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For centuries, Venice has fired the imaginations of painters, poets, composers—and millions of visitors. In this four-part film series, historian Peter Ackroyd leads viewers on an unforgettable journey through piazzas and canals painted by Canaletto and Guardi, as well as private palazzos, magnificent churches, and winding alleyways. Interviews with preservationists also draw attention to desperate efforts to save the city’s treasures from the ravages of time and the sea. Offered in conjunction with the special exhibition Casanova: The Seduction of Europe.
Image Credit: Francesco Guardi, The Ridotto of Palazzo Dandolo at San Moisè with Masked Figures Conversing, c. 1750, Oil on canvas, 30 × 41 ¼ in. (76.2 × 104.7 cm), Private collection.
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In Search of Beethoven addresses the romantic myth that Beethoven was a heroic, tormented figure battling to overcome his tragic fate, struck down by deafness, who searched for his ‘immortal beloved’ but remained unmarried. It delves beyond the image of the tortured, cantankerous, unhinged personality, to reveal someone quite different and far more interesting. In Search of Beethoven has brought together the world’s leading performers and experts on Beethoven to reveal new insights into this legendary composer. The line-up of performers and interviewees includes Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Roger Norrington, Riccardo Chailly, Claudio Abbado, Fabio Luisi, Frans Brüggen, Ronald Brautigam, Hélène Grimaud, Vadim Repin, Janine Jansen, Paul Lewis, Lars Vogt, and Emanuel Ax among others. The film will be narrated by Juliet Stevenson and RSC actor David Dawson.
Produced in association with the world’s leading orchestras and musicians, individual documentaries by acclaimed filmmaker Phil Grabsky provide immersive visual and audial experiences to celebrate the remarkable life stories and achievements of four of Europe’s greatest composers. World-class performances, as well as intimate interviews with experts, evoke each master’s unique place in history and the profound effect of their work in the hearts and minds of music lovers today.
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Acclaimed director Phil Grabsky brings to the cinema and TV screens around the world the life and music of Fryderyk Chopin – one of the greatest composers of all time. His grave in Paris remains a place of pilgrimage and his music continues to sell out concert halls worldwide – but who exactly was this man who was terrified of public performance, who fled his Polish homeland for Paris never to return, took up with the most notorious transvestite in France, rarely gave public performances and, despite a life of ill-health, wrote some of the deepest and most powerful music ever written? How exactly did a young Polish boy rise to such heady heights?
For four years, Phil Grabsky has travelled the globe in his quest to lay bare the life and music of Chopin. By talking to acclaimed musical historians such as Jeremy Siepmann and bringing to the screen performances by such esteemed musicians as Leif Ove Andsnes, Lars Vogt, Daniel Barenboim, Ronald Brautigam and Kevin Kenner he hopes to answer those questions.Renowned stage and screen star Juliet Stevenson provides narration. David Dawson brings life to the letters of Chopin himself.