DVD Features: Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg Biography; Docurama Previews; Interactive Menu; Scene Selection
Speaking in Strings
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- Biography of Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
- Docurama Previews
Top Customer Reviews
The editing was brilliant - you have to watch the movie more than once to get the chronology in order (if you want to read into it more than necessary, as I do) and to understand NSS' evolutions. At the very least, the movie makes you appreciate classical music as a visual performance (rather than merely audio). Although when NSS plays that violin, you can just close your eyes and listen to her music - it's magical.
In the end, you feel you know NSS a little bit more, and you almost feel guilty for watching this very personal movie and intruding into her private life. NSS - despite the obvious blank spaces in the movie - is as transparent as a person could be. She fills in the spaces for you. And you cannot help but cheer her on whenever she takes that bow.
I am ready for the SEQUEL!
I said above that we get a glimpse of her life, and that is all one can hope for in a 75 minute movie. What we learn here once again is that we can't idealize the lives of talented performers. Nadja's life is a hectic one consisting of up to 200 performances a year. The stress of this routine is manifested in bouts of depression which on one occasion becomes suicidal.
While watching the movie I couldn't help thinking of Jaqueline du Pre, the demonstrative cellist who led a tragic life. Ms Salerno-Sonnenberg tells us that she really feels free only when she is actually performing.
Now to the disappointment. Listening to her recorded performances is very rewarding, but it can be like listening to a Shakespeare play on the radio. The visual part of her playing is an important part of the listening experience. Many of us may never be able to watch her play so I had hoped that the documentary would give us a good sampling of her on stage efforts, but unfortunately the clips of her playing the violin are few, and never more than 60 seconds in length. I wish they had extended the movie another 15 minutes and treated us to the performance of at least one composition. It is for the reason that I gave a rating of four stars instead of five.
It is as if Nadja becomes the music she is playing or is it just that the music possesses her? She is intense in her original interpretation and hauntingly expressive style. The music does not seem to be coming from the violin, but from deep within Nadja.
You have to ask yourself why anyone so talented and filled with sensitivity would consider ending their life. Especially when you are one of the world's preeminent violinists.
I believe personally that very creative people can also be struggling from a deep depression or unfulfilled longing of the soul. While Nadja sought obvious release through her playing, I think writers find the same expression through words. Both can alternate between utter hopelessness and extreme creativity. At times writing and music almost seem to be "born of pain."
What is so powerful about her story is how her mother tells her it takes courage to be happy. How true! It is far easier to give up in light of your circumstances. It takes a deep inner strength and sense of hope to continue in life when you would rather give up. Yet what a talent she has. While her talents were unquestionable at the time, her talent for living still needed to be developed. She had a passion for music, but no passion for life.
Not only do we learn how Nadja's father abandoned her family when she was a very young child, we also learn about her regret of never meeting her father.Read more ›
But you watch it after the first time and you see beyond the tough girl, world-famous musician that we think she is. The film, despite its marvelous editing, leaves one thing out - The Heart - the forces that propel NSS to the heavens and throw her back to earth. And then the absence of this huge thing - loves lost and loves gained - becomes so obvious. Fortunately, the answers lie not in the pictures or words, but the nuances. As I said, the editing is very CRAFTY. You have to read between the lines and hope that there is s SEQUEL somewhere.
At the end of the film, you just want to reach out and give this big kid a big hug, because despite the accolades, you know that she yearns for the same things you and I do.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yuck. I love music. But this is not that; she's disturbed OK?
Avoid like the plague.
This film introduced me to Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, a controversial and apparently troubled artist. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Joyce
My order was received on time and in excellent condition. I bought this DVD because I was interested in learning about Ms. Read morePublished on October 30, 2013 by JG
Saw this DVD years ago on the remarkable violinist,Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Wanted to purchase it as a thank you gift for a young college student-violinist who did a lovely... Read morePublished on February 23, 2013 by J. McCallum
I saw this documentary years ago and I never forgot about it. Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, the subject of this film, is an artist of exceptional talent, but that is not what she or... Read morePublished on March 20, 2011 by The Divine Ms. K
Whether you are a parent, teacher, music fan you will not be disappointed in this story and artist. Excellent item, price, and quality.Published on February 14, 2011 by Susan Star
Wow, what a documentary. There are scores of superb violinists in this world, each with their own characteristic ways of moving us. Read morePublished on February 22, 2010 by Fred Houpt
As in any fine work of art, Paola di Florio combines substance and allusion to touch the strings of the viewer's own emotions and experience. Read morePublished on February 5, 2009 by Jim Green
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