Herr Tartüff [Tartuffe] (1925) + Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich / Frank Strobel

Herr Tartüff
Director: F.W. Murnau
Writer: Carl Mayer
Based on: Molière‘s play
Cast: Emil Jannings, Hermann Picha, Rosa Valetti, André Mattoni, Werner Krauss, Lil Dagover, Lucie Höflich, Camilla Horn
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by Giuseppe Becce, played be the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, conducted by Frank Strobel
Seen on: 20.3.2018
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Plot:
A young man (André Mattoni) suspects that his grandfather’s (Hermann Picha) housekeeper (Rosa Valetti) is trying to kill him to get to his money. So the young man tries to warn his by then isolated grandfather of her machinations by showing him a film. In that film, Tartüff (Emil Jannings) pretends to be a devout priest. He is staying with Herr Orgon (Werner Krauss) and his wife Elmire (Lil Dagover). Elmire is suspicious of Tartüff and his intentions, but Orgon doesn’t want to hear it…

Herr Tartüff is an enjoyable film and Becce’s music is really quite something. I wouldn’t have needed the entire thing to be longer than it was, but I had a good time throughout.

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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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All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) + Frank Strobel and ensembleKONTRASTE

All Quiet on the Western Front
Director: Lewis Milestone
Writer: George Abbott, Maxwell Anderson, Del Andrews, C. Gardner Sullivan, Walter Anthony
Based on: Erich Maria Remarque’s novel
Cast: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray, Arnold Lucy, Ben Alexander, Scott Kolk, Slim Summerville
Part of: Film and Music Cycle in the Konzerthaus
With music by: Manfred Knaak, conducted by Frank Strobel, played by ensembleKONTRASTE
[There are quite a few version of this movie, apparently. The one I saw was the 145 minute silent version*.]

Plot:
Paul Bäumer (Lew Ayres) is a young soldier in World War I. Spurred on by his class teacher, he and his class mates volunteered their services, but only little time later there numbers are already substantially reduced. That Paul is doing rather well for himself is mostly due to the seasoned soldier Kat (Louis Wolheim), who has a knack for organizing things. But war is still war.

The movie was very well made and interesting, maybe a tad too long. I did not like the accompanying music, though – it was a little too percussion-y for my taste.

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Romeo i Dzhulyetta [Romeo and Juliet] (1955) + Vienna Symphony

Romeo i Dzhulyetta is a ballet movie by Lev Arnshtam and Leonid Lavrovsky, based on Shakespeare‘s play and starring Galina Ulanova and Yuri Zhdanov. It was shown in the Konzerthaus with live music by Sergei Prokofiev played by the Vienna Symphony under Frank Strobel as part of ther Film and Music Cylce. [Here’s my review of the other shows in the cycle.]

Plot:
[I think the story is well known, but here the short version.]
The Montagues and the Capulets are feuding. But when Romeo Montague (Yuri Zhdanov) falls in love with Juliet Capulet (Galina Ulanova) things could work out for the better. Unfortunately, they don’t and it all goes to hell.

The movie is very oldfashioned but I liked it: The play was shortened and they took good care to do it in the right places. The dancers were great and Prokofiev’s music is absolutely wonderful.

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