Karajan's Magic and Myth
2014 BBC Four
Twenty-five years after the death of the world's most successful conductor, Herbert von Karajan, his classical recordings are still best-sellers. Yet he has always had his critics, who regard his performances as over-polished and lacking spiritual depth. This musical profile by John Bridcut explores the many paradoxes in the life and music of this controversial figure, who forged his international reputation in London shortly after the end of the second world war, and went on to reign supreme in the classical music world during his three decades with the Berlin Philharmonic. Those who worked closely with Karajan (including the singers Placido Domingo and Jessye Norman, the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, the conductors Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Sir Neville Marriner, and the flautist Sir James Galway) speak of his almost magical power as a conductor, and the reality that lay behind the Karajan myth.
1 x 90' A 1212 Production
|Archive Research||Pia Bernauer, Tricia Power, Val Evans|
|Thanks to||Karajan Institute, Eric Schulz, Linda Perkins, Anna Chromy, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Osborne|
|Dubbing Mixer||Rowan Jennings|
|Online Editor||Dominic McMahon|
|Production Coordinator||Kathleen Parker|
|Head of Production||Zoe Loizou|
|Commissioning Editor||Gregory Sanderson|
|Executive Producer||Philip Armstrong-Dampier|
|Film Editors||Philip Reynolds, Riaz Meer|
|Written, narrated and directed by||John Bridcut|
"The week's outstanding documentary... another brilliant piece by John Bridcut, a mythical magician of classical music documentaries"
'John Bridcut's superb profile surveyed the Salzburg-born Karajan as if he were Mont Blanc or the Matterhorn, considering the contradictions in his character as though studying aspects of the landscape at different times of day amid changing weather conditions. Monomaniacal and power-crazed, or a generous collaborator with esteemed colleagues? A self-obsessed narcissist, or a dashing man of the future with a vision of how new technology could transform the public's understanding of music? An artistic genius, or a gifted actor playing the part of one?'
"This engrossing profile... benefits from some tremendous archive footage"
'John Bridcut's excellent documentary'
'One of the best docs about classical music BBC Four has ever aired... by the peerless John Bridcut"