Welte Mignon: The World of Mechanical Music
Emil Welte established a New York branch of the family business of making pneumatic instruments in 1841, and went on to develop the use of paper rolls in player-pianos. These instruments could play compositions with an unrestricted number of notes and also reproduce performances by eminent pianists. Focusing on the Welte-Mignon, this documentary looks at mechanical music in the twentieth century. Ravel, Debussy and Mahler are heard playing their own compositions, and virtuoso Ferrucio Busoni's interpretation of a Chopin nocturne is compared with Camille Saint-Saën's rendition of the same piece. Composer Conlon Nancarrow, whose cross-rhythms are so complex that they lie beyond the capabilities of any human pianist, is seen at work.
Directed by Oliver Becker – 42'

Pinchas Zukerman and Marc Neikrug in Santa Fe
Zukerman, one of the greatest violinists of our day, has played many recitals and concerts with the pianist and composer Marc Neikrug. This programme was made on the occasion of a concert they gave at the St Francis Auditorium in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their performances of Bach's Sonata No. 3 in E BWV1016; Beethoven's Sonata No.9 in A major Op.47 (Kreutzer); César Franck's Sonata in A major; and Neikrug's own Duo are interwoven with film of them talking about their music and their friendship. Magnificent footage of the desert countryside outside Sante Fe is also used to striking effect.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Gorin/Georges Gachot - 56/81'

Zeitfluss-Festivals
Documentation of the Zeitfluss-Festivals dedicated to contemporary music by the Salzburger Festspiele in the ninties.
1995 –
Directed by Tanja Franke – 20/10’
1997 –
Directed by Oliver Becker – 20’
1999 – Directed by Amadeus Hiller – 12’


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Welte Mignon Piano