- TV Movie
- 1h 48m
Operetta concerning the love affair of Niccolò Paganini, the violinist, and Élisa Bonaparte, the younger sister of Napoleon.Operetta concerning the love affair of Niccolò Paganini, the violinist, and Élisa Bonaparte, the younger sister of Napoleon.Operetta concerning the love affair of Niccolò Paganini, the violinist, and Élisa Bonaparte, the younger sister of Napoleon.
Interesting, but also something of a disappointment
For at least a DVD document of Lehar's operetta Paganini, this 1973 film version is definitely worth a look. But I also have to agree that those who know the operetta beforehand and are very fond of Lehar may not find this particularly ideal. There are certainly some very good things about the film, the costumes and sets are very opulent and everything is beautifully shot. The orchestral playing is beautifully balanced and the sounds there are are appropriately luscious, and there is evidence of great, sensitive musicality and leadership in the conducting, doing justice at least to the music which at least in the operetta itself wonderful. The performers I have no complaints about either, Antonio Theba is spot-on vocally and dramatically, Dagmar Koller is appealing and Teresa Stratas, singing with lovely tone and conscientiousness, is sympathetic and imperial. Johannes Heesters is good as well. Sadly, as intimate and intelligent the stage direction is, the fullness of the voices and orchestral playing- some may argue that it is not operetta-like enough- just doesn't gel with the stage direction. I also agree about the additional music and re-orchestration(the cuts weren't as huge a problem for me), the former sounds as though it doesn't quite fit with Lehar's quite unique style and the latter not only makes the melodies less prominent more they ought to be but also gives the impression that it is more complicated than it needed to be. In conclusion, disappointing but still interesting. 6/10 Bethany Cox
- Jan 8, 2013
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