In Search of Beethoven
In Search of Beethoven (2009)

"In Search of Beethoven": takes a comprehensive look at the composer's life through historical research and Beethoven's biography and letters, but with the emphasis always on the performance -- and interpretation -- of… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: April 27, 2010
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: With a wealth of insightful talking heads and deft musical performances, In Search of Beethoven is a thorough, thoughtful examination of the great composer's life and times.

Jeremy Eichler
Boston Globe

Tells the story of its subject in a clear, accessible, and gimmick-free manner while still preserving, or perhaps even cultivating, a core sense of wonder at the creative monuments he bequeathed to us all.

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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

Grabsky's appreciation of Ludwig van Beethoven follows the familiar contours, but it pays attention to the humanizing specifics that bring us closer to the subject.

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Don Groves

Illuminating bio of musical genius hits a few flat notes.

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Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle

In Search of Beethoven trudges through the composer's life and works, pausing along the way for the usual smorgasbord of talking heads and performance clips. The results are shapeless, drab and mostly predictable.

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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

Grabsky does manage to convey how shockingly dramatic Beethoven's music seemed to the first people who heard it, and the musicians' sensitivity and articulation--both verbal and musical -- fire this chronicle of one man's extraordinary artistic journey.

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Phil Hall
Film Threat

Puts far more focus on a Wikipedia-shallow explanation of the composer's various compositions than on his tumultuous life.

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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times

With In Search of Beethoven, documentarian Phil Grabsky has created a splendid work that will be a revelation to the uninitiated and a joy to music lovers.

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V.A. Musetto
New York Post

What made Ludwig such a great musician? The documentary In Search of Beethoven, directed by Phil Grabsky, answers that question reasonably well.

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Mark R. Leeper

[Grabsky] is documenting the life of Beethoven, he is illustrating the life with brilliant concert performers playing the music, but he is also having those same experts talking about what is in the music itself.

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