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My War Years
Arnold Schoenberg

Portrait of the 20th century's most influential composer.

A printer-friendly version of this page 83 minutes
Directed by Larry Weinstein
Produced by Rhombus Media
with ZDF-German Television
Featuring: Pierre Boulez/Ensemble InterContemporain, The London Symphony Orchestra with Michael Tilson Thomas, The Schoenberg Quartet, Marianne Pousseur, Stefan Vladar, Arleen Auger

"Exquisitely composed and gorgeous to look at and listen to." Globe and Mail (Toronto)
No composer has been at once more despised, revered, controversial, and ultimately, more influential than Arnold Schoenberg. MY WAR YEARS centers on the explosive years, 1906 to 1923, when Schoenberg single-handedly transformed the language of music itself. During these years he braved bitter poverty and isolation - the fate of a revolutionary in a conservative world. His concerts resulted in riots, fist-fights, and challenges to duels. Schoenberg composed some of the greatest music of all time.

MY WAR YEARS interweaves dramatic and documentary technique to capture the flavor of these remarkable times. Location footage in Vienna and the Austrian countryside combines with archival film and re-enacted "home-movies." Such luminaries as Anton Webern, Alban Berg, Alma Mahler, and Wassily Kandinsky are brought back from the mists of time to speak directly to the camera about their own experiences with this musical giant.

Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1993     Copyright Date: 1992
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-742-6     VHS ISBN: 1-56029-503-1

"Exquisitely composed and gorgeous to look at and listen to as well as being witty, knowledgeable and informative."
Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"Fourteen of his most beautiful pieces are represented, dramatically filmed, and outstandingly performed...Highly recommended."
Library Journal

"Technically well done...The video will not only teach college students the music of Schoenberg, it can also be used for courses in history and German."
***** Video Rating Guide

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Awards and Festivals
Grand Prize, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Gold Apple, National Educational Film & Video Festival
Honorable Mention, American Film & Video Festival
Festival International du Nouveau Cinéma et de la Video, Montréal
Festival International de Programmes Audiovisuels, Cannes
IMZ Congress, Toronto

German History
Performing Arts

Related Titles

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Evokes and explores Ravel's illness-plagued final years, when he was able to produce music but couldn't write it down.

The War Symphonies
Shostakovich's musical counter-attack on Stalin's bloody purges.

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