Step aside BBC and your poxy Maestrocam. Here's how you make a film about a conductor. Via YouTube - Robert Dornhelm’s 2008 biopic, Herbert von Karajan – or Beauty as I See it, attempts to decipher Karajan's dark art with the aid of archive footage and interviews with the likes of Christa Ludwig, Mariss Jansons and Gundula Janowitz.
He emerges, unsurprisingly, as a bullying perfectionist, ruthlessly dedicated as the film's title suggests to the pursuit of beauty. Watch the Berlin Phil take it on the chin as Karajan berates them as "brainless". Hear the tale of the sacked concertmaster who snuck a loaded pistol into rehearsal with the intention of taking out the maestro right there on the podium. Shield your eyes from Simon Rattle's retina-searing HvK tribute pullover.
As Karajan himself says in the film, when you have a hundred and twenty people acting as one, conducting is just an exercise of the mind.
Fascinating whether you're a Karajan fan or not.
Here's Part I:
******* remaining parts over the page *******