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Julian Rachlin and Pierre-Laurent Aimard star in Mozart anniversary documentary

Julian Rachlin and Pierre-Laurent Aimard star in Mozart anniversary documentary

“The most comprehensive film about Mozart I have ever seen!” Sir Roger Norrington, conductor “Beautifully shot… It will fascinate those who know nothing about the composer and intrigue those who know something already.” Opera Now Magazine World premiere at London’s Barbican on Wednesday 4th January 2006. Broadcast on Channel FIVE in the UK on 10th, 17th and 24th January and worldwide. The major new documentary film In Search of Mozart made by award-winning film director Phil Grabsky, will receive its world premiere screening in the Barbican Hall on 4th January 2006 at 7.30pm (all tickets £8.50), in advance of its serialised television premiere on FIVE and another 20 broadcasters worldwide. This is the only feature-length documentary film on Mozart produced to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth (27th January 1756) and features Warner Classics artists Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Julian Rachlin. FIVE will broadcast the film in three episodes on 10th, 17th and 24th January. This will be the first time that classical music and opera will appear on FIVE. Critically-acclaimed for his series Great Artists with Tim Marlow on FIVE and his award-winning features Muhammad Ali – Through the Eyes of the World and The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, Grabsky has turned his biographical flair to his and FIVE’s first classical music documentary. Without resorting to docu-drama or visual re-enactment, In Search of Mozart traces the composer’s life through his music and extensive correspondence. From K1a to K626 (Requiem), over 80 works are featured in chronological order, revealing striking parallels between the music and Mozart’s own experiences. Throughout, it is the music that takes centre stage with the jigsaw of Mozart’s life fittings in around it. His letters reveal an extraordinary personal voice, which rings out on an engaging, human level, full of joy, passion, pain, rage, jokes, bawdy humour and sensitivity. With rigorous analysis from musicologists and experts such as Jonathan Miller, Cliff Eisen, Nicholas Till, Bayan Northcott and the now-deceased Stanley Sadie, a new, vivid impression of the composer emerges. It dispels the many common myths about Mozart’s genius, health, relationships, death and character, to present a new image, very different from Milos Forman’s Amadeus. Narrated by Juliet Stevenson and with Mozart voiced by Sam West, the film features interviews and performances with over 70 of the greatest exponents of Mozart’s music including: Christophe Rousset, Sir Roger Norrington, Julian Rachlin, René Jacobs, Sir Charles Mackerras, Renée Fleming, Magdalena Kožená, Sandrine Piau, Ian Bostridge, Gerald Finley, Sir Thomas Allen, Imogen Cooper, Pierre Laurent Aimard, Leif ove Andsnes, Lang Lang, Ronald Brautigam and Škampa Quartet. Frans Bruggen’s Orchestra of 18th Century perform much of the orchestral repertoire but the film also includes live performances from the Vienna Philharmonic, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Salzburg Camerata, Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln, Netherlands Opera, Staatskapelle Berlin, Prague Estates Theatre and Lausanne Opera. 99% of the music is “seen”, not just heard! Director Phil Grabsky’s first venture into the realm of classical music has enabled him to view this world with fresh eyes. He has captured a new, intimate way of filming musicians in performance, which is far from the staid, dull images of orchestras in concert, but without resorting to “sexing-up” the artform. The film bristles with animated playing that captures all the physicality, energy, vigour, passion and beauty of the musician’s artistry. Grabsky’s personal voyage of discovery, often by himself as a one-man crew, enabled him to dart all over Europe on budget airlines to speak to many distinguished artists and to film the most innovative performances around. The wide selection of different performers and ensembles involved in the film highlights the diverse approach to this repertoire, from period instrument performances to more conventional interpretations. Mozart described his piano concertos as being “midway between too difficult and too easy… here and there only connoisseurs can derive satisfaction, but in such a way that the non-connoisseur will be pleased without knowing why”. Grabsky has created his film in the same spirit, marrying accessibility with rigorous documentary making. In Search of Mozart is being broadcast so far on 20 channels worldwide (including Belgium, Australia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Israel, Holland, Slovenia, Estonia,) and in international festivals and concert halls around the globe. In the UK, there will be further screenings in the Barbican’s Mostly Mozart Festival, as well as at the Brighton Dome and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and many more venues. www.insearchofmozart.com or www.barbican.org.uk Featured Artists (performance and/or interview) Conductors Matthias Bamert, Frans Brüggen, Adam Fischer, René Jacobs, Louis Langrée, Sir Roger Norrington, Christophe Rousset, Michel Swierczewski Pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Leif Ove Andsnes, Ronald Brautigam, Imogen Cooper, Angela Hewitt, Lang Lang, Mihaela Urseleasa, Lada Valešova Singers Sir Thomas Allen, Ian Bostridge, Gerald Finley, Renée Fleming, Simon Keenlyside, Angelika Kirchschlager, Magdalena Kožená, Sandrine Piau, Topi Lehtipuu, Sine Bundegaard Instrumentalists Eric Hoeprich, Janine Jansen, Julian Rachlin Orchestras and Ensembles Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Orchestra of 18th Century, Skampa Quartet, Les Talens Lyriques, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Bayerischen Rundfunks, Concerto Köln, Salzburg Camerata, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera of the National Theatre Prague, Vienna Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin. Historians, musicologists, theatre directors etc: Giovanni Carli Ballola, Günther Bauer, Volkmar Braunbehrens, Tobias Breitner, Cliff Eisen, Harry Halbreich, Stefan Herheim, Jonathan Miller, Bayan Northcott, Stanley Sadie, Nicholas Till Film Director Phil Grabsky is a documentary filmmaker who established the award-winning production company, Seventh Art Productions. Based in Brighton, UK, Seventh Art Productions makes films for the cinema and television (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, FIVE, National Geographic and others). His penultimate film The Boy who Plays on the Buddhas of Bamiyan, for FIVE and cinemas worldwide, was released at the end of 2003 and picked up 11 international awards, including Best Documentary at Vallodolid and Best Cinematography (for Grabsky) at Chicago. Other recent films have covered subjects as diverse as Brazilian slavery, the Javanese temple of Borobudur, international superstar Pelé and a number of high-profile history and art films, including I, Caesar (BBC), Time Watches (BBC) including Nero’s Golden House, six history films with Terry Jones and over 70 arts films with Tim Marlow for Five. Phil has also written four books.