Thursday, 8 October 2009

Alex: A Passion For Life/Channel 4

A rare Channel 4 foray into the world of classical music this time pegged to the moving story of Alex Stobbs. Now a choral scholar at Cambridge University this documentary witnessed Stobbs on-going battle with his debilitating cystic fibrosis while attempting to pull off a performance of Bach's mammoth St Matthew Passion. His enthusiasm for conducting has probably done more for his day to day survival than any thing else. It was especially painful then to see his confidence knocked at the start of a rehearsal after the leader asked him to give a clearer beat. Thankfully he quickly recovered.

Anyway, a nice film about the power of music and one man's exceptional determination to do the thing he loves despite the odds. One slightly jarring thing was to hear the beautiful Bach interspersed with rather banal library music throughout. A strange juxtaposition which kind of watered-down the special quality of Bach's music. Much better to have ditched the wall-paper and let the Bach really sock home as and when it occured.

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