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In Search of Mozart (2006)

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The life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.



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Credited cast:
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The life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

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Documentary | Music


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Release Date:

4 January 2006 (UK)  »

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Mozart  »

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User Reviews

Glimpse of Mozart's Genius
12 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

For someone who would like to explore Mozart's music and/or learn more about his life, this documentary will be an excellent source of both. Except for Great G minor (K.550--on the selection screen on DVD) and Clarinet Concerto in A (K.622), which we hear at the very beginning, the viewers can listen to Mozart's compositions in a chronological order mostly and hear the progression of his composition skills. And how fast he progresses! As one of the interviewees in the film says, Mozart's life and the development of his musical talent were as if they had been on the fast-forward. The documentary showcases a wide range of musical genres--sonatas, concerti, symphonies, operas, motets, string quartets, and more. World-class musicians and conductors explain the technical aspects of certain pieces and talk about the emotions they evoke. We also journey through Mozart's life following some excerpts of his and his parents' letters and video clips of the cities he visited during his lifetime.

If you are a Mozart aficionado and have been gathering any scrap of information on Mozart over the years, you won't find anything earth-shattering in the film. After all, Mozart's life has been well chronicled through his correspondence and other forms of documents. The information the documentary provides is on the conservative side. I could not help smiling when I read the producer's note at the end; that Mozart probably died of rheumatic fever and kidney failure, and that he was not poisoned. I get this feeling that Phil Grabsky doesn't approve of the portrayal of Mozart in Amadeus. Attributing Mozart's death to rheumatic fever and renal failure has been one of the main theories for decades, but what about other possibilities? Only a year or two ago, I read a newspaper article, which claimed Mozart might have died of trichinosis. The article was fascinating, but Mozart's death is one of many mysteries we will never be able to solve. For music connoisseurs, this film has a great appeal with Renée Fleming, Lang Lang, Sir Roger Norrington and others affectionately and passionately speaking of Mozart's music. And let's fact it, you don't get to hear Mozart's first compositions on keyboard or early operas often even if you listen to an all-classical format radio station. In addition, you get to hear the samples of well-known, and not so well-known pieces by Mozart.

There's a Japanese proverb on prodigies that goes like this: A prodigy (literal translation: divine child) at age ten, a whiz at fifteen, just a man at twenty and over. I suppose Mozart himself, and In Search of Mozart to a certain extent, proved that even ancient oriental wisdom can be wrong every once in a century or two.

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