Hi all, I've seen both movies. On Yourtube I got in to an argument with an american who wrote that Ed Harries reminded him of Monthy Python, because of the many faces/looks Ed Harris shows in this movie. He concluded that Gary Oldman owns Beethoven on the screen.
Now, I'm a huge fan of Gary Oldman, and Immortal Beloved is (in my point of view) a masterpiece, but not because of Gary Oldman - he was okay, but the story was not at all as fluent as Amadeuz, and somehow I think it's a bit wrong or sad to start a film with the composers death. The scenery in Immortal beloved was fantastic, from the clothes to the pictures - very beautiful.
I think Ed Harris performance is extremely good, in the sence that he (I think) acts like Beethoven did. I've read Beethovens letters, a lot of books and if that material is reliable, Beethoven was the type of guy, who didn't like if someone looked at him to long - then he would make a face and stare right back until You left! This dosn't count for the time where people could pay 5 pfennig to watch the Maestro eat his lunch (1 minute only).
I admire that person, in spite of all the resistance and troubles he got, he believed in him self and he worked really hard to achieve his music. I have never heard Symphonies, Piano Concertos and Piano Sonatas better in every way at any other composer. I read a book called:" A sketch of a genious" in which Beethoven is chairman of a pipesmoking club, together with Rosini, Clemente and others. Their meetings nearly always ended with Beethoven playing piano, improvising and explaining and there was no interuptions, everybody listened. A funny litlle detail (don't know if it is true) was the Grand meeting with Goethe at some university - where thousands of students occupied the area several days ahead, to be sure to see the Maestro - much of his music was banned at the time, he broke every known (Italian) rule about music, and his music really takes You, embraces You and You get a feeling of being him.
He must have been pretty intelligent, because once he had a conversation with Goethe, where he explained:" Yes, it's hard to believe that the work the two of us is doing right now, will never be forgotten". Goethe didn't quite have the same confidence.
I've never really heard his Chamber music, it has allways seemed a litlle boring - does anyone have an angle to start listening to his String Quartets etc.
This was my 1. letter and became longer than expected, hope thats allright.
Best regards Lars