Following the collections of symphonies (Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Kletzki, SU 4051-2) and violin sonatas (Suk, Panenka, SU 4077-2), Supraphon is now releasing the complete Beethoven concertante pieces. All of them (including the Triple Concerto and the genre-unique Fantasia for Piano, Chorus and Orchestra) came into being within a mere sixteen years, between 1793 and 1809. Although Beethoven deemed the piano "an imperfect instrument", his five piano concertos form one of the cornerstones of his oeuvre and represent a significant landmark in this genre.
Filmmaker-svengali Josef von Sternberg escalates his obsession with screen legend Marlene Dietrich in this lavish depiction of sex and deceit in the eighteenth-century Russian court. A self-proclaimed “relentless excursion into style,” the pair’s sixth collaboration follows the exploits of Princess Sophia (Dietrich) as she evolves from trembling innocent to cunning sexual libertine Catherine the Great. With operatic melodrama, flamboyant visuals, and a cast of thousands, this ornate spectacle represents the apex of cinematic pageantry by Hollywood’s master of artifice.
Director Josef Von Sternberg and his greatest discovery, Marlene Dietrich, worked together for the last time on this historical melodrama, which was a notorious and controversial box-office flop in its day. Antonio Galvan, a young military officer, meets a mysterious and alluring woman named Concha Perez and soon falls under her seductive spell. Antonio excitedly confesses his love for Concha to his friend Don Pasqual, an older and higher-ranking officer. Pasqual is horrified when he learns of Antonio's infatuation; years ago, he met Concha, and it was the start of a long and disastrous relationship in which the cold-hearted woman would repeatedly lure him into her romantic web..
Contemporary viewers who go into Dishonored expecting a musty, dated espionage melodrama will be in for a surprise. Marlene Dietrich delivers a subtle and witty performance as a Viennese prostitute who offers her services as a spy during WWI. As "Agent X-27" our heroine proves invaluable to her superiors, seducing and betraying enemy officers with the greatest of ease. But when she falls in love with Russian spy Lt. Kranau (Victor McLaglen), she permits him to escape her clutches, and as a consequence is sentenced to be executed..
Like so many campaigners before him, GARY COOPER joins the Foreign Legion to "forget." At a smoky cabaret in Morocco, Cooper meets café entertainer Marlene Dietrich (making her American film debut). A woman with a very checkered past, Dietrich toys with the callow Cooper, but eventually falls hopelessly in love with him, even to the extent of throwing over wealthy Adolphe Menjou. The now-famous final image of Morocco finds la Dietrich, decked out in her cabaret finery and wearing high heels, heading after Cooper's regiment across the desert with the rest of the "camp followers"..
Bauhaus - The Face of the 20th Century, written and narrated by Frank Whitford, is an art documentary depicting the visual science generated from the outpouring of avant-garde ideas of this innovative educational undertaking. Great teachers such as Swiss artists Paul Klee and Johannes Itten, together with Russian-born Wassily Kandinsky (the inventor of abstract art), taught the Bauhaus Foundations course concentrating on color, form and geometry. These skills sharpened students' perceptions and allowed the exploration of personal feelings and senses with an application to abstract art. Itten utilized Froebel's theory of education by play that is commonly used in many schools today.