British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Ken Russell: The Great Composers: Elgar; The Debussy Film; Song of Summer

Synopsis
This collection brings together three of Ken Russell’s films which were made at the BBC during the sixties, for award-winning arts documentary series Monitor and Omnibus.

The first of the three films, ELGAR (1962), portrays in vigorous style the life of the English composer Sir Edward Elgar, with Huw Wheldon narrating his life story over beautiful mountain scenery.

The DEBUSSY FILM (1965), Russell’s penultimate film for Monitor, was an ambitious work about the composer’s life, written by Melvyn Bragg and starring Oliver Reed as Claude Debussy.

DELIUS: SONG OF SUMMER (1968) is generally regarded (not least by its director) as Russell’s best television film; with many critics citing it as his finest work in any medium. The story traces the life of Eric Fenby and is based on his memoirs of being amanuensis to the blind and paralysed composer Frederick Delius.

Extras include: LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY (1931, 3 mins) footage of Sir Edward Elgar conducting the LSO at the opening of the new HMV (now Abbey Road) studios; ELGAR AND THE THREE CHOIRS FESTIVAL (Harlod Brooke, 1929-1932): amateur footage of Elgar at home and at the Three Choirs Festival;
MICHAEL BRADSELL INTERVIEW (2015, 10 mins). The film editor talks about working with Ken Russell; Ken Russell and Michael Kennedy audio commentary for ELGAR (2002); Newly commissioned commentary by Kevin M. Flanagan for The DEBUSSY FILM; Ken Russell audio commentary for Song of Summer (2002);
Illustrated booklet with new essays by Kevin M Flanagan, John Hill, John C Tibbetts, Paul Sutton and Michael Brooke, and full film credits.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2016
Year of production
1962; 1965; 1968
Subjects
Music; Television studies
Keywords
Delius, Frederick; documentary films; music - classical; Elgar, Edward; Debussy, Claude

Credits

Director
Ken Russell
Writer
Ken Russell; Melvyn Bragg

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL, Blu-Ray DVD
Price
£29.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
56 minutes + 82 minutes + 73 minutes
Year
2016

Production Company

Name

BBC

Notes
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Distributor

Name

BFI Video

Email
video.films@bfi.org.uk
Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7957 8957
Fax
020 7957 8968
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN

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