The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach)

Critics Consensus

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84%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 19

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 397
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Movie Info

Looks at the profound relationship between image and music where the latter is not merely conceived as subsidiary to the image but as a subject of the narration in its own right. It springs from a previously defined musical structure, and the soundtrack feeds on works by J.S. Bach and two of Felix Mendelssohn's sonatas; a promenade through the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries led by the hand of J.S. Bach.

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Critic Reviews for The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach)

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (10)

  • The Silence Before Bach is a movie in which to take refuge, and it abjures the summer heat of pop culture for a cool and lasting immersion in the miracles that people are and can create.

    Aug 20, 2009 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • The engaging enigma of The Silence Before Bach demonstrates an artistic wisdom that is as satisfying as it is challenging.

    Aug 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ted Fry

    Seattle Times
    Top Critic
  • The demolition of the music bio-pic as witnessed by Todd Haynes' I'm Not There and the parody Walk Hard continues robustly with this time-tripping melange from Spanish director Pere Portabella.

    Jan 31, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

    Jan Stuart

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Provide[s] gorgeous lensing and art direction and some of the world's most beautiful music.

    Jan 30, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Like the music it celebrates, this is a film made in glory of the world.

    Jan 30, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • Arguably stronger conceptually than visually, surreal mix of the unexpected and the banal is definitely not to everybody's taste. But the music is inarguably sublime.

    Jan 29, 2008 | Full Review…

    Ronnie Scheib

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Silence Before Bach (Die Stille vor Bach)

  • Feb 10, 2008
    [font=Century Gothic]"The Silence Before Bach" is a partially successful attempt at showing the journey that the music of Johann Sebastian Bach(1685-1750) has made from the 18th century to the present day, as displayed in a series of vignettes starting and ending with a player piano. In fact, there are a wide variety of musical instruments used in this film including a harpsichord(which I've always liked the sound of), a kickass organ, a wind instrument, a harmonica and cellos played on a subway train. [/font] [font=Century Gothic]The journey started with Bach working as a cantor in a church in Leipzig, so it may not be a surprise that the one continuing thread throughout is the importance of religion in his work, even in this thankfully more secular age. For example, one character drives a truck cab decorated with Virgin Mary's on the side. While seamless transitions happen throughout, a graceful segue from one definition of passion to another is particularly of interest. But the one element missing is the creative spark. And if you say that it is divine, I will scream.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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