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Sibelius: Early Years/Maturity & Silence


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Sibelius: Early Years/Maturity & Silence + We Want The Light - Christopher Nupen's Holocaust Film
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, Italian, French, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Christopher Nupen Films
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 151 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M2EBWO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,389 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD celebrates the musical quest of one of the great symphonists of the 20th century as seen through his music, letters, and words of his wife Aino, who was with him for more than 64 years. Extras include personal introductions by filmmaker Christoph

Review

Every detail of the entire range of Sibelius' symphonic career is carefully and honestly explained in Nupen's painstaking prose; he has had some first-rate researchers. -- LA Weekly, July 4th, 2007

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Peter T. Sipos on January 13, 2007
Transfer of this excellent two-part documentary to DVD is long overdue. I rented it many years ago on VHS from a library. The life of the twentieth century composer is explored through narrative, old photos, musical exerpts and ravishing scenic segments showing his native Finland. More than a standard documentary, this film really brings to life the man with all his frailties and great achievements. The movie opens with a performance of the Andante Festivo conducted by the composer late in life - that performance sets the tone for the entire film - inspired, troubled, nostalgic and deeply felt. The musical performances by the likes of Vladimir Ashkenazy are superb. All in all, a moving and revealing experience. For those interested in such movie-making, try also "Roots" on the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok. Both are highly recommended.
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Christopher Nupen is one of the most creative and talented of the video documentarians of the classical music world. It all began many years ago when he made the wonderful film about du Pré, Barenboim, Perlman, Zukerman and Mehta -- the so-called 'Israeli Mafia.' That film has never gone out of style and was brought out on DVD a few years ago, made available for a new generation of viewers. This film, also originally on VHS, was made in the 1980s and is just now coming out on DVD. The transfer, I must say, is simply magnificent; I certainly would not have known it was originally on VHS if I hadn't seen it in its original form. The visuals are crisp, the sound excellent.

The subject is the life and, more important, the music of Jean Sibelius and the two sections are 'The Early Years' and 'Maturity and Silence.' Nupen, who wrote, directed and narrates the film, takes us through the important biographical details of the composer's life, including his struggle in his thirties with alcoholism on which he conquered only after he had a growth removed from his throat and was told that drinking and smoking would aggravate it and possibly hasten its return, and of the thirty year silence during which he strove to complete an Eighth Symphony but which he finally consigned to flames.

The visuals comprise many gorgeous views of the fields, forests and lakes of Sibelius's Finland, as well as a fascinating black-and-white silent film of the elderly Sibelius. There are also many views of photographs and paintings of the composer and his wife, as well as visits to Ainola, the country home where he and wife Aino lived for over fifty years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John K. Gayley on December 18, 2012
See Scott Morrison's review above. He said everything I would have said, and (as usual) more elegantly. This is a splendid film, very atmospheric, spiritual, and (yes) educational too. The program has a very artful and effective fusion of Sibelius' music, naaration based on his diary entries, film clips and photos of Sibelius, family and friends, and lovely Finnish landscapes. I didn't know what to expect, but whetever expectations I had this surpassed them.

I also found interesting Nupen's introduction, and his comments on how he changed his documentary focus from performers to composers, and what that meant for the style of the film. I will definitely seek out his other films.
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