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Classical Notes

Classical Notes: April 17, 2009 Archive

The State of the Arts

Posted at 10:54 AM on April 17, 2009 by Alison Young

I found this story in the New York Times heart-breaking. I feel so privileged to have had general music starting in Kindergarten as well as band, orchestra and chorus as part of my public school curriculum.

Classical music at the movies

Posted at 4:25 PM on April 17, 2009 by John Birge

There are several interesting movies about classical music coming up in the next 10 days that you might be interested in.

The Audition (from the Met Opera): The Audition, directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, looks at the intense pressures young opera singers face as they struggle to succeed in one of the most difficult professions in the performing arts. Sunday, April 19th, 2PM CT

View theaters and trailer here.

Two titles coming up in the next 10 days at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Film Festival:

Trip to Asia: Quest for Harmony:
Shot during the Berlin Philharmonic's breakneck 2005 concert tour across Asia with stops in Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo, Thomas Grube's gripping film offers intimate access to the private world of the 126 skilled musicians who, under Simon Rattle's baton, harness their virtuosity to create the orchestra's distinctive sound. But their artistic triumph onstage belies a dramatic life backstage rarely seen by outsiders. On an extended journey far from home, caught between duty, passion and fatigue, tempers can flair and careers may be made or broken. (Grube's 'Rhythm Is It' won Mpls. Fest Audience Award 2006).
View the schedule here,
and here's the trailer:

The Silence Before Bach:
Part-fiction, part-documentary, The Silence before Bach offers an intelligent and often very witty treatment of Bach's legacy. This is no attempt at traditional historical reconstruction but rather a contemplation of the ways in which Bach's music pervades the contemporary world and its physical landscape. As such startling moments from Bach's life are vividly juxtaposed with footage of a guide who offers Bach-themed tours for 21st Century fans. A lorry driver takes time out by playing Bach on his bassoon before crashing out in the anonymous motel rooms of the modern era. Bach's Goldberg Variations appear, played by an errant pianola or a small harmonica.
Past inhabits present in this cool film suggesting Bach's music is the quintessence of European civilization, is even a religious experience. (In German, French, Spanish; English subtitles)

View the schedule here, and here's the trailer:

And don't forget that The Soloist is coming out soon too!

Pass the popcorn!