Notes & Reviews:
The eccentric and reclusive conductor Carlos Kleiber has achieved cult status in music circles and built a loyal fan base. I Am Lost to the World tries to answer some of the mysteries surrounding the maestro, such as: what were the real reasons he cancelled so often? This film sheds light on his relationships with his family, traces the development of his career and covers the "mythologizing" that began during the maestro's lifetime. It includes never-before-seen film footage and interviews with Riccardo Muti, Otto Schenk, Dr. Otto Staindl (friend and attending physician of Kleiber), members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic.
"In some musical ways a miracle, in other personal ways a monster, Kleiber was the greatest conductor of our age. This sober documentary comes on the heels of another, Traces to Nowhere, by Eric Schulz (with testimony from the conductor's sister): orchestral players explain his hold over them, and there is an electrifying rehearsal sequence from Tristan in Bayreuth." -The Observer
"Georg Wübbolt's I am Lost to the World includes a rare radio interview with Kleiber and emphasises the destructive/inspirational relationship with his famous conductor father Erich." -Gramophone
The Classical Review
valuable and often compelling insights into the artistry of one of the greatest (if also one of the most elusive and enigmatic) musical personalities of the last century. Superbly produced, both profiles add considerably to our understanding and appreciation of Kleiber's unimpeachable art.
The brilliant, reclusive, demanding, chronically insecure German maestro Carlos Kleiber (who died in 2004) was, by general consent, the greatest conductor of his time. Each of these fine video documentaries examines the man and mystique from a slightly different perspective. Both make for essential viewing.
I am lost to the world is the title of an extraordinarily moving DVD (Cmajor DVD 705608) which attempts, successfully so, to outline the life and career of Carlos Kleiber and perhaps understand why he was predictably unpredictable. He is seen in rehearsals and in a non-commercial video of what seems to be a final run-through of Tristan at Bayreuth. The intensity is electrifying. Players from the Vienna Philharmonic and others give us a fair idea of the man, illustrated by videos of rehearsals and performances. His stick technique and his whole "body technique" were exuberant and flamboyant, communicating to the players exactly what he wanted to hear. It is a revelation for us in the audience to see what the musicians saw. The title of this DVD, Ich bin der Welt elt abhanden gekommen (I am lost to the World) is the title of the third song from Mahler's Rückert Lieder.
No one was or ever will be on this earth. But he was certainly an extraordinary one, one of the greatest. He understood that the music was greater than any one realization of it, even his own, and this frustrated and tormented him, but at his best he achieved transcendent results. His memory will endure among his colleagues and those who attended his performances and treasure his recordings.
Many contributors offer ideas of what made him great. "It's the transitions... the way he made one tempo become another." "He never beat time - he conducted the melody with those gestures." "He knew the music inside out." Both films are fascinating, and many comments are rich with insight, but neither will get you closer to the man and his "secrets" than his recordings do.
In the end this documentary raises more questions than answers. Carlos was a sensualist, money-conscious but not apparently status-obsessed, an indifferent pianist but a master conductor - one whose need for a singing and expressive narrative sense in his conducting set him apart. He was so good an opera conductor not because his repertoire was so small, but because he knew the score inside out. His tortured sense of inadequacy perhaps sprang from hearing too often and too loudly the admonishing words of his ruthless father: the fewer works he conducted, and the better he knew them, the less often he would hear his father's posthumous scorn. Or maybe it was something else entirely. Until there is a biography perhaps we will never truly know.
Run Time: 60 min.
Picture Format: NTSC, 4:3
Sound Format(s): LPCM Stereo,
Subtitles: French, Spanish, Japanese
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Works DetailsVarious : Work(s)
- Conductor: Carlos Kleiber