Classical Music and Cold War
Director: Thomas Zintl
Distributor: C Major Entertainment
Length: 53 min.
16:9 shot in 1080i HDTV | stereo & 5.1 surround sound
© 2009, a production of Wunderlich Medien for BFMI in co-production with RBB/arte and ORF
This is a doc­u­ment­ary about clas­sic­al mu­sic in the former Ger­man Demo­crat­ic Re­pub­lic (GDR). With­in the his­tor­ic­al back­ground the film shows how im­port­ant clas­sic­al mu­sic was (and was ex­ploited) for GDR’s polit­ic­al sys­tem and how it over­came the bor­ders between East and West.

Like in sports the tal­en­ted mu­si­cians were pro­moted and priv­ileged. True to party- prin­ciples and good clas­sic artists are ex- tremely rep­res­ent­at­ive and there­fore gladly shown abroad. Al­though ob­served by the StaSi (secret po­lice) the artists are free to travel as long as they come back. As clas­sic­al mu­sic is con­sidered as polit­ic­ally harm­less mu­sic its edu­ca­tion is highly en­cour­aged in the former GDR. The re­gime dis­cov­ers its big po­ten­tial in gen­er­at­ing smooth cul­tur­al ex­change as well as the re­quired cur­rency im­port. Case stud­ies of priv­ileged and non-priv­ileged in­di­vidu­al fates de­liv­er in­sight in­to the in­flu­ence of the polit­ic­al sys­tem to artist­ic life.
Con­cert or­gan­izers and pro­du­cers in the West dis­cov­er GDR’s big clas­sic po­ten­tial and pro­duce re­cord­ings in the GDR or with GDR artists. Clas­sic­al mu­sic made in GDR be­comes an ex­port hit, thanks to e.g. the Staat­skapelle Dresden, the Ge­wand­hausorchester Leipzig and renowned artists like Franz Kon­witschny, Kurt Mas­ur, Kurt San­der­ling, Peter Schreier and Theo Adam.

In­ter­views with some of the con­tem­por­ary wit­nesses both from GDR and the Fed­er­al Re­pub­lic of Ger­many (FRG) like Peter Schreier, Kurt Mas­ur, Gi­sela Stor­rjo­hann (pro­du­cer EMI-Elec­trola), Chris­toph Schmökel (leg­al ad­visor of Deutsche Gram­mo­phon), Bernd Runge (chief au­dio en­gin­eer for the re­cord­ings for Philips with Peter Schreier and the Meister­sing­er with Ka­ra­jan) give in­sight to in­di­vidu­al’s fate and are in­teg­ral parts of the story.
Echo Klassik
Echo Klassik 2013
Category: Music DVD Production of the Year