Extase

Carine Bijlsma Short documentary - 2011 - 35 min.

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Thanks to pianist, composer and conductor Reinbert de Leeuw (1938), who tolerated a camera crew by his side in the build-up to the biggest challenge of his career: conducting Arnold Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder. The performance of this monumental piece requires 356 musicians - 145 orchestra members, 200 singers, 6 soloists and 1 conductor. The figures are on the screen, so the facts make the spectator realise how enormous this undertaking is.
The images follow the music, or vice versa, while De Leeuw is followed during his preparations: going through the score at home, rehearsing with his huge, young group of musicians at the Royal Conservatory, and in the hour before entering the stage. Particularly in this final hour, stage fright gets its claws into the conductor, who has been dreaming for over forty years of performing this iconic composition. ‘This piece summarises the nineteenth century one more time, on an unprecedented scale.’

Credits

Director(s) Carine Bijlsma
Producer(s) Rosan Boersma
Production Company Rosan Productions
Director of Photography
Editing
Sound Design
Sound Editor
Sound on Set
TV Company
Distribution
Production Country
Netherlands