In Search of Beethoven Reviews

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December 31, 2010
Illuminating bio of musical genius hits a few flat notes.
June 2, 2010
Puts far more focus on a Wikipedia-shallow explanation of the composer's various compositions than on his tumultuous life.
April 1, 2010
[Grabsky] is documenting the life of Beethoven, he is illustrating the life with brilliant concert performers playing the music, but he is also having those same experts talking about what is in the music itself.
January 7, 2010
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.
January 7, 2010
An intriguing portrait of the man as a hopeless romantic, a smack-talking punk, a sickly individual tormented by his deafness and thoughts of suicide, and an "eternal optimist."
December 17, 2009
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.
October 30, 2009
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.
October 30, 2009
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.
October 30, 2009
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.
October 30, 2009
There are too many snippets of music, too many talking heads, too little to define that great arc of the composer's life and spiritual development. But no one who cares about the man and his music will miss it. For that I give credit to its subject.
October 30, 2009
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.
October 30, 2009
As good as the film is, Beethoven remains mysterious. He refuses to roll over, so to speak.
October 30, 2009
Despite its excessive length, this reverential doco will enthuse fans, historians and even those, like yours truly, whose familiarity with Beethoven is limited to the opening strains of his 5th Symphony.
October 30, 2009
It features over sixty live performances, and there are a few pompous musicians and musicologists among the interviewees. But the engaging ones comfortably outnumber them...
October 2, 2009
Just as Beethoven's composing process is equated to that of a sculptor like Michelangelo, Grabsky has sculpted a mesmerising film ripe with crescendos and modulations that allow us an even greater appreciation of the man's music
September 25, 2009
A well-researched documentary that's equally illuminating and captivating.
September 25, 2009
After the monotonous guide through history that was In Search of Mozart, Phil Grabsky's follow-up plays like a much-needed shot of adrenaline to the brain.
September 25, 2009
A visual biography that employs scores of live performances reimagining the master(TM)s infinite range -- from raging to ethereal.
September 25, 2009
What made Ludwig such a great musician? The documentary In Search of Beethoven, directed by Phil Grabsky, answers that question reasonably well.
September 23, 2009
A perfect companion piece to "In Search of Mozart". A fully realized introduction to the man and his music that makes you want to listen to his entire body of work even if you think you have become jaded by one too many performances of the Moonlight Sonat
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