6.8/10
154
2 user 8 critic

Speaking in Strings (1999)

This real-life documentary explores the passionate & energetic presence of renowned Italian violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (she moved to the Unites States at the age of eight to study ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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This real-life documentary explores the passionate & energetic presence of renowned Italian violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg (she moved to the Unites States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music and later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Julliard School.) The film focuses on her professional life, starting in 1981, when she burst onto the classical music scene as the youngest (at 17) recipient ever of the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition. Written by Len Massaar

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28 January 1999 (USA)  »

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Intensity, thy name is Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
21 February 2001 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

I knew a bit about Ms. Salerno-Sonnenberg (mostly her music) and so watched this because I figured the music alone would be more than worth the time. Whoa! The woman defines "intensity"! Her playing is incredible, but what blew me away is that she plays as if every muscle in her body were clenched and contracted. Watching her play is draining! I personally think she's marvelous, but I now understand why she has drawn fire from some quarters within classical music. I never thought of violin as a contact sport until I saw her physicality. I thought of a bit of verse by Edna St. Vincent Millay (I think) that goes, "I burn my candle at both ends, it will not last the night. But, ah, my friends and o, my foes, it gives a pretty light!" Remarkable documentary that you don't forget right away. It really makes you stop and think about things. I almost wish I could show this and "Small Wonders" on a double-bill just to see the reaction! Most recommended.


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