I am not greatly into classical music. My first introduction to this magnificent audio film was as a student of Film. We were having a lecture on Sound and our lecturer made us listen to the first 5 minutes of this film. I'd never heard it before, but never had I been so transfixed by anything. As the sound reverberated through our lecture hall, I was sold on it! I bought the casette of this film soon after. Yes, it is about Beethoven, and he certainly was some man....but equal praise goes to he narrators of this film, Stephen Ouimette and Nathaniel Moreau who(if I'm not mistaken), played the Uncle and Christoph respectively. The starting of this film is its piece de resistance! The sound of church bells, thunder claps, horse carriages, the tune of one of Beethoven's 7th Symphony, all blend together and create a rich atmosphere which is enhanced further by Stephen Ouimette's beautiful voice as he says, "Monday, March 26th, 1827. The North wind blows and snow billows through the air, thunder claps on empty streets. It is a day that will go down in history." It truly manages to make us feel the gravity of that moment, the day that Ludwig Van Beethoven died.
Nathaniel Moreau has given a really impressive performance as Christoph. The changes in his tone, his diction is perfect. It really conveys Christoph's plight, with its humour and sadness very well. All through the film Vienna, the city that the film is based in becomes a part of it, adding an atmosphere to it...Of course the film is replete with some of Beethoven's best pieces, 'Fur Elise', 'Moonlight Sonata', his 5th Symphony, to name just a few. The director has managed well to choose just the right pieces for the corresponding situations.
Eventhough this film is ostensibly made for kids, anyone who ignores it for that reason is completely daft! To conclude, I have only to say that this audio film is a must-hear! It's amazing all that it can manage to convey...it's as good as "watching" a really good film.