New York Times - 12/14/1994
"...Beethoven dazzlingly impersonated by [Oldman]....An extremely ambitious classical music video..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/20/1995
"...It exerts an irresistible pull....Fine as an evocation of an artist who was able to hold the cosmos between two deaf ears." -- Rating: B
Sight and Sound - 03/01/1995
"...[The] tiny details show that someone has done their homework..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/06/1995
"...A film that imagines the mental states of Beethoven with a series of images as vivid and convincing as a dream..."
Empire - 03/01/2009 3 stars out of 5 -- "Oldman gets the madness of the man perfectly; but the real star of the show is Rose, who time and again finds brilliant evocations of Beethoven's music..."
A lush, epic staging of the life and loves of Ludwig Van Beethoven, this film examines the tempestuous composer through one man's search for Beethoven's supposed "Immortal Beloved." The sequence involving the first public performance of the Ninth Symphony is particularly stirring.
Shortly after Ludwig van Beethoven's death, a mysterious letter signed by the musical genius appears: "What longings with tears for you...my life...my everything...farewell then...Go on loving me, ever yours, ever mine, forever, L.." These mysterious words prove the existence of one true love for Beethoven in the midst of numerous affairs -- and never a marriage -- with countesses. However, throughout history, Beethoven's "Immortal Beloved" remains unknown until now, where with enough evidence, Beethoven's "longing" is revealed, disclaiming all previous theories and biographies about one of the greatest composers who ever lived.
Character Study |
Classical Music |
Period Piece |
Theatrical Release |
Released theatrically in the USA December 16, 1994.
Shot in Rank color and Panavision, Technicolor prints, Eastman Color Film from Kodak.
In Dolby Spectral Recording.
Shot on location in the Czech Republic, in cooperation with Balzer International Films, Ltd. Prague.
Additional cast: Luigi Diberti (Franz Josef); Donal Gibson (Karl Holz); Matthew North (Young Karl van Beethoven); Geno Lechner (Josephine); and Claudia Solti (Theresa).
Additional credits: Jim Lemley & Chris Silver Finigan (production managers); John Stronach (music supervisor); Tirelli Costume Roma (costumes).
Music by Beethoven used in the film courtesy of Sony Classical: "Missa Solemnis in D Major, Op. 123" "Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73" (Emperor) "Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 47" (Kreutzer) "Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13" (Pathetique) "Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55" (Eroica) "Piano Sonata No. 14 (quasi una fantasia) in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2" (Moonlight) "Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61" "Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67" "Piano Trio No. 4 in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1" (Ghost) "Symphony N. 6 in F Major, Op. 68" "Für Elise" "Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 124" "Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92" "String Quartet, Op. 130" "Christus am Olberge, Oratorio, Op. 85"