Great Composers: Mahler
BBC TV Great Composers Series
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh
Music performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Sir Georg Solti
High school and up
The Great Composers series presents the lives and works of seven musical giants from the Baroque era to the twentieth century. It examines the backgrounds, influences and relationships that make these seven composers part of the history of western music. Each composer's life and work is presented through extensive performance sequences, and through interviews with some of today's greatest artists and most respected authorities.
Mahler (1860-1911) was scarcely recognized as a great composer until the middle of the 1960s, when his music started to make a massive impact. In 1991, thirty recordings of his symphonies were released in one month. This film explores Mahler's life: his childhood, surrounded by tragedy and abuse; his driven adulthood, torn between life as a composer and conductor, and his passionate and pained love-life.
This program examines his music, the supreme expression of philosophical inquiry in music, embracing religion, nihilism, humanism, the revolutionary and the mundane. Reconstructions, archival footage, radio interviews, artifacts, private scores, letters, contracts and sculptures are used, along with interviews with many prominent artists and writers. The documentary is set in Vienna, Budapest, Hamburg and the Czech Republic.
Contributors include Sir Georg Solti, Ken Russell, Thomas Hampson, Michael Tilson Thomas and Riccardo Chailly.
Other films in the series:
Bach # 853135
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