The film focuses on one specific facet of Herbert von Karajan’s artistic work: he was the first conductor who was obsessed with the filming of his musical performances in order to preserve a cultural heritage. Also as a film and tv director, he was an aesthete, a perfectionist, and a true pioneer.
He once said: “Actually, I should have been born in a later era.” Television engineering was still in the fledgling stages when Karajan started. Still, his visual approach and rigid rules how to film an orchestra and soloists - and of course how to present himself as a conductor – till today have an impact on everybody who produces recordings of concerts and opera for the screen.
No wonder that Karajan’s high pretensions demanded a great deal of his entire film crew, and due to strong characters on both sides of the creative fence, once in a while simmering tensions came to head. Herbert von Karajan’s immediate co-operators , like his chief camera man Ernst Wild, the editor Gela Marina Runne, the director Hugo Niebeling, and various TV and record producers like Horant Hohlfeld, Günther Breest and Norio Ohga talk about their experiences with the Maestro.
2008 Golden Prague Festival
Category: Documentary programmes dedicated to music and dance
The jury justified their decision as follows:
"The makers of the documentary about the relation of conductor Herbert von Karajan to the film and television have managed to express the principal themes and issues regarding the relationship between classical music and television. At the same time the film provides valuable historical and nostalgic insight into the era when money was not the decisive limit for shooting the outstanding performers of their time."
MIDEM Classical Award 2009
Category: DVD: Documentary