Saturday, November 21, 2009
LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS - A FILM ABOUT THE GREATEST EPOCH OF HUMANITY
Liszt & Chopin In Paris is a story about the Romantic Era. Imagine, if you will, a feature film that combines the current craze for period dramas with the still-fresh fervor and historical movies and the romantic classical stories of all time. Picture Titanic - a romantic story that exceeded all expectations. Liszt & Chopin In Paris is that kind of love story - a film that shakes up Shakespeare In Love, airs out Jane Eyre, redefines Shine and plays killer chords all over The Piano.
The story is set in the period of Les Miserables and Three Musketeers populated by real-life, immortal and unbelievable music geniuses who actually walked the earth. Add to this the marketing support that hits all the right notes worldwide, a specially-produced, recorded and packaged music to the interactive DVDs with online programming of live concert tours around the world released with ultimate reference recordings by world's greatest musicians today combined with the greatest love story ever told and you have a winning formula for a global hit - the making of a greatest blockbuster, only that this one is about true beauty and culture - something we all want to see.
Liszt & Chopin In Paris - the movie, the media event, and the massive alignment of marketing mechanisms that tells the story of two greatest musicians of all time during the golden age of piano in nineteen-century Paris. Young and brilliant Liszt and Chopin were pure geniuses whose lives were more tragic and triumphant and heroic than life itself. The film tells their story set against the backdrop of one of the most exciting periods in history - The Romantic Age.
Liszt and Chopin were the superstars of classical music. They created and pioneered modern piano playing and concert giving that influenced music making, classical and popular and still influences and inspires today millions of people around the world. These two greatest musical superstars of their era, Liszt in particular have pioneered the glamorous concert tour - the recital, playing from memory, even having an agent taking the status of the pianist to the level of superstar celebrity.
Franz Liszt who thoroughly enjoyed his celebrity and whose Bicentennial is celebrated this year, he was born on October 22, 1811 and Chopin who's Bicentennial was celebrated last year , Chopin was born on March 1st, 1810 are both widely recognized with international culture hero status.
Like the pop giants of the present, Liszt and Chopin were entangled both mind, hearts and bodies with a myriad of other legendary figures, the Parisian literary scene, the writers, artists, actresses, nobility and other legendary composers-performers of their time. Both Liszt and Chopin were central to their amazing circle of friends that created and define the early Romantic Era, a time of unsurpassed passion in the arts and thought, politics and culture, literature and love that we all cherish as our most inspiring ideals today.
The Romantic Age was also a time of upheaval and dynamic change in Europe as well as phenomenal artistic accomplishments. This circle of creative individuals around Liszt and Chopin included geniuses in all art forms, from musicians such as Nicolo Paganini, Robert Schumann and Hector Berlioz to painters such as Eugene Delacroix and writers such as Gustave Flaubert and Victor Hugo. And those were just the men.
The women surrounding Liszt and Chopin were amazing actresses, writers or pianists themselves uncommon in their gifts, beautiful, brilliant temperamental, and wholly dedicated to the new social order and artistic ideas of their men whom the they both loved, hated, worshiped and destroyed.
One of the most famous examples who wrote under a pen name was Chopin's muse George Sand. Together they tore each other's hearts out with passions so great that neither art nor love itself could satisfy them, and so characteristic of the Romantic Age. For his part, the dashing Liszt took up with some of the fascinating females of the day, from royals so rich they owned half of countries to actresses and opera singer so stunning they sold out theaters in countries whose language they could not even understand.
Liszt & Chopin In Paris spans the revolutionary decades in which these two composer-performers, themselves refugees from war-torn countries, worked, lived and loved.
Written by John Mark, who himself was educated as a classical musician and music performer, who is also an outstanding filmmaker and writer of Liszt & Chopin In Paris paints a sweeping picture of this era of change, hope, defeat and victory.
It ends with tragic death of Chopin and the spiritual crisis of Liszt, still at the top of his game, and their journey to this point is one of continual excitement and stimulation - creative, intellectual, social, emotional and sexual; and even after one dies and the other reaches the crossroads and the summit, the passion continues.
With the kind of buzz Liszt & Chopin In Paris already enjoys among Hollywood's elite and Hollywood's top filmmakers, the casting is going to be every bit as big as the story deserves ot. Targeted at the story's biggest audience: American, and European women, as well as the entire Asian market, this film has a chance to become an all time favorite.
Award winning producers, directors, production designers, directors of photography and other top production people are now looking at this amazing project by John Mark, who has worked with many such talents in the past. But the film itself isn't the only big thing going on simultaneously. There's already a a vertical alignment of promotional support and structure around this production to provide year's worth and beyond of successful run-up events.
Classical music market is enormous and with the Bicentennial celebrations of both Chopin in 2010 and Liszt in 2011 an beyond the infotainment cultural network and a legacy of these two musicians and composers across the digital and marketing domains across the Internet, exploiting all the newest channels of commercial communication is very impressive, this along with the film Liszt & Chopin In Paris that has great possibility of continuous runs in the theaters globally along with magnificently produced reference recordings soundtrack for Liszt & Chopin In Paris that will be released with the film is only among many marketing structures and alignments being planned for this project.
Liszt & Chopin In Paris is a beautiful, fascinating, sexy, high-concept movie, driving and at the same time driven by an ambitious and solidly conceived and grounded structure of aligned marketing mechanisms, all of which involve the latest in information technology. This is the kind of entertainment and the kind of entertainment thinking that interacts supremely well with today's vision of leading entertainment companies.
John Mark is the cultural and intellectual phenomenon who can make such a project work on any level. In addition, features like this, encompassing such glorious, but complex subject matter, can work miracles, witness Titanic, Amadeus, Casablanca, Gone With The Wind and when movies like this are produced with equal parts intelligence, knowledge, taste and dramatic intensity they can work true wonders.
John Mark has been on the cutting edge of movie technology and media technology for many years. With his literary and technological background he brings a sense of grace and absolute perfection to this large-format production and along with his long-standing background as a classical musician, writer, scientist and intellectual he is absolutely perfect for heading up this type of production along with his personally selected team of industry's top professionals.
A master musician and experienced concert pianist himself, a writer and scientist who works on both sides of arts and sciences, and technology John Mark has already been successfully testing a four-hour foretaste of Liszt & Chopin In Paris preliminary soundtrack which he personally recorded, produced and engineered.
This project is perfectly positioned now with the right production team to establish an all time time box-office hit with this amazing and powerful story.
You can listen to music excerpts from it at:
It is 1831 and we are in 19th Century Paris approximately hundred eighty years ago, just before the Industrial Revolution in a brief period of time that gave birth to democracy and the arts on unprecedent scale known as the Romantic Age.
Unable return to Warsaw, where he was born and grew up with his musical family due to revolution that precludes him from going back, Chopin after long deliberations decides to make Paris – the capital of classical home away from his native land of Poland to which he never again returns.
His family agrees and consents to his decision fully aware that because of young Chopin’s enormous talent it would be difficult to imagine any other place than the French capital for Chopin's genius to materialize elsewhere.
Somewhat shy and intimidated Chopin walks across Tuileries and the Louvre, admiring the magnificent bridges of lena and Austerlitz in wonder somewhat amazed at Napoleon's legacy and thinking of his father who left France precisely because of Napoleon. But soon Chopin meets Franz Liszt who is a year younger than Chopin and already a legend in Paris - a superstar in fact at the age of nineteen.
In addition, Liszt who is an unparalleled virtuoso and also an émigré does not expect to encounter Chopin’s towering genius and is taken aback by his powerful talent which he immediately notices and recognizes in Chopin despite the fact that there were more virtuoso pianists in Paris at that time than anywhere else in the world.
In Liszt & Chopin In Paris we are re-visiting Paris at the height of the golden age of classical piano where nearly every other family in Europe owned and regularly played either an upright piano, a baby grand or a concert grand, and where families regularly read together, and widely and studied a great deal of literature and poetry.
That is why Liszt's and Chopin's music were appreciated as the cultural achievements of Europe on a scale that is incomparable with later centuries.
It is 1831 and Chopin stops by the Paris Conservatory where Chopin sees Franz Liszt preparing for an important concert with Alkan, another legendary pianist whose technical abilities have been compared to violin skills of Paganini.
Backstage Liszt notices the shy young man and asks him to play. Upon hearing Chopin play for the first time Liszt suddenly realizes that his professional life as the greatest virtuoso of all time has been challenged by young Chopin whose compositions are simply out of this world. This is how Liszt & Chopin In Paris story begins and the marvelous rivalry and friendship between young Chopin and Liszt develops into a full-blown drama.
In the course of this story we follow the careers of these two amazing performers and pianists and their friendship and rivalry.
Among their friends are also Berlioz, Schumann, Rossini, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Paganini, and many fascinating historical characters from the world of literature and the arts who join them in Liszt & Chopin In Paris in the celebration of this greatest human epoch in history – The Romantic Age.
Taking place between two Revolutions of 1830 and 1848 in France the story takes places at the heart of Europe that for nearly centuries has been providing us with endless source of inspiration and enchantment.
Liszt & Chopin In Paris is also a story of the arts as during this extraordinary period an entire new epoch was created that was responsible for the flourishing of the arts and letters on unprecedented level.
While young Liszt, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn. Berlioz, Verdi, Rossini, Paganini, Bellini, Wagner and many other musical giants portrayed were creating music that was to become the new foundation for classical music taking classical legacy of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven to the next level, Goya, Ingres, Delacroix, Daumfer, Courbert, Constable, David and Turner were creating masterpieces in painting and Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Turgieniev and Potoefi were breaking new grounds in literature.
In United States - Cooper, Poe and Melville were creating great classics for American literature with Dickens, Austen, Thackeray, Brontes, Browning, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Hugo, Balzac, Goethe, Byron, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Musset, Gautier, Lamartine were doing the same in Europe.
What other period in history had more magic than 19th-Century Romantic Age?
Instrumental music is the summit of contemporary arts, and Liszt and Chopin are the most outstanding and powerful representatives of that art setting the gold standard by which all piano compositions are performed and evaluated today, and not only by the way they have written and performed their music, but also by the way Liszt and Chopin lived their lives in the greatest literary period of all time.
When Chopin dies at the age of thirty-nine in Paris, and Liszt finally accepts his court appointment in Weimar we come full circle in the story of their friendship and rivalry, not only appreciating and understanding the lives of those two great men a little better witnessing them conquer the world with their talent, but also walk away with much greater understanding of what truly makes great artist.
Modern piano playing begins with Liszt and Chopin. Although Mozart and Clementi put piano playing "on the map", it is Liszt and Chopin who raised piano playing to a level that has never been equaled.
Soon to be produced as a major dramatic motion picture, the story of Liszt and Chopin also showcases their greatest performances and their contemporaries, and presents them as they were de facto composed and performed at the height of the Romantic Age.
It is also important to take notice that the works presented in this film, including the orchestration were performed far more powerfully and dynamically than today's customary piano performances and they will be presented as if Liszt and Chopin played them in person.
Although Liszt and Chopin and their music who are the stars of this epic story, so are the instruments used to perform on them, some with their original clavinet-like timbre of a Broadwood, or a brilliant sound of a Pleyel that until this day have such unique quality in them.
Using all the available musical experience, resources and reference materials that have accumulated over 180 years, the compositions for this story on the recordings are performed faster, more aggressively, and in an improvised virtuoso-like theater setting which was the natural environment for these two great musical legends of the Romantic Age.
In fact, Liszt and Chopin frequently noted lower tempos for their compositions, indicating to perform them slower, as they realized that no one else besides them could play them the way they did. On Liszt & Chopin In Paris recordings, we will hear their works exactly as Liszt and Chopin played them in the crowded, elegant salons of Paris improvising music that went on for hours, until dawn.
The salon was Liszt’s and Chopin's favorite milieu. They enjoyed playing in the salon which for them was a welcome change from the formal concert stage. But despite the fact that both Liszt and Chopin preferred the improvised setting to concert halls, whether the salons or concert halls, their works were played with much more passion, emotion and intimacy than they are performed today.
For centuries, piano playing has had a great hold on the public imagination. It would be unthinkable to imagine the world without the piano today, and the passions that accomplished piano arouses are experienced across a variety of age groups, cultures and nationalities.
In 19th Century Europe, at the time when cars, airplanes, television, hi-fi stereo and surround sound movie theaters did not exist, the greatest piano performances often brought audiences to states of intoxication.
Great concert piano music was also listened to and available ubiquitously on many levels, at concert halls, salons, streets, cafes and it was performed that way throughout the world.
With these recordings Liszt & Chopin In Paris film will bring this magnificent period back by portraying this fascinating epoch in the movie theater.
This film is about the Romantic Age that took place in the capital of classical music -Paris during magical time that remains for many the most fascinating and beloved time in history.
In addition to superbly crafted and fascinating story centered around Liszt and Chopin and their numerous love affairs, this powerful and exciting story is de facto about the beginning of contemporary arts, the greatest literary, artistic and political movement that ever happened in history of human evolution and that also for the first time successfully challenged the dogma of established institutions, and gave birth to freedom of thought and the rights of the individual.
The powerful love story of Chopin and Sand acknowledged as the most celebrated love story of all time, ever and the countless affairs of Franz Liszt along with the Liszt's notorious affairs with Countess d' Agoult, Princess Caroline, Marie-Moke Pleyel, Charlotte von Hagn and many others, as well as the story of Liszt's and Chopin's professional rivalry is told with great detail and drama accompanied by the greatest concert ever recorded bringing us the ultimate music experience for today's youth-oriented audiences in the ultimate surround sound theater.
Combined with unparalleled piano artistry that will hold audiences spellbound for hours this film is the ultimate in Hollywood type entertainment as well as the first ever surround sound concert hall created on this scale in the movie theater.
Among many works featured in the story there will also be a variety of musical compositions by other romantic composers surrounding Liszt and Chopin, with the superb and elegant Andante by Mendelssohn and his Song Without Words, as well as the fantasy piece by Schumann - Fantasiestucke along with the opening passages of Kreisleriana - an unforgettable excerpt from Schumann's best and monumental eight-part piano work dedicated to Chopin.
Along with Liszt's keyboard virtuosity, we will also hear the last words in modern piano playing in Liszt's two Hungarian Rhapsodies and the Transcendental Etudes Liszt's twelve piano studies that till this day remain largely unapproachable by most pianists except to a handful of world-class virtuosos, and when we hear them play those works it seems that no further advances in concert piano playing are humanly possible.
Such is the legacy of Franz Liszt and Frederick Chopin. Franz Liszt was the first modern pianist who created the concept of the recital and played his entire repertoire by heart. He was the first performing artist to be treated as a superstar and traveled with his own pianos.
With Liszt's piano technique and his subsequent schools of followers from Thalberg to Rubinstein, to Paderewski and Moszkowski and later to Rachmaninoff, the golden age of pianism was created that remains with us still nearly two centuries later. In Liszt's piano playing we can also hear influences of a great violin virtuoso, their friend and mentor Nicolo Paganini, who was a great inspiration for both Liszt and Chopin as Paganini settled in Paris for several years after his infamous European tour in the 1830's.
Paganini even attempted to run a gambling operation in Paris on Rue de la Chausse d'Antin, not too far from where Chopin lived and where he gave his famous master classes. In Franz Liszt's repertoire we can definitely hear and recognize the influences of Paganini's virtuosity on violin, and witness the virtuosity that Liszt so often searched for in Paganini's performances and that always made indelible impression on him.
We will also hear two phenomenal works by another great master and follower of both Liszt and Chopin - Sergei Rachmaninoff as he describes the story of Liszt & Chopin in the beginning of the story. From Rachmaninoff's Tableaux Series magnificently recorded on the Grotrian piano as well as Etude No.4 and Prelude No. 5 - one of the most famous piano works of all time, we will hear the master himself and learn why he considers Liszt and Chopin to be the greatest piano legacy for all pianists and for all time.
The unprecedented genius of Liszt and Cbopin and their years together in Paris have never been explored in music and in cinema on this level before.
Chopin's genius and his compositions have influenced generations of composers and performers for over 180 years.
The music of Liszt and Chopin surprises us, saddens us, makes us happy, and sometimes makes us cry. It aims directly at our hearts. In listening to their music we can feel and directly experience the spirit of those powerful emotions by those two great masters who brought such exquisite piano playing to the level that has never been equaled even until today.
Liszt & Chopin In Paris portrays the lives of Liszt and Chopin their friendship and rivalry in 19th Century Europe that was in the midst of sweeping revolution and political change. Those changes impacted the entire world in that period and laid the groundwork for our modern world.
Together with their famous mentors and friends Rossini, Paganini, Wagner, Hugo, Dumas, Sand, Schumann, Berlioz, Mendelssohn with their genius and their lifestyles, Liszt and Chopin created the greatest epoch for the arts, following Classicism and The Renaissance finally arriving at The Romantic Age. Both composers, and especially Chopin, derived their inspiration from their masters: Chopin from Mozart and Bach, and Liszt from Beethoven.
It was the music of Bach, and subsequently Mozart, that was the source of inspiration for Chopin, especially, and from whom he derived the structure of his compositions and frequently searched for answers.
On his deathbed in October 1849, Chopin said to his grieving friends: "In my memory, please play the music of Mozart." Since then, in the historic church of Madeleine, in the middle of Paris where Chopin was buried, and from where his monomuental funeral procession made its way to Pere Lachaise cemetery with tens of thousands of people attending where Chopin is buried, Mozart's Requiem has been performed every year for over 160 years.
Chopin frequently spoke about Bach with veneration, and Liszt frequently performed Bach's and Beethoven's works.
In Liszt & Chopin In Paris Franz Liszt improvises J. S. Bach's Chaconne, in the biggest cathedral in Europe as he travels with his infamous lover, Countess Marie d'Agoult and their children.
From Chopin's posthumous Prelude No. 25 to Bach's formidable Chaconne Liszt & Chopin In Paris will feature wall-to-wall sound with Chopin's and Liszt’s powerful live performances presenting timeless and the most incredible soundtrack ever produced, recorded and created for contemporary audiences today.
You can listen to the preview of the recordings that will be featured at:
Although this is just a preview the final soundtrack will certainly be the most extraordinary music recording with the greatest performances ever recorded for any major motion picture.
For years to come the story and the music from Liszt & Chopin In Paris will become continuous source of inspiration and listening pleasure to audiences all over the world.
Note: These background are meant to provide readers with various points of views into the project. However, this does not necessarily mean that all the elements described herein will be present and/or included in the final film. Producers will strive towards best execution of the original screenplay as intended.
Story & Screenplay by John Mark.
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