Nikolaus Harnoncourt, A Legend Celebrates His 80th Birthday

Harnoncourt / Haydn

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Program notes

In 2009, Nikolaus Harnoncourt celebrated his 80th birthday, and the world was comemorating the 200th anniversary of Joseph Haydn's death.

The life stations of Nikolaus Harnoncourt have often been described, filmed and discussed. For a man who has spent his entire life totally committed to the things he is passionately interested in, it seems inadequate merely to make a summary review of this, and so the documentary tries, using some important examples, to describe the man we can regard nowadays as the most important conductor of our time.

This film draws parallels between the conductor and the composer, who in their popularity and diversity are both unique. Besides great concerts in Eisenstadt and Esterháza, Harnoncourt conducts Haydn's famous opera Il mondo della Luna at the stunning Theater an der Wien. In his inimitable way Harnoncourt presents his own picture of Haydn, which is different from anything we have known before.

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