Great Composers: Wagner
BBC TV Great Composers Series
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh
Music performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra (conductor Roger Norrington)
and Berlin State Opera Orchestra (conductor Daniel Barenboim)
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.
Musical genius, political hero and racist demon, the life of Richard Wagner (1813-1883) reads like an adventure story. The Ring cycle is regarded as one of the finest achievements of the human soul. This documentary examines the connections between Wagner's own spiritual vision and his art, including coded anti-Semitic references in his music and the techniques he used to mesmerize his audience. It is filmed in Switzerland, Italy and King Ludwig's Bavaria.
Musicians include arguably the world's greatest and most controversial performers: Daniel Barenboim, Roger Norrington, Siegfried Jerusalem, Deborah Polaski and Falk Struckmann with contributions from Wagner experts John Deathridge and Barry Millington as well as Stephen Hawking and George Steiner.
Excerpts include The Ring, Rienzi, The Flying Dutchman, Lohengrin, Tannhauser, Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal.
Other films in the series:
Bach # 853135
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