Elgar’s Tenth Muse (1996) + The
Double Life Of Franz Schubert (1997/Kultur)
C Sound: B- Extras: D Telefilms: B-
the Kultur/Warner Music rollout of TV titles on classical music figures, Elgar’s Tenth Muse and The Double Life Of Franz Schubert
arrive on DVD at about the same time, offering solid, short, good telefilms on
composer Sir Edward Elgar (James Fox) and Franz Schubert (Simon Russell Beale)
made with Classical Music lovers in mind.
Muse deals with Elgar peaking when he
meets Jelly d’Aranyi (Selma Alispahic) with her own aspiration to be a
violinist being held back by sexism and other factors. They meet in 1919, changing each others lives
forever. Double Life offers crosses back and fourth between dying of
syphilis after being betrayed by his friend Schober (Jason Flemyng) and bashed
all around. It is a sad, painful tale,
made more so by the flashbacks to his creative and glory days. Both are worth a look and are more impressive
than you might think.
Both are letterboxed, but at different aspect ratios. Muse
is 1.78 X 1, while Schubert is 1.66
X 1 from the time when British TV production was hedging its bets on final HDTV
specs. The PCM 2.0 16/48 Stereo sound is
nice, clear and richer than the usual, tired 2.0 Dolby would be in the same
case, with fidelity only showing its age somewhat, making the image trouble
more tolerable. There are no extras.
- Nicholas Sheffo