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The Composers' Specials - Special Collector's Edition

Witness genius through the eyes of children

By Various

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Witness genius through the eyes of children. Composed by Various. Videos. TV/Movies. 6 DVDs (boxed set). Devine Entertainment Corporation #1894449568. Published by Devine Entertainment Corporation (HL.320452).

Item Number: HL.320452

ISBN 9781894449564. 5.25x7.5 inches.

Includes all 6 DVDs from the series. The composers' specials bring the most famous musical figures to life. Each of the six HBO Original inventive films tells the story of a child's relationship with one of the world's great composers. Historically inspired yet dealing with contemporary social values, this unique "visual music" series makes classical music appealing to a the whole family. The following DVDs are included in the set:

Strauss: The King of 3/4 Time
The year is 1868, the city Vienna, the music exhilarating, yet all is not well with Johann Strauss Jr., the brilliant composer known as the "King of 3/4 Time." Strauss (Michael Riley) may be the toast of waltzing Vienna, but he is haunted by the constant pressure to outdo himself with each new composition and by the memory of his late father, who though a musician himself disapproved of his son's musical ambitions. Nicholas (Derek Senft), a humble stable boy at the estate where Strauss takes refuge to work on his next creation, has even more pressing concerns. He's deathly fearful of his brutal stepfather and feels he has nowhere to turn for help. To their surprise, the composer and the boy find in one another a piece of life's emotional puzzle, discovering the healing bond of trust and embarking on a collaboration that will be music to the world's ears. Inspired by Tales from The Vienna Woods, The Blue Danube, Vienna Blood, Roses from the South and Perpetual Motion.

Rossini's Ghost
In a kitchen in Italy in 1862, little Reliana (Melissa Pirrera) helps her grandmother Rosalie (Frances Bay) make pasta sauce. As steam swirls magically through the kitchen, Rosalie argues with her oldest friend Martina (Lally Cadeau) and tells the story of an opera composer they once both knew. Soon, Reliana finds herself transported through time back to a theatre in Rome nearly 50 years earlier. She is invisible to everyone but the composer, Signor Rossini (Joseph DiMambro). She watches in alarm as one of the singers puts a curse on the production and everything begins to go wrong. Set in 1816, the year "The Barber of Seville" had its disastrous premiere, Rossini's Ghost is the story of three women who learn that friendship, like opera or great pasta sauce requires nurturing, patience, and time. Featuring music from William Tell, the Barber of Seville and The Thieving Magpie.

Liszt's Rhapsody
Set in 1846, Liszt's Rhapsody celebrates the inextinguishable flame of genuine talent, seen here in the guise of a free-spirited Gypsy boy who inspires a frustrated composer to reach his own true potential. Franz Liszt (Geordie Johnson) is the 19th century equivalent of a rock star handsome, rich and famous beyond his dreams. But the Hungarian-born Liszt wants to be more than simply Europe's most celebrated pianist; he wants to compose great music not just play it. Josy (Drew Jurecka) is a young virtuoso who is perfectly happy playing his violin in the streets. Liszt only needs to hear Josy play once to know that the Gypsy boy could achieve true greatness with a bit of formal training so he arranges for Josy to come live with him and take lessons. Little does Liszt know that his own creativity will be transformed by the experience. Featuring music from The Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Carnival in Pest and The Mephisto Waltz.

Bizet's Dream
Set in 1875 Bizet's Dream tells the compelling and bittersweet story of the friendship shared by a young Parisian girl named Michelle Marin, and the great composer Georges Bizet, her piano teacher. Michelle (Brittany Madgett) is a talented twelve year-old whose intelligence and resourcefulness are matched only by her extremely active imagination. Bizet (Maurice Godin) is a man of many passions for his family, his artist friends and, most of all, for his music. But each of them is prey to doubts. Michelle wonders if her soldier father will ever return from Spain. Bizet hopes he can rise to the challenge of finishing Carmen, the opera that haunts him. Together, Michelle and Bizet learn that dreams come true only when the time is right and even then in the most surprising ways. Featuring music from Bizet's Carmen Suites, L'Arlesienne and The Pearl Divers.

Handel's Last Chance
In 1742, James (Tod Fennell), a Dublin street kid, is enrolled by his desperate mother (Seana McKenna) in an upper-crust school. James feels like an outsider, but things begin to improve when he is selected as a principal choirboy for Handel's oratorio "The Messiah". In the course of events, James is befriended by the renowned composer, who suffers from a temporary lack of self-esteem. When the boy is falsely accused of wrongdoing, Handel (Leon Pownall) comes to his rescue. The Messiah's premiere brings Handel glory and restores him to his rightful place in the musical world. Featuring music from The Messiah and selections from The Royal Fireworks Music and Water Music.

Bach's Fight For Freedom
Set in 1717, Bach's Fight for Freedom is a story about the positive power of ambition. It focuses on a temperamental, demanding composer and a free-thinking servant boy, both of whom feel like prisoners of circumstance. The last thing Frederick (Kyle Labine) wants to be when he grows up is a servant like his mother (Rosemary Dunsmore) and father (Ian D. Clark), who meekly labour for the duke at his castle in Weimar. Frederick aspires to be a stonemason. Meanwhile, Johann Sebastian Bach (Ted Dykstra) is terribly frustrated by being pigeonholed as the court organist. He wants to be allowed to compose the glorious music that springs forth irrepressibly in his mind. After Frederick is ordered to become Bach's assistant, Bach is jailed for insubordination. Both of their futures seem bleak indeed. Eventually, though, they come to understand the essence of genius when opportunity knocks, follow your dream with persistence and fortitude and you will triumph. Featuring music from the well-loved Brandenburg Concertos, and other selections including Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.

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