karajan, Academy Award® nominee Robert Dornhelm
has mined the archives of Unitel, for more than two decades
the great conductor s production home, for previously
unreleased material including rehearsal footage, and
interviews with members of the Karajan family, plus such
music world luminaries and colleagues as Anne-Sophie
Mutter, Seiji Ozawa, Christian Thielemann, René Kollo,
Christa Ludwig, Brigitte Fassbaender, Gundula Janowitz,
Sir Simon Rattle, Mariss Jansons, Joachim Kaiser and
Helmut Schmidt.
The greater understanding of this legendary artist to be
experienced by seeing this film will certainly transfer to a
greater appreciation of his recordings, and is a must not only
for Karajan lovers, but for anyone who loves symphonic music.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
One hundred and ten percent German !!
Peter T. Wolf
A captivating insight into the life and profession of one the greatest conductors of all time.
Bryan J Johns
This man knows something about eternity and takes us along with him and it, through his music.
Cieocom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 75 people found the following review helpful By I. Martinez-Ybor VINE VOICE on May 18, 2008
Verified Purchase
Robert Dornhelm's 92 minute film on the late, great Herbert von Karajan is informative, beautiful and elegiacal. More than any other question, it addresses what made Karajan (arguably) the supreme conductor of his generation and one of the towering musical figures of the twentieth century. Much rehearsal footage is included, as well as incisive, on-point, commentary by Christa Ludwig, Gundula Janowitz, Helmut Schmidt, Seiji Ozawa, Christian Thielemann, Brigitte Fassbaender, Yevgeny Kissin, Rene Kollo, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Elizabeth Schwarzkopf and others (gratuitous flattery seems absent). Karajan himself talks a lot in interviews and interacting with orchestras in rehearsal, generating thereby a feel for his artistry, one so inextricably entwined with his personality that it was never a transferable "method."

Robert Dornhelm's documentary is beautiful to look at, organized more thematically than chronologically. It is not a biography, though biographical information is encompassed, including, i.a., his membership in the Nazi party and the row with the BPO over his appointment of Sabine Mayer as principal clarinetist. Karajan has said elsewhere that, earlier in his career, he aimed at a synhesis of the "objectivity" of a Toscanini and the passion and sponteneity of a Furtwangler; ironically, neither name is mentioned in the film.
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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By John Jeter on May 17, 2008
I am a professional conductor and have been a huge fan of Karajan for 40 years. This DVD should have been released 30 years ago! It would have made Karajan even more of a household name. Great documentary in every way. The best part is all of the never-before-seen footage that we all knew existed but for whatever reason took this long to release. Based on what we see here, there must be hundreds of hours of Karajan rehearsal footage just sitting in the vaults - PLEASE RELEASE THIS MATERIAL!!!!!!

If you are at all interested in Karajan, purchase this film. Sure, not EVERYTHING is covered but it paints a wonderful picture of a historically important conductor. Great release DG. More please, much more.

(I'll bet DG and Sony could release all of their Karajan DVD's with an extra companion disc of rehearsal footage of the works performed/recorded. People would love it!)

Thanks so much.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Peter T. Wolf on September 4, 2009
I saw this on TV last night. The producer and director of this program have created a Germanic tone poem (reminds me of Max Reinhardts 1936 movie 'Midsummers Night Dream') on film. Here are the sweeping vistas of fog covered German landscapes ( rivers, mountains, cities) with the music of Beethoven, Wagner, etc wafting in and out of the narration. Interspersed are interviews with Karajan, opera singers, musicians, and even a former German Chancellor. Then there are the terrific clips of Karajan's concerts and opera performances and the fascinating behind the scenes snippets of rehearsals where his drive for precision and exactitude reach the level of fanaticism. One hundred and ten percent German !!
What I really liked about this film was the inclusion of Leonard Bernstein ( Karajan's contemporary and co-holder with Karajan of 'worlds greatest conductor' title) showing him at reherasals and performances illustrating the complete antipodal personalities of these two men. It was a wonderful contrast. The precise German machine and the fast and loose American inconoclast. Both at the peak of their abilities. Both world famous. And each arriving at music greatness through diametrically opposite methods.
The only improvement I would make to this film is I wish they had allowed certain pieces of music to play out for just a few minutes longer to heighten the dramatic effect even more. They stopped certain pieces at exactly the point where, as a music lover, you are on the edge of your seat. But nevertheless this is a must have film for classical music fans.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cieocom on May 18, 2009
Via a casual Amazon order I discover a dynamo, a mover/shaker of life not just incredibly beautiful music and its incomparable properties of beauty, understood by this guy so intensely and personally that he visibly conveys to the viewer this knowledge as you see his whole body jerking or moving in swooning motions to each piece conducted, especially sensed if one watches his muscular movements showing through the back of his black jacket as he conducts with immense ferocity and pure drive. I have gone back and searched out other pieces of music he conducted and find my heart equally touched in the quite delicate but piercing manner in this video that is hard to describe.
And the odd thing is that people aren't forgetting him. They are not letting go of him. This is why this tells me this guy, this Karajan, is one for the ages. Karajan is so rich with spirit, so brim-filled with soul and energy, and vitality and life he absolutely needs two or three bodies to get his work done--we know he didn't die; it's just not in him to do so. He merely gave up a tired body that he pushed hard. In the video you can see in a subtle Zen moment or two, he expresses original mind moving with its energy and emptiness in powerful ways, like the flocks of birds pictured in their delicate orchestrated movements in the sky, moving then turning and swerving to some awesome universal rhythm. This man knows something about eternity and takes us along with him and it, through his music. By the end of the video we come to understand and personally know something sad and yet peaceful about our own mortality--and eternity: it's a bridge we all will cross and a realm that awaits us.
To those who unfairly and cruelly judged him while he lived and because they keep calling up his name and memory, one must ask: Why should this be so--if he really did die?

My life was lifted in a profound way this weekend for having watched this video.
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