Ivan Groznyy [Ivan the Terrible] (1945 and 1958) + ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester and Wiener Singakademie / Frank Strobel

Ivan Groznyy [Ivan the Terrible, Part I] (1945) and Ivan Groznyy. Skaz vtoroy: Boyarskiy zagovor [Ivan the Terrible, Part II: The Boyars’ Plot] (1958)
Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Writer: Sergei M. Eisenstein
Cast: Nikolay Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov, Mikhail Zharov, Amvrosi Buchma, Mikhail Kuznetsov, Pavel Kadochnikov, Andrei Abrikosov, Aleksandr Mgebrov, Maksim Mikhaylov, Vladimir Balashov, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Semyon Timoshenko, Aleksandr Rumnyov, Pavel Massalsky, Ada Vojtsik, Erik Pyryev
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Sergey Prokofiev, played be the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester, sung by the Wiener Singakademie, conducted by Frank Strobel
Seen on: 23.6.2017
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Plot:
In the 16th century, Archduke Ivan (Nikolay Cherkasov) crowns himself Tsar of Russia and sets himself the goal to unite Russia under one rule. Not everybody is taken with his plans and Ivan always has to watch his back – also among the people of his court. There his aunt Efrosinia Staritskaya (Serafima Birman) is plotting against him, hoping to put her own son Dmitri in his place. But also his marriage to Anstasia Romanova (Lyudmila Tselikovskaya) costs him support. But Ivan will do anything to achieve his goals, no matter the cost.

Ivan Groznyy is a monumental two-parter and an absolutely affective and effective piece of propaganda. It’s worth seeing – especially on the big screen, when you got a huge orchestra and choir on stage to (under)score it. The film is too big to do anything on a small scale.

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Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari [The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari] (1920) + Cameron Carpenter

Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari
Director: Robert Wiene
Writer: Carl Mayer, Hans Janowitz
Cast: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover, Hans Heinrich von Twardowski, Rudolf Lettinger
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Cameron Carpenter
Seen on: 20.5.2017

Plot:
Alan (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski) and Francis (Friedrich Feher) visit the fair where they see the show of Dr. Caligari (Werner Krauss). Caligari is a hypnotist who shows off a somnambulist, Cesare (Conrad Veidt). After Caligari wakes Cesare from his sleep, Cesare predicts the future. In this case specifically, he predicts Alan’s death. The very next day Alan is dead, and Francis is deeply suspicious of Cesare.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a pretty astonishing film and the combination of this film with Cameron Carpenter and his music really was the perfect storm, making this event a perfectly stylish evening.

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Re-Watch: Frau im Mond [Woman in the Moon] (1929) + Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich / Timothy Brock

Frau im Mond
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Fritz Lang, Hermann Oberth, Thea von Harbou
Based on: Thea von Harbou‘s novel
Cast: Klaus Pohl, Willy Fritsch, Gustav von Wangenheim, Gerda Maurus, Gustl GstettenbaurFritz Rasp
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Timothy Brock, played by the Tonkünstler Orchester Niederösterreich under direction of Timothy Brock
Seen on: 27.4.2017
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Professor Manfeldt (Klaus Pohl) has spent his life researching the moon. He has theorized that it has huge gold reserves that could be harvested for earth should space travel ever be achieved. But academia laughed him out of work and into poverty. Now the only one who still believes in him is Wolf Helius (Willy Fritsch). After a mysterious man (Fritz Rasp) shows up at Manfeldt’s, trying to steal his research and putting pressure on them all, things are set in motion to finally finish a rocket and fly to the moon together with Manfeldt, his best friend, engineer Windegger (Gustav von Wangenheim), scientist Friede Velten (Gerda Maurus) and the mysterious man.

When I saw Frau im Mond for the first time, I was pretty annoyed with the music that came with it. So getting the chance to see it with different music (and that music performed live) was a good thing and made the film better.

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Erotikon (1920) + Matti Bye Ensemble

Erotikon
Director: Mauritz Stiller
Writer: Gustaf MolanderArthur Nordén, Mauritz Stiller
Based on: Ferenc Herczeg‘s play
Cast: Anders de WahlTora TejeKarin MolanderElin LagergrenLars HansonVilhelm BrydeBell HedqvistTorsten HammarénVilhelm Berndtson
With music by: Matti Bye, played by the Mattie Bye Ensemble
Part of: Film and Music Cycle
Seen on: 27.2.2017

Plot:
Entomologist Leo Charpentier (Anders de Wahl) spends most of his time with his research and very little time with his wife Irene (Tora Teje). Especially since he has his niece Marthe (Karin Molander) who takes care of his every need. Irene actually doesn’t mind that much because she’s very busy flirting with the dashing aviator and baron, Felix (Vilhelm Bryde), though she’s actually drawn more to her husband’s best friend, the sculptor Preben (Lars Hanson).

Erotikon is an amazingly funny film. While the live-music-setting usually calls more attention to the film music, in this case, I found the film so captivating that I barely noticed the music.

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Keaton Henson

Keaton Henson gave a concert in the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Seen on: 30.1.2017

Henson doesn’t often play concerts (he has anxiety which makes performing live so much harder), so when I heard that he would play the Konzerthaus, I knew I had to go (even though there were two more concerts I went to in January). Since I couldn’t convince anybody of the eerie beauty of his voice enough to accompany me, I went on my own. Going alone to a concert is something I have very mixed experiences with, but in this case, it completely paid off.

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José González with The Göteborg String Theory (Support: Hanna Leess)

José González gave a concert with The Göteborg String Theory in the Gasometer in Vienna. Their supporting band was Hanna Leess.
Seen on: 28.1.2017

This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen José González live, but it has to be one of my favorite concerts of his. Accompanied by the big Göteborg String Theory orchestra, his music does get a bit more drive – which I appreciated for a concert.

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Steaming Satellites

Steaming Satellites [German link] gave a concert at the Metropol in Vienna.
Seen on: 12.1.2017

Steaming Satellites are among my favorite (Austrian) bands and it took me a while to finally catch one of their concerts. So when I found out about their show at the Metropol, I knew I had to go. And it was a great concert, although different from what I expected in a few ways.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers (Support: Deerhoof)

The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a concert in Vienna, with support group Deerhoof.
Seen on: 21.11.2016

It’s been a while that I listened to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it just had been a while that I really connected to their music (also because it had been quite a while that they actually had a new album out and everything after Californication was doomed to be a bit of a disappointnment, with I’m With You an actual disappointment). But then I started listening to their last album, The Getaway and it obviously hit me at the right moment and made me fall in love with their music again. So I decided to shell out the steep ticket prices and go to their concert in the Stadthalle in Vienna with my sister. It was with her that I had been on my first and last RHCP concert 10, 15 years or so ago, which wasn’t all that great (maybe because we had seats so high up, I could barely make out what happened on stage and maybe because I was too sad about the fact that I was too young to catch them on their Californication tour).

That’s all so you know the circumstances under which I attended the show, because it’s not easy to navigate the mix of love, nostalgia, (fear of) disappointment and seat trepidation that framed the concert for me. But as difficult as the starting conditions were, I absolutely loved the concert itself. It was a great show.

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Kammerorchester Basel / Blechacz / Pinnock

The Kammerorchester Basel played a concert conducted by Trevor Pinnock and with Rafał Blechacz on the piano.
Seen on: 24.6.2016

Their program consisted of some Ludwig van Beethoven (overture to op. 43 The Creatures of Prometheus, op. 19 Piano Concerto Number 2, the adagio cantabile of op. 13 Piano Sonato Number 8), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (K 543 Symphony Number 39), Frédéric Chopin (op. 56/2 Mazurka) and finally Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (the third movement of op. 107 Symphony Number 5).

To be quite honest with you, I don’t know much about classical music and I only heard this concert because my mom couldn’t attend and my dad was looking for somebody to go with him. So this review isn’t so much a review than it is a few thoughts jotted down for completion’s sake.

I definitely enjoyed the concert. The music was beautiful, though I honestly enjoyed the Mendelssohn Bartholdy most of all – even though that was only a small encore and certainly not the focus of the concert. But I’m simply a sucker for romantic classical music. I am sure they played very well, but here’s the part where I simply cannot say anything of substance. A big part of my entertainment though, was watching Pinnock conduct. We had great seats, so I was able to see him and his expressions quite clearly and he just seemed to have so much fun and enjoy himself so much and I think that transferred to the orchestra, the music and the audience.

In short, it was a great evening, even for a classical music novice like myself.

Trevor Pinnock

Trevor Pinnock

The Gold Rush (1925) + ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester

The Gold Rush
Director: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Cast: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, Malcolm Waite, Georgia Hale
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Charles Chaplin played by the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester under direction of Cornelius Meister
Seen on: 24.5.2016

Plot:
A Lone Prospector (Charles Chaplin) makes his way to Klondike, hoping to find gold and with it, his luck. But the conditions there are more than harsh and soon he finds himself lost in the cold. By chance, he stumbles on a hut where he finds Black Larsen (Tom Murray) who tries to get rid of him. Instead, they are joined by a third gold digger, Big Jim MacKay (Mack Swain). In an uneasy truce they have to make it through the storm together somehow. But will their luck be enough to make it through?

The Gold Rush is an amazing film, no doubt about it. It is incredibly funny and touching at the same time, further proving that Chaplin is such an icon for a reason [even if it makes me deeply uncomfortable to say that about a guy who was way too much into teenage girls].

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