Saturday, August 21, 2010

8/21 The Genius of Beethoven (2005 TV Mini)

Paul Rhys as Beethoven
Here's a fantastic BBC-produced 3 episode dramatization/documentary of Beethoven's life as narrated by Charles Hazlewood and portrayed by Paul Rhys.  Absolutely entertaining and informative.  Recommended!

The Genius of Beethoven(IMDB)

1st Episode : The Rebel


2nd Episode : Love and Loss


3rd Episode : Faith and Fury


Alternate Youtube Linklist


  1. I have watched it many times, even have it on my phone. Though, I do not like at all, Paul Rhys as Beethoven. Most all else is decent. I like the intensity they try to put into the performance of Beethoven, the historical accuracy, etc. There is something off about the film in general, imo, badly. Though, imo, it is still the one of the better films about Beethoven, sadly.

  2. This was the first documentary I ever saw on B and I found it to be a great introduction and overview. I like Hazlewood. You can tell he LOVES Beethoven. I admit Rhys is a bit humorless in the interpretation. My favorite portrayal is in the Eroica film by Ian Hart I posted on 8/14. What is your favorite Beethoven dramatization?

  3. I am not too fond of Hazlewood. He took away the title "The Genius of Beethoven" and made the film called "Beethoven" because he (Hazlewood) says that Beethoven's music sounds to him, like two dogs fighting, and he does not consider that genius. He simply, does not have an understanding of the genius of Beethoven, nor does he understand the philosophical content in Beethoven's music.

    Yes, it is a great introduction and overview, well put. Yes, Rhys is too steady throughout the film, and quite frankly not eccentric enough, imo.

    I do not have a favorite film. I like the scene in the all too ridiculous movie, Immortal Beloved- when Beethoven walks upon the stage during the premier of the 9th and starts moving a little. That is about it though, :).

    The reason I like that scene is because it is more accurate. When the 9th premiered, the orchestra was told not to follow Beethoven's conduction if he tried, and he did- all too much. Beethoven went upon the stage and started to conduct the 9th when he was stone deaf. Fortunately, I guess, the orchestra followed not Beethoven but the conductor. Then after the performance had ended, he was lost in thought, and had to be turned around, by either a cellist or the conductor (cannot remember which one?) to the thunderous applause of a half-filled house.

    That is all very brief though- so sorry about that, ;).

    Though, because in Immortal Beloved they somewhat follow a factual account in that one scene it works out better. The other movies about Beethoven I have seen, concerning the 9th he is either conducting or sitting down.

  4. I must have forgot about that stuff you mentioned about Hazlewood. That's weird. If any "genius" ever existed in human history, it's got to Beethoven.

    The story about B not hearing the applause at the end of the 9th I've heard. Actually there is a Disney film which captures that scene exactly as in "Immortal Beloved". The rest is pretty distorted but he's standing up with a score in hand and not conducting. I can't find an online version tho :(

  5. "If any "genius" ever existed in human history, it's got to Beethoven."

    All so true, all so true.

    Thanks for the information.