Filmová databáze › Love Song: The Triumph and Tragedy of Tchaikovsky
Love Song: The Triumph and Tragedy of Tchaikovsky
GB 130001, Velká Británie a Severní Irsko
|Místo premiéry||Berkhamsted, England
|Odkaz na umístění filmu na internetu||http://vimeo.com/66004604
|LOVE SONG: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF TCHAIKOVSKY is based on life-long, ground-breaking research by English filmmaker Ian Woodward who reveals for the first time the heart-breaking true story behind the creation of Tchaikovsky’s fantasy overture “Romeo and Juliet” which gave the world one of the most famous love themes ever written. The facts are presented in biopic form. All the characters depicted in the film actually existed, although some moments have been fictionalised to fill-in gaps where details are scant or non-existent. The result is LOVE SONG – a cinematic first that will rock the classical-music Establishment. |
English filmmaker Ian Woodward was formerly a writer on the arts for Britain’s national newspapers and magazines and appeared regularly on the BBC as presenter of radio’s Jazz in Britain and other BBC shows. He is the author of more than 30 books including the movie-star biographies AUDREY HEPBURN: FAIR LADY OF THE SCREEN and GLENDA JACKSON: A STUDY IN FIRE AND ICE. His last four films – THE RED ROSE, TOO MANY GHOSTS, SILLY ROBIN and FROM BOHEMIA’S WOODS AND FIELDS - have won major awards at international film festivals and been screened worldwide. He is married with two children and two granddaughters.
LOVE SONG: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF TCHAIKOVSKY
Directed and Produced
PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Hair and Make-up Artist
Cinematographer and Editor
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Nadezhda von Meck
Tsar Alexander III
Young Society Lady
Drinking Companion 1
Drinking Companion 2
Funeral Cortege Attendants
Equine stunt double
Love Theme BALLET SEQUENCE
choreographed exclusively for “Love Song”
Dance Sequence Director
former principal dancer
English National Ballet
(Serbian National Ballet)
who appear by permission of
The Espinosa Chute Centre
Love Theme ballet sequence
(with assistance on Love Theme by Rob Lindsay)
THE WATFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Leader: Jeanne Mann
Conductor: Terry Edwards
3rd Assistant Directors
Assistants to Key Hair and Make-up Specialist Ann-Marie Mays:
Trainee Make-up Artists
BUCKS MEADOW RIDING SCHOOL
THE ESPINOSA DANCE PROJECT
Director: Corinna Chute
Artistic Director: Yat-Sen Chang
THE ESPINOSA CHUTE CENTRE
Director: Corinna Chute
FANHAMS HALL HOTEL
HARTWELL HOUSE AND SPA
PARISH CHURCH OF ST PETER
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH
JOE and HEATHER WARWICK
WHITE HART HOTEL
Special thanks to
MOOR PARK GOLF CLUB
for outstanding assistance
during the making of this film
LOVE SONG: REVIEWS
STEPHEN CARROLL, TSAR ALEXANDER III OF ALL THE RUSSIAS IN “LOVE SONG”, WRITES:
“I worked with some memorable people in 2013, including author and filmmaker Ian Woodward, a true gentleman and old-school Auteur and writer. I learned a lot from him when making ‘Love Song’.”
BACKGROUND MATERIAL EXTRACTED FROM THE SCRIPT FOR
“LOVE SONG: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF TCHAIKOVSKY”:
LOVE SONG: CONCEPT
The film’s story is told through the voice of Tchaikovsky as he looks back on his life in “old age”. (He died aged 53 but, with his pale-grey hair, looked much older). The scenes are enacted against the voice-over of Tchaikovsky, combined with spoken dialogue to camera, and accompanying music by the composer that underscores a scene’s atmosphere. Tchaikovsky is depicted in two crucial periods: 1. at the age of 29 at the start of his relationship with Edward Zak, and 2. at 53 as he looks back on his life. But there are also some key scenes when he is aged 33.
LOVE SONG: OVERVIEW
“Love Song” is based on extensive original research by the film-maker which he believes reveals for the first time on film the real story behind the creation of Tchaikovsky’s fantasy overture “Romeo and Juliet” which gave the world one of the most famous love themes ever written. The facts, presented in biopic form, are as accurate as the known facts allow us to be. Those attending Tchaikovsky’s wedding, for instance, comprised simply the composer and his bride, with his younger brother Anatoly and former pupil Josef Kotek as witnesses, plus – of course – the officiating priest. All the characters depicted in the film actually existed, although some moments have been fictionalised to fill-in gaps where details are scant or non-existent. The scenarist therefore set himself a rule at the outset which he has not knowingly broken: there is nothing in the film which could not have happened. The intention has been to weave together the known facts and the scenarist’s imagination, the latter filling in the gaps left by the former. The result is “Love Song: The Triumph and Tragedy of Tchaikovsky”.
TCHAIKOVSKY: “ROMEO AND JULIET” FANTASY OVERTURE
In 1869, while employed as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, Tchaikovsky wrote “Romeo and Juliet” which he based on Shakespeare's play of the same name. Although described by the composer as a Fantasy Overture, the overall design is that of a symphonic poem. It is based on three main strands of the Shakespeare story. The first strand represents the saintly Friar Laurence. This is followed by the warring Capulets and Montagues. Finally, in the third strand, is the “love theme” representing two lovers. The music for this episode is passionate and yearning but always with an underlying current of anxiety. It is the most famous and well-loved section of the piece and shows how the protagonists’ forbidden love affair grows against all odds, even after death.
TCHAIKOVSKY: PROFESSIONAL LIFE
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally. He wrote many works which are popular with the music public today including, in addition to his “Romeo and Juliet” fantasy overture, the “1812” Overture, his ballets “The Nutcracker”, “Swan Lake”, “The Sleeping Beauty”, and Marche Slave. These, along with his First Piano Concerto and his Violin Concerto, the last three of his six numbered symphonies and his operas “The Queen of Spades” and “Eugene Onegin”, are among his most familiar works.
TCHAIKOVSKY: PATRONAGE (1)
NADEZHDA VON MECK, the wealthy widow of a railway tycoon, became Tchaikovsky’s patroness in 1877. She provided him with an annual subsidy that enabled him to concentrate on composition. She was an important friend and emotional support for the next 13 years.
TCHAIKOVSKY: PATRONAGE (2)
TSAR ALEXANDER III was among Tchaikovsky’s greatest admirers. He conferred upon him the Order of St. Vladimir, which carried with it hereditary nobility and won Tchaikovsky personal audiences with the Tsar. He was later awarded a lifetime annual pension of 3,000 rubles from the Tsar. On the composer’s death, Alexander III ordered that Tchaikovsky should be given a State funeral, for which he paid the costs. Moreover, Alexander III gave special permission for Tchaikovsky's memorial service to be held at Kazan Cathedral in St. Petersburg. The funeral itself was the most attended funeral Russia had ever known. Kazan Cathedral holds 6000 people, but 60,000 people applied for tickets to attend the service. Finally, 8000 people were crammed in.
TCHAIKOVSKY: PERSONAL LIFE
Tchaikovsky's life was punctuated by personal crises and depression. His same-sex orientation, which he kept private, has traditionally been considered a major factor behind these crises. His sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera; there is an ongoing debate as to whether it was accidental or self-inflicted. Tchaikovsky spent the final period of his life at a charming house on the edge of Klin, 50 miles north-west of Moscow. Following his death in 1893 the estate was converted into the Tchaikovsky House-Museum which is maintained just as it was when Tchaikovsky lived there.
Some of the composer's closest relationships were with men. He sought out the company of other same-sex attracted men in his circle for extended periods, associating openly and establishing professional connections with them. One group of musicologists insist that Tchaikovsky felt tainted because of his sexual nature. Another group of scholars suggest that he eventually came to see his sexuality as an insurmountable and even natural part of his personality from which he did not experience any serious psychological damage. Nevertheless, Tchaikovsky was torn by ambivalent feelings on the subject of sexuality and marriage.
Désirée Artôt, a Belgian soprano, was the Maria Callas of her day. In 1868 she visited Russia with a touring Italian company and met Tchaikovsky. She bombarded him with invitations on a daily basis, and he became accustomed to visiting her in the evenings. This was Tchaikovsky’s first serious attempt to conquer his homosexuality. They became engaged but Artôt was not prepared to abandon her career to support a struggling composer, and Tchaikovsky for his part was not prepared to become merely a prima donna's husband. Artôt then secretly and suddenly married a Spanish baritone. Tchaikovsky was distraught when he heard the news.
In July 1877, aged 37, Tchaikovsky married 29-year-old former music student Antonina Milyukova after receiving a series of impassioned letters from her. After the marriage in Moscow she was known as Antonina Tchaikovskaya. Her family belonged to the local gentry but lived in poverty. They were married at the Church of Saint George in Moscow and held their wedding dinner at the Hermitage Restaurant. The marriage was disastrous. A permanent separation followed after only six weeks of them being together. They never lived under the same roof again nor had any children. They never divorced. Tchaikovsky would sometimes confess that the episode left him with a deep sense of shame and guilt and an apprehension that Antonina might publicize his sexual orientation. Although she outlived Tchaikovsky by 24 years, she spent the last 20 of them in an insane asylum.
TCHAIKOVSKY: RELATIONSHIP WITH EDUARD ZAK
Tchaikovsky had a series of male lovers beginning in his student days and continuing through the rest of his life. Allied with this is the fact that stories of doomed love always resonated deeply with the composer. Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” was no exception. When, aged 29, Tchaikovsky took up the play as a musical subject, he was deeply in love with Eduard Zak, a 15-year-old student at the Moscow Conservatory. Later, at 37, after the collapse of his marriage, he wrote: &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;Only now have I finally begun to understand that there is nothing more fruitless than not wanting to be that which I am by nature&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;. At the end of his life he was still pining over the loss of Eduard Zak.
TCHAIKOVSKY: PERSONALITY AND DEMEANOUR
Tchaikovsky was a sociable, amiable, friendly and well-balanced individual. Despite this, he was also by nature a pessimist, fueled by emotional intensity and relentless depression. And yet Tchaikovsky’s personality was the impetus behind what made his music his. Orchestras he conducted talked of his modest, unassuming personality, devoid of ego. He was a well-rounded individual, having experienced life’s triumphs and disappointments, and, while showing a wariness of strangers, possessed a great affection for his family and friends. He was humorous and playful by nature. He had a regal, aristocratic, upright bearing. His movement when walking was leisurely, measured and confident. He was socially adept and, at a gathering where he knew no-one – but where everyone knew him – he would be the first to engage in conversation. Although shy by nature, he easily put people at ease. A lifelong vice was nicotine - he smoked like a chimney - and he had a fondness for alcohol.
LOVE SONG: POSTSCRIPT
DÉSIRÉE ARTÔT became a singing teacher after her retirement and died in Paris 14 years after the death of Tchaikovsky.
ANTONINA MILYUKOVA, who outlived Tchaikovsky by 24 years – spending the last 20 of them in an insane asylum – never stopped loving her husband.
NADEZHDA VON MECK, who supported Tchaikovsky financially for 13 years, died of heart-break barely two months after the composer’s death.
ALEXEI SOFRONOV inherited much of Tchaikovsky’s wealth and, after buying the house at Klin, helped to found the Tchaikovsky memorial museum which exists to this day.
TSAR ALEXANDER III awarded Tchaikovsky a lifetime pension, paid the costs of the composer’s epic funeral, and died 11 months later.
TCHAIKOVSKY, through the sale and performance of his music on disc, television and the stage, in films and the concert hall, became the world’s most popular and biggest-selling composer.
EDUARD ZAK’S family history, following his suicide, remains a mystery.
But as the inspiration behind one of the most famous love themes ever written, Eduard’s legacy will endure for as long as romance inflames the human spirit.
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