In Search of Beethoven


In Search of Beethoven

Critics Consensus

With a wealth of insightful talking heads and deft musical performances, In Search of Beethoven is a thorough, thoughtful examination of the great composer's life and times.



Reviews Counted: 39

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Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

"In Search of Beethoven": takes a comprehensive look at the composer's life through historical research and Beethoven's biography and letters, but with the emphasis always on the performance -- and interpretation -- of Beethoven's music. From his early piano concertos through the "Moonlight Sonata," "Für Elise," and the immortal notes of the Fifth and Ninth Symphonies, Beethoven's music remains as beloved, popular, and relevant as any work of art has ever been. "In Search of Beethoven" brings together the world's leading performers and experts on Beethoven to reveal new insights into this celebrated composer. Above all, "In Search of Beethoven" addresses the central myth of Beethoven's life and work -- that of the heroic, tormented figure battling to overcome the tragic fate of being struck down by deafness in his prime; a man who searched for his elusive, eternal 'immortal beloved,' yet was never to attain lasting happiness.

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Critic Reviews for In Search of Beethoven

All Critics (39) | Top Critics (15)

  • Tells the story of its subject in a clear, accessible, and gimmick-free manner while still preserving, or perhaps even cultivating, a core sense of wonder at the creative monuments he bequeathed to us all.

    Jan 7, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • In Search of Beethoven trudges through the composer's life and works, pausing along the way for the usual smorgasbord of talking heads and performance clips. The results are shapeless, drab and mostly predictable.

    Dec 17, 2009 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
  • With In Search of Beethoven, documentarian Phil Grabsky has created a splendid work that will be a revelation to the uninitiated and a joy to music lovers.

    Oct 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Grabsky's appreciation of Ludwig van Beethoven follows the familiar contours, but it pays attention to the humanizing specifics that bring us closer to the subject.

    Oct 30, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Grabsky does manage to convey how shockingly dramatic Beethoven's music seemed to the first people who heard it, and the musicians' sensitivity and articulation--both verbal and musical -- fire this chronicle of one man's extraordinary artistic journey.

    Oct 30, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Beethoven's creative life, with all its achievements, cannot easily be reconciled with the image of a difficult, solitary figure, shadowed by depression. Grabsky, to his credit, doesn't try to make one life fit the other, but manages to illuminate both.

    Oct 30, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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