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Sophia - Biography of a Violin Concerto / A Film by Jan Schmidt-Garre [DVD]

Album Summary

>Gubaidulina, Sofia : Concerto for Violin "In tempus praesens"
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

In August 2007, Anne-Sophie Mutter premiered Sofia Gubaidulina's 2nd violin concerto in Lucerne with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. Gubaidulina (b. 1931) is one of the world's leading contemporary composers. Her international breakthrough came in 1980 with her 1st violin concerto, Offertorium; ever since, violinists, conductors & orchestras around the world have been eagerly awaiting her 2nd. Commissioned by conductor and arts patron Paul Sacher, it was his wish that the new violin concerto be first performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter. After 15 years, that dream finally came true. The film concentrates on the work in progress and documents the collaboration between Mutter, Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic. "The most beautiful music film I have ever seen." Joachim Kaiser

Ever wondered how precisely a new violin concerto comes into being - the inspiration, the perspiration, the sheer logistics? Wonder no more, as this revealing new documentary follows Sofia Gubaidulina and the work she creates for Anne-Sophie Mutter.

It is all jolly well done and makes for very satisfying viewing. And it's a salutary reminder of just how far from merely "churned out" the creation of a new work really is.

Gubaidulina is very different. She wears her heart on her sleeve and has plenty to say about how she structured her new concerto around the proportions of a Bach chorale, and how she reveres Bach because of his ability to fuse "mathematical principles" with "the fiery current of intuition". And there are intriguing insights into other personalities, too: there's the copyist and the critic; and Simon "potty mouth" Rattle, who rehearses in perfect German, then swears like a proper scouser when he makes a mistake. Unless what he actually says is, "I looked it up".

For those who have played roles in the creative process, this documentary may be an exercise in nostalgia. For those who haven't, it should provide an intriguing close-up, perhaps with warts touched up (although one large one remains, which I won't mention; viewers will find it for themselves) but truthful, nonetheless, it seems to me, from my own experiences with composers. Watching Gubaidulina decide how fast a flute part should be played and Mutter taking up the score for the first time shouldn't be missed by anyone. Strongly recommended.

Notes & Reviews:

Run Time: 56 min.
Region: All
Picture Format: NTSC, 16:9, Color
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo,
Subtitles: German, Italy, English, French, Spanish, Japanese


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Works Details

>Gubaidulina, Sofia : Concerto for Violin "In tempus praesens"
  • Performer: Anne-Sophie Mutter (Violin)
  • Conductor: Simon Rattle
  • Ensemble: Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007