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Jagged Harmonies - Bach vs. Frederick II (Mein Name ist Bach)

Jagged Harmonies - Bach vs. Frederick II
Scene from "Jagged Harmonies" (photo © Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion GmbH)

Everyone knows Johann Sebastian Bach. Everyone knows Frederick the Great of Prussia. But hardly anyone knows they met... During one week in May 1747, the King of Music and the King of Prussia come together: two worlds that intersect in a sparkling counterpoint of awe and envy, hope and disillusion. Visiting one of his sons in Potsdam, Bach is ordered to the royal court, where he meets the brilliant, gifted young monarch who acknowledges genius in others yet cannot bear to have it overshadow his own. The faithful court composer Quantz has accepted these limits, but not the king's lively and talented young sister Amalia, who yearns for freedom – and burns with passion for Bach's defiant eldest son. As Bach's visit unfolds, genius and power strip themselves of convention and engage in a spirited, sensual battle of egos accompanied by the jagged harmonies and soulful dissonances of an inner music.

Jagged Harmonies is an intense portrait of two larger-than-life personalities – Johann Sebastian Bach and Frederick the Great. Inspired by a true occurrence, the film relates the tempestuous encounter of a musician and a king, of a father and a son.


Dominique de Rivaz was born in Zurich/Switzerland. She studied Literature and History at Fribourg University in Switzerland, where she worked as a press speaker and editor at the International Film Festival Fribourg. She also worked as a director’s assistant under Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov and Alain Tanner. As a director, screen and stage writer, her films include: Aelia (short, 1985), Georges Borgeaud ou les bonheurs de l'écriture (documentary, 1993), Le Jour du Bain (short, 1994), Totentanz (short, 1998), and her feature debut Jagged Harmonies - Bach vs. Frederick II (Mein Name ist Bach, 2003).
Genre History
Category Feature
Year of Production 2003
Director Dominique de Rivaz
Screenplay Dominique de Rivaz, Jean-Luc Bourgeois, Leo Raat
Cinematography Ciro Cappellari
Isabel Meier
Frédéric Devreese
Lothar Holler
Cast Vadim Glowna, Jürgen Vogel, Karoline Herfurth, Antje Westermann, Gilles Tschudi, Anatole Taubman, Paul Herwig, Philippe Vuilleumier, Bernhard Liègme
Producers Thanassis Karathanos, Karl Baumgartner, Gérard Ruey, Uta Granshow, Jean-Louis Porchet
Production Companies Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion/Berlin, Pandora Film Produktion, CAB Productions/Lausanne, in co-production with WDR, TSR, Geneva, SRG SSR idée suisse, Bern, ARTE
Length 97 min
Format 35 mm, color
Original Version
 German
Subtitled Versions English, French
Sound Technology Dolby Digital
Festivals Locarno 2003 (Piazza Grande), Tallinn Black Nights 2003, Ophuels Festival Saarbruecken 2004, Berlin 2004 (German Cinema), Shanghai 2004
Awards Swiss Film Award
With backing from Filmstiftung NRW, Mitteldeutsche Medienfoerderung, Filmboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Bundesamt fuer Kultur (EDI/Switzerland), Fonds culturel de Suissimage

World Sales
Bavaria Media International
http://www.bavaria-media.com