Song Without End DVD
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Produced in 1960
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
The life of Franz Liszt – an opera of seduction, performance and wild-haired passion – was a natural for the biopic treatment; this sumptuous telling zeroes in on the great pianist/composer's romance with Princess Carolyne Wittgenstein, the love affair which, according to this picture at least, defined the rest of his life and art.
As with all biopics, how much of this is accurate is open to question (although it's a tad more credible than Ken Russell's bacchanalian Lisztomania). What matters are the emotions and those are handled expertly. Dirk Bogarde's Liszt is a tormented, tempestuous figure, caught between his desires, his music and his faith. In his only Hollywood role, Bogarde (who learnt to play the piano for the part) excels as the 19th century rock star, brilliant realising both Liszt's genius and his demons.
Filmed around various great houses in central Europe, it's a visually ravishing work, beautifully designed (by Walter Holscher and William Kiernan) and gorgeously photographed (by Charles Lang and James Wong Howe). The music's not bad either.
Stunningly filmed in Technicolor and featuring one of the finest musical scores Hollywood has ever produced, Charles Vidor’s Song Without End - the 1960 biopic of the virtuoso pianist and composer Franz Liszt won both Oscar (1961) and Golden Globe awards (1961).
Dirk Bogarde stars as Franz Liszt.The finest virtuoso pianist of his day, Liszt is the toast of Europe, filling concert halls from Paris to Vienna and playing command performances for the crowned heads of Europe. His interpretations of the works of the great composers are unsurpassed – but he dreams that one day his own compositions will enthrall his adoring crowds.
As his fame grows, his personal life falls apart. Already involved in a scandalous affair with a French Countess (Genevieve Page), now he dreams of seducing and marrying a Russian Princess (Capucine) whose love is absolutely forbidden...
A musical masterpiece, Song Without End features almost forty beautiful pieces by some of the world’s greatest composers including Chopin, Beethoven,Wagner, Bach, Verdi and Schumann as well as works by Liszt himself. Solo piano pieces are performed by the maestro Jorge Bolet, with accompaniment from the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Roger Wagner Chorale. Song Without End was to be the final film by Charles Vidor who died before production was complete, with his place taken by George Cukor.
Publisher: Sony Pictures
Length: 124 mins
Cat No: CDR10745
Format: DVD Colour