A film can let music be more than sound effects and even be on the basis of artistic expression.
The film shows the renewal of a famous String Quartet after the replacement of its 1st violin, who dies of a heart attack during a concert, by a violinist who just left college. The period is intensively enjoyed but does not last - it is much like a "coda" in the lives of three old musicians.
Instead of leaving music on the background, this film let great composers (Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and others) speak intimately through some of their known chamber works. A string quartet may be similar to a symphony in many aspects. However, compared to a birthday's party, it is more like meeting a few old friends at pub's counter than inviting two hundred guests for dinner near the swimming pool.
The film allows music to be expressed in situations other than the stage, showing it in relation with live. Ironically, it shows the tragedy of individuals dedicated to a genre which demands deep interaction with the audience. Remarkable Chamber Music from the 18th to the 20th Centuries find in the individual tragedies an adequate background, thus reaching a particularly dramatic character.
In my opinion, this almost unknown work of art deserves mention at a higher place - probably close to Milos Forman's Amadeus.
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