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Copying Beethoven (2006)

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A fictionalized account of the last year of Beethoven's life.

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2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Anna Holtz
Ralph Riach ...
Wenzel Schlemmer
Matyelok Gibbs ...
Old Woman
...
Bill Stewart ...
Rudy
Angus Barnett ...
Krenski
Viktoria Dihen ...
Magda
...
Mother Canisius
...
Martin Bauer
Gábor Bohus ...
...
...
Neighbor
...
Archduke Rudolph
László Áron ...
Judge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Márta Hainfart ...
Soloist (Soprano)
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Storyline

Vienna, 1824. In the days before the first performance of the Ninth Symphony, Beethoven needs help with copying out the charts, so a promising student of composition, Anna Holtz, 23, is sent to assist him. She not only aids the transcription of the notes, she provides guidance from the orchestra pit as Beethoven conducts the work's debut. During the next two years, the final ones of Beethoven's life, Anna provides assistance to the deaf, temperamental, ailing man. In return, he tutors her in composition and explains to her the ideas and principles of Romanticism. He tries to speak for God. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The passion behind the genius See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 March 2007 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

Antigrafontas ton Beethoven  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$70,460 (USA) (10 November 2006)

Gross:

$352,786 (USA) (29 December 2006)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally written with Anthony Hopkins in mind, for the role of Ludwig van Beethoven. See more »

Goofs

During the performance of the 9th, the trumpet player is shown playing a European style rotary valve trumpet with clock-spring valves (Riedl?) that were first developed in 1835. The design of the trumpet is also of later vintage, as most trumpets of this era lacked valves, the keyed bugle, Haydn's keyed trumpet and instruments with Stolzel valves being the new technology. Finally, the mouthpiece has a very modern profile, perhaps of the 20th Century. See more »

Quotes

Ludwig van Beethoven: Anna Holtz.
Anna Holtz: Yes?
Ludwig van Beethoven: You look like a woman.
Anna Holtz: Thank you.
Ludwig van Beethoven: [after a brief pause] But can you conduct?
See more »

Soundtracks

Grosse Fuge in B flat major Op. 133
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
Performed by The Takács Quartet
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited, part of Universal Music Group International
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I loved the film -- Read Maynard Solomon if you want historical accuracy
11 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I enjoyed "Copying Beethoven" for different reasons than I enjoyed "Eroica" (the Ninth was the focus of practically every moment) and "Immortal Beloved" (the conflict between the composer's passion for creating music and his human need to be connected to others). For me, the focus of "Copying Beethoven" combined these two themes into a much more personal one, and dramatized the Maestro's need to communicate a comprehensive knowledge -- intellectual, emotional, spiritual -- of his art to this young copyist who was so intimate with his work. For if not her, than who?

While the musical performances were truncated out of necessity -- the success of the film, "Eroica", is due primarily to the performance of the Third Symphony in its entirety -- the actors' performances in "Copying Beethoven" reveal aspects of Beethoven not explored in the other two films. Beethoven is always portrayed as a "cranky genius", but Harris' Beethoven is so human -- impulsive and brutish, then reflective and apologetic, then insensitive and crude, then regretful and humble -- someone trying not to make the same mistakes over again. The relation he develops with the copyist realistically (and thankfully) does not influence his music, but it does cause his character to focus on his humanity, and I so enjoyed hearing this Beethoven talk about things like music, musicians, family, and God.

A word about the other performances. Kruger was radiant. The conflict between her respect for the artist and repulsion at his cruelty was wonderfully mixed with her character's own strengths, ambitions, and needs. The supporting characters were also splendid with hilarious and touching moments. The film is full of delightful words and gestures. Whether you have read volumes of history on Beethoven or are only passingly familiar with the Fifth, I recommend you see this lovely film about the humanity that lived within the genius who infused music with life.


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