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In Search of Mozart

Looking in all the usual places
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  May 2, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_mozart

Phil Grabsky had Amadeus squarely in his sights when he set out to make this documentary celebrating the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. There’s no mention of Salieri, or even Marie Antoinette (who really did pick Mozart up off the polished floor of her mother’s palace in Vienna), and at the end we read that Mozart was not poisoned but died of rheumatic fever and kidney failure, and that he did not die a pauper. What we do get is a whirlwind tour of the places he lived in (primarily Salzburg and Vienna) and visited (including Paris and Berlin) and the pieces he composed. It’s all bound together by English actress Juliet Stevenson’s narrative and commentary from luminaries ranging from Lang Lang (articulate and imaginative) to Sir Roger Norrington plus extracts from Mozart’s letters and those of his father. There’s nothing particularly innovative about the film, but it does what a two-hour documentary can, offering wrenching moments from Renée Fleming in “Dove sono” from Le nozze di Figaro and Angela Hewitt in the G-major piano concerto, samples of Mozart’s unprudish (and pretty much normal) bathroom humor, and hints as to why this musical prodigy grew up to become a musical genius but never grew rich.

  Topics: Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  More more >
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