Recorded live from the Herkulessaal Munich, Sir Colin Davis conducts the Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra, with soloist Gidon Kremer, in a performance of Alban Berg‘s elegiac Violin Concerto. Alban Berg completed this concerto for violin and orchestra in 1935, impelled by the news of the death of Manon Gropius, the beautiful eighteen-yearold daughter of Mahler‘s widow by her second marriage, to the architect Walter Gropius. He dedicated it “to the memory of an angel”.
The secret life of Alban Berg
Alban Berg (1885-1935) lived in the mainstream of well-to-do Austrian society. His marriage to the beautiful Hélène was thought to be made in heaven. But how can this doyen of Viennese respectability be reconciled with the composer who wrote the dark operas Wozzeck and Lulu? In this multi-layered fi lm, director Krišs Rusmanis explores the private world behind the composer’s public image and reveals the double life Berg led, despite his moving protestationsof fidelity and devotion to his wife. While condemning the moral hypocrisy of society in Lulu, he concealed the existence of his illegitimate daughter, Albine, continued more than one clandestine love affair and frequented the sleazy haunts that flourished in Vienna.
This multi-layered film explores Berg‘s double life. Soprano Kristine Ciesinki, who features in specially-staged extractsfrom Lulu and Wozzeck, travels to Vienna, Prague, the USA and Germany to track downimportant archive documents and people who can recall the composer‘s presence in their lives.