Hindemith - A Pilgrim's Progress (DVD)

Tony Palmer

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Tony Palmer
October 27, 2014

Format: DVD



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Tony Palmer's study of the German composer Paul Hindemith is one of the most challenging and rewarding in the acclaimed film director's entire oeuvre.

The film is in three parts. Part One consists of a brief historical lecture on the life of Paul Hindemith, narrated by the actor Ronald Pickup. Hindemith's associations with Jewish musicians brought him into disfavour with the Nazi regime. In response, he penned an opera, Mathis der Maler, inspired by a massive altarpiece created for a convent in Isenheim by the painter Matthias Grünewald early in the 16th century.

Part Two, is a series of scenes taken from the Isenheim Altarpiece itself, accompanied by the Mathis der Maler orchestral suite, and linked by passages from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress read by Sir John Gielgud.

In Part Three painted images merge with living pictures, Hindemith's own words flow in and out of narrative from The Pilgim's Progress, previously unseen archive from the Third Reich appears fleetingly, and music from Mathis der Maler embraces all in a fierce and loving embrace.

Press Quotes

Magnificent - like no other documentaries I have ever seen...It is a superlative work.

The Daily Telegraph, (Gillian Reynolds), April 14, 1990

The combination of music and visual and verbal images struck me more powerfully than in any other Palmer film. I found the broadcast exhilarating, disturbing and very thought-provoking. It was a powerfully direct, visually superb, morally challenging statement - as one has come to expect from this director.

The Listener, (Stephen Johnson), April 25, 1990

More Info

Key Value
Catalogue number TPDVD185
Barcode 5060230865386
Number of items 1
Packaging type Keep Case
Imported No
BBFC rating exempt
DVD Region 0
Video system ntsc
Weight 100g
Dimensions (LxWxH) 190mm x 135mm x 12mm