Not up to previous standards
- Hindemith: A Pilgrim's Progress review by Pete W
I've generally enjoyed Tony Palmer's films about composers but this one left me cold. You get about 10 minutes of sketchy detail about Hindemith's life - mainly to prove that he's not one of those horrible Nazis. Then John Gielgud reads (very beautifully) relevant excerpts from Bunyan's PIlgrim's Progress against film footage of Germany under the Nazis and what I take to be tableaux vivants based on the medieval altarpiece which Hindemith used as the inspiration for the opera Mathis der Mahler. All this is accompanied by music which one can only assume is by Hindemith. Only at the final credits do we find out that the music is indeed from Mathis der Mahler. Surely there is more to be said about Hindemith than this and more of his music to be heard?
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Interesting Art Form
- Hindemith: A Pilgrim's Progress review by CV
This film is principally the music of Hindemith's opera Mathis der Maler with visual tableaux depicting the scenes of Grunewald's paintings alternating with very interesting film footage, some of it in colour, of Adolf Hitler and the ascendancy of the Nazi regime. Hindemith had many Jewish connections and felt morally bound that his music should assert messages of good and vilify evil. There are excerpts of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress read by John Gielgud where the scenes of the ensuing holocaust of the Nazi reign are representations of the great evil. A very interesting piece of composite art direct by Tony Palmer but we don't get a comprehensive biography of Hindemith though there are some film sequences early on.