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Showing 1-10 of 63 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 79 reviews
on December 30, 2006
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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on February 17, 2017
Frederic Chopin, the son of a French teacher and a Polish noblewoman, was a musical genius like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, only that he didn't have a composer father to take him all over Europe when he was a young child. Unfortunately Chopin, the greatest piano composer of all time is still waiting for a movie biography that can do some justice to his life. In 1945 Cornel Wilde played very nicely the role of Chopin in the film "A Song to Remember", a beautiful production with exotic beauty Merle Oberon as Georges Sand. The cast is great but, unfortunately, since famous actor Paul Muni was playing Chopin's first music teacher, Josef Elsner, they "sent" Professor Elsner to Paris with Chopin and he becomes the center piece of the story, but in reality, Elsner never went to Paris with Chopin and he disappeared from Frederic's life completely. This Polish film completely skips Chopin's colorful childhood, and is nothing more than an imaginary soap opera between a French female writer and a Polish pianist and composer. The music doesn't play an important role except for brief fragments of some of Chopin's gorgeous compositions. I would watch this movie again only to enjoy the beauty of Bozena Stachura, who plays Georges Sand's daughter Solange!
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on July 21, 2012
As a film providing entertainment,I suppose one could say that it was not bad.

However,if you were a serious student of Chopin and his quite wonderful
music; one would frankly describe it as rubbish!

I would like to take this oportunity to make two comments:
1.The piano concerto in E Minor is NOT the first concerto that Chopin wrote;
it is,in fact, the second cocerto that he wrote.

The first concerto he wrote is the F Minor concerto.It was lost in the post for sometime.In that time the second concerto was published.

Why hasn't this gross inaccuracy been corrected ?

2. Chopin did not die from tuberculosis.He was examined by all the leading
physicians in Paris who declared that he did not have tuberculosis.

I refer you to J,A,Kuzemco in Chopin's illnesses.Journal of the Royal
Society of Medicine,Vol.87,December,1994,pp,769-72,Kuzemko suggests that
the symptoms of both Chopin and his Sister Emelia are more compatible with Alpha 1 Antitrymsin Deficiency;and I agree entirely !

There are a number of biographies of Chopin.In my opinion,the best is by
Arther Hedley in The Master Musicians series.

Another rather good one is by Jim Samson;Oxford University Press.
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on October 3, 2013
Here is the poet of the piano with a great sense of humor -- his impersonation of Liszt is gigantically wonderful -- and so engaging as an artist with high ideals and struck by physical limitations. Here, finally, Chopin is heroic and strong in the face of his tuberculosis; and not depicted as a sentimental, sorry recluse, as Hollywood has done -- and perhaps as the popular opinion is. Chopin was a strong man and a fiery pianist if need be; a sweet lover and a man of principle if need be: life and ideals are intertwined. (Schumann, Berlioz, Liszt, and our poster-boy Chopin knew this more or less consciously) -- So nice to see a depiction of Chopin as a vigorous, lively man, and able to suffer his illness with dignity and power. -- All the cast is beautiful, and the sound-track is just great -- there are some famous musicians on board here... just get into it if you love the genre, and you shall be delighted!
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on June 14, 2010
This movie was not terrible, but it was not unwatchable. I found the interpretations of Chopin's music to be very accurate as well as entertaining. The characters within the film, however, were not all too accurate. The real Chopin had dark hair and the real Liszt was blonde to light brown in terms of his hair. The character playing CHopin was blonde and the character playing Liszt had brown hair. This was a very slight inaccuracy, but it kinda bugged me when watching the film.
Furthermore, the portrayal of Chopin presented an open character who said what was on his mind and was not shy about shouting out his emotions. Additionally, the Chopin portrayed in the film seemed to be a hedonistic character constantly seeking sexual gratification from Georges Sand when in actuality the situation was vice versa. From what I have read about Chopin, he was incredibly shy and instead of shouting out his emotions he used his music as the outlet for emotional release. There is a scene where Chopin plays part of Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in a very animated fashion playing out to the crowd in a charismatic fashion. This did not seem to mirror what I have read about the real Chopin. The Liszt character, although a minor character in the film, was too much of a wallflower in the film. The real Franz Liszt would have been the center of attention at any appearance and would make his presence clearly known to all in attendance.
I have to admit that the George Sand character was VERY similar to what I have read about the real George Sand. She was rugged yet feminine, and she was the only character in the film who possessed a physical resemblance to the actual person.
Keep in mind that I did not loathe this movie, but I wouldn't encourage it either based on historical accuracy. Instead, I would encourage it as a movie to enjoy for mere entertainment.
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on June 10, 2014
I love these movies about the great composers. It adds sooo much to the enjoyment of their music by portraying the life and times of these famous people who so rudely died before our time. But their music will go on forever as tribute to the love we all feel for each other. So often great performers and composers are seen as "unstable", "deranged" or "plain crazy", but are they. Perhaps we are the odd ones seeking stability and harmony with a moment of calm afforded by the timeless beauty of music.

Though we enjoy the music from these great minds from long ago, we have amazing composers with us today. I am not sure I am aware of all of the current Masters, but many stand in today's music as did Chopin, Mozart and Bach. Let's include Willy,Waylon and Williams in the group of "modern" composers; yes, both Hank and John Williams.
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on December 3, 2011
A very compelling, very professional all-Polish cast production in English (not dubbed). The acting & production was superb, and this Film portrayal felt much more authentic than the American version "Impromptu" with Hugh Grant (Poor casting for Chopin) which was more theatrical & superficial. The music in Desire For Love was also superb and magnificent. The many scenes from the European salons where Chopin performed were portrayed with great detail and authenticity. One of the most impressive things in the film was the actor who played Chopin who was an excellent choice to play the part. A much more passionate and romantic, artistic portrayal of Chopin than Hugh Grant. Desire for Love focuses more on Chopin's relationship with George Sand and their tempestuous romance and how it impacted them both and her two children. There is also more emotional intensity to this film, which reveals the pathos and struggles of life and love during an era that most Americans don't know about or understand. This movie portrays the hardships of a genius who was literally forced out of Poland when the Communist Russian regime pillaged and destroyed so much culture, including his piano at home. I give this film 5 stars. A most important film for its artistic beauty, depth, and historic significance.
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on March 12, 2017
Yes, I never knew the story of Chopin and this filled in the background of this genius musician.
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on April 30, 2014
You will hear some beautiful music, see some wonderful, period costumes, sets, and locals, but my oh my, what a soap opera! I understand that Chopin and "George Sands" did have a romantic relationship but really hope that it wasn't this messed up also involving the kids as it does in this flick. In addition, there is something peculiar going on with the dubbing. Sometimes, most of the time, it seems like the actors are speaking and gave their performances in English, but there are other times it seems more like a traditional European movie dubbed from another language. As I said, this is peculiar but not too distracting from the, er, ah story. I think I paid between $6 or $7. I would not pay anymore for it than that.
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on July 17, 2008
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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