Song of Love
(Format : VHS)
With a little too much leisure, but no lack of pageantry, this love story for the ages (part of Columbia's informal Song series that began with the 1945 Chopin bio-pic, A Song to Remember) concerns the marriage of composer Robert Schumann (Paul Henreid) and Clara Wieck Schumann (Katharine Hepburn). The latter, a concert pianist with a thriving career, gives it all up to support her husband's artistic efforts, but after years of heartbreaking disappointments he ends up dying in an asylum, leaving behind seven children and a mountain of debts. The other important player in this tale, Johannes Brahms (Robert Walker), subsequently proposes to Clara, having been infatuated with her all along. But she returns to the stage to resume her old work and keep alive the memory of her late love. There's nothing like the guilty pleasure of watching a film with a parade of actors portraying famous contemporaries, and Song of Love even throws in Franz Liszt (played very nicely by Henry Daniell) for good measure. Hepburn, understandably, is the soul of this handsome movie directed by Hollywood stalwart Clarence Brown, and the actress learned to play several piano pieces well enough to do justice to her close-ups in performance. (review by Tom Keogh)
(Format : VHS)
A motion picture of passions, "Spring Symphony" is a story of love, hate and artistic ambitions. Nastassja Kinski and Herbert Gronemeyer star as Clara Wieck and Robert Schumann, star-crossed classical musicians of the nineteenth century trying to overcome the stifling objections of Wieck's father. All three of them share the same passion for music, but the battle the two men fight for Clara's affections is at the same time a fight between different artistic styles and different lifestyles, a war between the generations. When Schumann finally wins his Clara, "Spring Symphony" is the expression of his love and passion for her.