Composer Robert Schumann struggles to compose his symphonies while his loving wife Clara offers her support. Also helping the Schumanns is their lifelong friend, composer Johannes Brahms. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Yes,we can ignore the opinions of the pedantic musical historians who belittle this film, because this is one for anyone with a love of music ! In essence, historically accurate - Brahms was a friend of the Schumanns, Robert did suffer from a brain disorder which drove him to attempt suicide and caused his early death, Brahms undoubtedly loved Clara, but she remained faithful to Robert for the rest of her life, whilst she pursued the career of a piano virtuoso (which she was).All of this adds up to a romantic story with all the necessary ingredients plus the music of Schumann and Brahms,(played with customary brilliance by Artur Rubinstein) surely a guarantee of success. The three principal characters are played with a reasonable degree of authenticity, indeed, Robert Walker bears such an uncanny resemblance to Brahms as a young man that one suspects he may be a descendent ! And what a tour-de -force is Miss Hepburns characterisation of Clara Schumann, a woman, by all accounts, possessed of steely resolve and immense courage. The only relatively weak link is Paul Henried, who bears not the slightest resemblance to Schumann, and fails to convey Schumann's determination and musical genius - perhaps a little pedestrian and lacking conviction. The performance of Henry Daniell as Franz Liszt is superb, projecting the personality of 'the Master' to perfection, and particularly worthy of note is his 'performance' of Schumann's 'Widmung', where his simulated pianistic technique is incredibly accurate, indeed, one suspects that he may well be a competent pianist in his own right. The whole essence of this drama is conveyed with a flair and a grasp of the subtle nuances of the various relationships which generates an astonishing degree of authenticity, almost as if we are seeing the events as they actually happened. Add to this the music, the pianism of the incomparable Rubinstein, and a classic has been born to stand the test of time ! As a matter of interest, Schumann composed the song 'Widmung' (Devotion) at the time of his marriage to Clara - the music 'played' by Henry Daniell is,in fact, not the original song, but an arrangement by Franz Liszt.
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