Song of Summer re-release: Ken Russell Collection Vol. 1: The Great Composers

Ken Russell Collection Vol. 1: The Great Composers

This collection brings together three career-defining works by Ken Russell showing him to be an inventive and ground-breaking pioneer. Russell’s work for award-winning BBC arts documentary series Monitor and Omnibus were critically-acclaimed and paved the way for a brilliant career that spanned decades. Russell’s tribute to the music he loved, Elgar (1962) is remarkable for its sensitive portrayal of the rise of a young musician from a relatively poor background to international fame – evocative and true to the elegiac nobility of Elgar’s music. The Debussy Film (1965), co-written by Melvyn Bragg, tells the story of a film crew making a film about the life and work of Claude Debussy (Oliver Reed). Subtitled ‘Impressions of the French Composer’ the film is a truly experimental work of television that culminates with a sublimely ethereal finale fusing Debussy’s own demise with the subject of his unfinished opera, The Fall of the House of Usher. Perhaps the finest of the biographical films that Ken Russell made for the BBC in the Sixties, Song of Summer (1968) charts the final five years in the life of Frederick Delius. Based on the 1936 memoir by Eric Fenby, it is an immensely moving story of sacrifice, idealism and musical genius. Newly remastered and presented in High Definition and Standard Definition

Special features:

Film Editor, Michael Bradsell, talks about working with Ken Russell.
Land of Hope and Glory (1931) – footage of Sir Edward Elgar conducting the LSO at the opening of the new HMV Studios (now Abbey Road Studios).
Elgar and the Three Choirs Festival (Harold Brooke, 1929-1932) – amateur footage of Elgar at home and at the Three Choirs Festival.
Ken Russell and Michael Kennedy commentary for Elgar, recorded in 2002.
Newly commissioned commentary by Kevin Flanagan for The Debussy Film.
Ken Russell commentary for Song of Summer, recorded in 2002.
Illustrated booklet featuring full film credits and new essays by Kevin Flanagan, John Hill, John C Tibbetts, Paul Sutton and Michael Brooke.

Barcode: 5035673012444 Cat No: BFIB1244