Documentary : Concerto: A Beethoven Journey

Concerto: A Beethoven Journey

Concerto: A Beethoven Journey (2015) / Phil Grabsky. Norwegian concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes likes to concentrate on one composer at a time. At one point, he decided that the five Beethoven Piano Concertos would be his next project. Partnering with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra based in Prague, he worked to develop a deeper understanding of the music. For four years he travelled the world playing the Beethoven Five in city after city. His recordings with the Mahler became critical successes as well as classical best-sellers. Documentarian Grabsky (the In Search Of series on great composers) followed him around from start to finish. The final film is narrated entirely by Andsnes who takes these works movement by movement and guides us through the musical dialog between soloist and orchestra. So many of Andsnes’ insights into the music are really amazing but convincing when he plays the piano. He also talks about Beethoven’s life when he was composing these works making the man more of a human than the usual picture we have of him as a grumpy, solitary, deaf old man who was hard to get along with. Of course, there is a lot of music in this film, wonderful, marvelous, genius level music. Andsnes makes a point late in the documentary then pinches the skin on his wrist and says, “Look, I have chills.” I had to laugh myself because I had the goosebumps, too. Whether you have lived with this music all your life or never heard a note of it – or anyplace in between – you will be thrilled and chilled and enlightened. For me, anyway, this was a spiritual experience.


Trust me. I’m The Doctor.