Thomas with a bust of Mahler in the Vienna State Opera House
RR: Does the knowledge that your work will be seen and heard in multiple formats — TV, DVD, Blu-ray — have any effect on your approach and process as director?
JS: More than 6 million American households have watched Keeping Score since the series first aired. However, with the Mahler documentary — in addition to TV, DVD, and Blu-ray — it will also be seen in theaters, starting with a world premiere in Vienna.
Historically, Vienna has been the mecca of classical music, and the Viennese are a very discerning audience. Also, since Mahler was director of the Vienna Court Opera for many years, he’s a native son — and the San Francisco musicians are Americans bringing Mahler back to Vienna. So with this audience in particular, we wanted to make sure the sound quality and the music were absolutely the best they could be.
Since PBS has guidelines for an acceptable dynamic range on a show, it was important for us to do a separate mix of the Mahler shows for the theatrical and disc releases, with no dynamic restrictions. So, there are two mixes of the Mahler, each appropriate for its respective format.
Meanwhile, clips from the shows will appear on the interactive Keeping Score Web site (keepingscore.org) and as part of educational programs designed for K-12 classrooms. So, there’s even more to keep in mind as we’re filming, since Keeping Score presents innovative, thought-provoking classical music via a whole host of integrated multimedia.
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