A motion picture of passions, "Spring Symphony" is a story of love, hate and artistic ambitions. Nastassja Kinski and Herbert Gronemeyer star as Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann, star-crossed classical musicians of the nine... more »teenth century trying to overcome the stifling objections of Wieck's father. All three of them share the same passion for music, but the battle the two men fight for Clara's affections is at the same time a fight between different artistic styles and different lifestyles, a war between the generations. When Schumann finally wins his Clara, "Spring Symphony" is the expression of his love and passion for her.« less
"The writer and director of this film is Peter Schamoni, not Alfred Hirschmeier as reported in another customer review, and he took most of the dialogue from the correspondence and other documentation of Robert,Clara and Friedrich Wieck. Anyone with knowledge of Schumann's correspondence, his love of poetry and dramatic narrative and the world of 19th century German romanticism will recognize the accuracy and faithfulness of the dialogue used throughout this wonderful film. The look and sound of the pianofortes used is another example of the care lavished on presenting Robert and Clara's world as accurately as possible.Good performances, excellent photography and glorious music. No complaints from this Schumann fanatic. Highly recommended."
A Historical Romance In Music
Rudy Avila | Lennox, Ca United States | 09/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Schamoni's 1983 German film "Spring Symphony" is an intimate, accurate portrayal of the relationship between two composers- Robert Schumann and Clara. It is a wonderful film, with fine acting by the leads Herbert Gronemeyer and Natassia Kinksi, who had been a model and would enjoy further success after this movie. The time is early 19th century (1830-1850)during the Romantic Era craze in classical music. Beethoven opened the gates to the new wave of music, which would be followed by Chopin and Franz Liszt, all mentioned in this film. Robert Schumann is portrayed here as a struggling artist, an idealist who lives from hand to mouth, more along the lines of Mozart. He gets romantically involved with the more wealthier and polished Clara Wieck whose father opposes their love. Even like this, Robert and Clara, who had become lovers through working together as composers, continue to defiantly engage in their relationship. Clara's father is brought to trial but in the end Clara and Robert are married. The film is accurate, and not highly dramatized or romanticized far from the truth. Filmed in Germany, Austria and France, the film follows the career of Schumann quite truthfully - i.e: the fact he was injured and his fingers were paralized and even as such played the piano quite well, his publication of a music magazine under the pen names of Eusebius and Florestan. Eusebius is his practical, balanced side while Florestan is passionate and free-spirited. A beautiful film. Natassia Kinksi plays a fine Clara, strong, independent, refined, romantic, soulful. The costumes and attention to detail are precise, captivating us and hooking us into a new world of historical romance.
My favorite scenes are those romantic moments between Clara and Robert, the opening scene with Paganini playing a violin concerto with lightning speed, all the chamber music scenes and recitals Clara has and the finale in which finally, Clara and Robert have married and decide to open their own concert hall..Robert says "I hope this institution is big enough for two instruments" and I think he was referring to their marriage. The music is heaven. Conductor Wolgfang Sawallisch leads his orchestra in brilliant music by both Robert Schumann and Clara."
Robert and Clara Schumann -- in German -- but excellent!
Anthony J. Lomenzo | Fort Ann, New York | 04/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first thing to keep in mind with this movie about Robert and Clara Schumann is that it's entirely in GERMAN although English sub-titles are available. I actually preferred it that way and there is no English dubbing available although, as stated, English sub-titles can be turned on or off via the DVD machine. You might recall Herbert Grönemeyer as Leutnant Werner, the 'Kriegsberichter' or war correspondent on the German submarine, in the excellently done movie "Das Boot" some years ago.
As Robert Schumann, he does an excellent portrayal as does Nastassja Kinski as Clara Wieck-Schumann. Equally engrossing throughout the film is Clara's, shall we say, ultra no nonsense and rather dour and humorless father, Friedrich Wieck, played by Rolf Hoppe. The court scene where Friedrich tries to legally prevent the marriage of his daughter Clara to Robert Schumann and his perceived 'reasons' for same are particularly engrossing.
In this one, Schumann's right hand finger problem is attributed to the 'mechanical device' he concocted to strengthen his fingers yet stories still abound about the alleged 'real' cause of same but these kind of things [read: conjectures] happen with most world known personalities indeed to the point of utter speculation as to, in another well known personality, Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved" where, in my opinion, pure speculation is all too often passed off as alleged historical fact for the sake of the plot more so than any verifiable historical reality! Or proof of the cinematic contention.
The music is excellent and the note fingerings very good and believable. A few of Clara's zoom-in hands on the keys were done by a double although Grönemeyer himself plays the piano so he was able to quickly adapt to the requisite Schumann music note fingerings. So, if you want to keep up your German [or use the sub-title English] while enjoying a decently realistic portrayal of Robert and Clara Schumann, this movie is a good bet! The supporting cast is equally good and the movie moves along nicely. Note too, if only for the sake of curiosity, some of the suggested 'cures' for the finger problem and you'll be rather gratified at today's medical advances!
Mid-19th century Europe, the life and times of Schumann the
Pork Chop | Lisbon, Portugal | 02/14/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Frühlingssinfonie, is a mellow, lush in senses movie, with a Schumann soundtrack, following the composer's footsteps at crucial moments in his career.
The movie perhaps downplays Schumann's importance, by assigning him to a secondary role, compared to the protagonist Clara Wieck, played by Nastassja Kinski, aged 24 at the time, back in 1983 when his picture was made.
This is a European, obviously state-funded production, of the highest professional quality, as it was often the case back then, when movie houses, television, technical professionals in the movie industry had immense experience, skills, and education due to the sponsorship they had from the governments, before the collapse of the Cold War.
A questionable aspect of the movie, is the need to intertwine an ephemeral part of the composer's life, which is his personal, sensual relationship, (played by the actor Herbert Gronemeyer), with the performer of his pieces, Clara.
The stronger aspects of this movie, is the excellence in its representation of 19th century Europe, (horse and carriage, panoramic views of the countryside, palaces, city neighborhoods in Germany, Austria, for example, the way people dressed, carried themselves, their outlook on life, the pressure of high density cities to the inhabitants from early on, the privileges of the upper classes in having time to learn to enjoy, and attend concertos, etc.
The charm of Kinski, which is mostly improvised as far as I can tell, and not mechanical or rehearsed, obviously has something to say for the promotion and acclaim this work received at the time. All dialogue is in German. Rolf Hoppe, playing Wieck's father, does a tremendous job, lending enormous credibility to the movie."
Robert Schumann: Part One Only
Michael Baskin | Los Angeles, CA | 01/03/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Schumannite - he is one of my 2 favorite composers and I was REALLY looking forward to this movie. However, the best thing I can say about the movie was that the sets, dress and pianos all seemed to be authentic. I am told that the movie is also accurate historically - the conversations, dialog and events are also accurate. Swell. Beyond that it was dismal. Boring. The acting was competent at best. The screen play was abysmal. And forget cinematography - there isn't any.The movie centers on the courtship between Robert and Clara but is almost totally lacking in convincing passion and there is nearly zero chemistry between the two alleged lovers. The viewer is left to wonder: why are these two going on like this? The only convincing portrayal is delivered by Herr Wieck - he is realistically unlikeable.Finally, Robert & Clara marry and then we should get to see how inspired Robert is. Historically speaking he churned out a ton of his best work in the first year of the marriage, but there is only one scene where Robert barks at Clara while composing. Then the movie ends! It's as if the production company ran out of money! Just one scene of the first performance of Symphony #1 and zero mention of any other symphony. We hear a few strains from the first movement of the piano concerto, but never a word mentioning if. Not a single scene that shows Robert's mental illness. And no mention of the asylum he is sent to or his death. I was utterly disappointed. Robert Schumann deserves a FAR better biopic than this."