Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|After the Storm - The American Exile of Bla Bartk / Menuhin Solti|
Actors: George Solti, Yehudi Menuhin
Director: George Solti
Genres: Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
It s as though we ve been caught in a storm at sea and blown to shore with no more than the clothes on our backs So wrote the great Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881-1945) on his arrival in New York in 1940, after losin... more »
Revelatory film for Bartok lovers
Jeff Dunn | Alameda, California United States | 10/15/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately, you have to know a bit about Bartok, his significance to 20th-century classical music, and his last years in America before he died of leukemia to appreciate this film. Otherwise, it will be confusing, even boring.
But if you do know the above, the film offers lots of details about Bartok's last years, with a number of interviews with key individuals who knew the family at the time. Excerpts of the music written in America also are heard, with clever cuts to shots of symbolic importance.
My favorite revelation is that the Bartok family was cheated by the mortuary who sold them the coffin in New York. It was supposed to be stainless steel, so it could be moved at a later date back to Hungary. But when it was dug up in 1988, it had disintegrated. As an ongoing theme, the film covers the transfer of Bartok's remains back to his homeland.
The film shows all the places where Bartok lived in the U.S., even his notes where birdcalls were captured in North Carolina and later incorporated in his Concerto for Orchestra. But the film is not a triumph of organization or clarity. It's best to read a summary of Bartok's life beforehand to get your bearings before seeing the film.
The film should be a must-see for conservatory students and anyone fairly familiar with Bartok and his music, but I'd be leery of recommending it to the general public--it's too specialized."
The last five years!
Hiram Gomez Pardo | Valencia, Venezuela | 03/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The name and transcendence of Bela Bartok has not achieved for most audiences around the world the special and well deserved consideration. Not only because his notable contributions in order to preserve for the future's memory the basic Hungarian musical roots. He really was a kaleidsocopic composer whose harmonic language captured with fevered realism the mood of a world in crisis.
If we take a look around all his music, we find the trace of a man hovered by a deep and serious worriment for trying to express and translate all the bitter dissonances, cloudy passages, lyric expressiveness tinged by a nocturnal inspiration and honest approach that hardly may be found in other similar colleagues.
His Piano Concertos, string quartets and even the unerring message hidden bellow his posthumous composition, the Concerto for Orchestra seems to have plainly understood just for a few directors (Fritz Reiner, Ferenc Fricsay, Antal Dorati), while the rest of most directors seem to focus around the pyrothecnic and virtuosistic effects (somtehing similar happens with Pictures at exhibition). I mean, it tends to forget this Concerto is deeply tragic; it's a real farewell in all the sense of the world.
This memorable and sad tribute for the memory of this overlooked musical genius is a little but remarkable grain of sand in Bartok's memory.
The man and his circumstance. In memoriam!"