The Early Years / Maturity and Silence
Picture format: NTSC 16:9 and 4:3
Sound format: LPCM Stereo
Region code: 0 (All Regions)
Languages: German, Spanish, French, Italian
Running time: 151 minutes
No. of DVDs: 1
Winners of the Silver Medal in the Music Category
at the 1984 New York International Film and Television Festival
Winners of the Special Jury Award – Banff Television Festival 1985
"Christopher Nupen pioneered a style of filming musicians and music-making in which his excellence has rarely been equalled and never excelled. Of that genre he is the undoubted master." Sir Jeremy Isaacs
This DVD celebrates the musical quest of one of the great symphonists of the twentieth century, Jean Sibelius, as seen through his music, his letters, his diaries and the words of his wife Aino, who was with him for more than sixty four years. It is an intimate account, using film and Sibelius' music and words, of a great artist's struggle with his medium, with the world and with himself – as deeply felt an artistic quest as any in the history of music and frequently expressed in memorably poetic terms.
But the quest was not an easy one and, as so often with artists who take an untrod path, critical opinion has fluctuated wildly, more perhaps than for any other composer. After receiving, in the 1930s, a degree of recognition unequalled in the lifetime of any other Western composer, critical opinion had, within 25 years, relegated him to a position of minor importance. That alone makes his music interesting to the public and, despite the criticism, his music has kept its hold on the public imagination and Sibelius retains a dedicated, popular following.
And so, on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Sibelius' death, (20 September 2007), the time seems right for an intimate look at the composer's own story, focussing on what he himself felt that he was trying to achieve. That is what Christopher Nupen gives us on this DVD.
Christopher Nupen won the Classical DVD of the Year Award at Midem in Cannes in both January 2005 and 2006. His Jacqueline du Pré DVD has sold over 20,000 and his Segovia DVD over 10,000 copies.
"For the Sibelius films alone Christopher Nupen's life on this earth must be judged a life worth living." Terence Davies (prize-winning English screenwriter)