Concerto - A Beethoven Journey

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United Kingdom | 2015 | 92 minutes | Phil Grabsky

Shedding new light on a classic composer and his relationship to modern orchestras, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes spends four years attempting to understand and interpret one of the greatest sets of works for piano ever written: Beethoven's five piano concertos.

Monday, May 23, 2016

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Since the piano was Beethoven's own instrument—he was, by all accounts, not only the greatest composer of his day but also the greatest pianist—it was natural that he turned to it to reveal his deepest, innermost thoughts in his 32 piano sonatas and other solo pieces. His five piano concertos, on the other hand, were written for public performance—to show himself off, in short—and can therefore be heard to represent the way Beethoven chose to present himself to the world, his relationship to a society in transition from the Age of Enlightenment to the more turbulent 19th century. To grow closer to this music, and thus to the composer himself, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes spent 2011 to 2014 restudying, rethinking, and recording these concertos and performing them in 55 cities in 22 countries. Director Phil Grabsky (In Search of Mozart, SIFF 2007) followed him on his quest, gathering not only captivating performance footage (in collaboration with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under conductor Gustavo Dudamel, and others) but a brilliant musician's penetrating thoughts about music that has held a central place in the piano canon for 200 years. In return, Andsnes and Grabsky reinterpret, through the lens of these concertos, the biography of one of the West's most mythologized artists.

Director Biography
Phil Grabsky is regularly involved as a judge for the Emmy, Bafta, and Grierson awards, and has won numerous personal awards himself. His biggest project to date is the creation of a unique new arts brand: Exhibition on Screen, which brings major art exhibitions, and the stories of both the galleries and the artist, to cinema, TV, and DVD audiences worldwide.

Sponsored by EMP Museum, KEXP 90.3 FM

  • Director: Phil Grabsky
  • Principal Cast: Leif Ove Andsnes, Gustavo Dudamel
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 92 minutes
  • Producer: Phil Grabsky
  • Screenplay: Phil Grabsky
  • Cinematographers: Phil Grabsky
  • Editors: Rick Aplin
  • Music: Beethoven
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Matisse Live (doc, 2014); In Search of Chopin (doc, 2014); Leonardo Live (doc, 2012); In Search of Haydn (doc, 2012); The Boy Mir - Ten Years in Afghanistan (doc, 2011); In Search of Beethoven (doc, 2009); Escape From Luanda (doc, 2007); Heavy Water: A Film for Chernobyl (doc, 2006); In Search of Mozart (doc, 2006); The Boy Who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan (doc, 2003); Muhammad Ali – Through the Eyes of the World (doc, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Seventh Art Productions