Distribution and Rights:

Maysles Films, Inc., CAMI & Sony Classical


• Directors: Albert Maysles, Susan Froemke, Peter Gelb, Pat Jaffe
• Cinematography: Albert Maysles and Michael Chapman
• Editor: Pat Jaffe
• Producers: Susan Froemke, Peter Gelb
• Additional Photography: Greg Andracke, Don Lenzer, Jean De Segonzac

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Baroque Duet

Albert Maysles, Susan Froemke, Peter Gelb, Pat Jaffe, 1992, 78 min

Film Synopsis

Opera star Kathleen Battle and jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis go baroque. Rehearsals and recording sessions bring both singer and trumpeter together to explore 17th century music. Marsalis throughout worries about his intonation and is awed by Battle. The soprano, for her part, is endlessly amused and supportive.

The filming team follows Battle to her hometown, where she makes a special appearance with her old church choir. Marsalis spends the break-time in New Orleans coaching young jazz musicians, and performing with his musically renowned brothers and father.

Finally, the performance of Bach's Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landenä with Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim, both familiar, and Handel's exquisitely haunted Eternal Source, which shows this combination capable of lyric introspection as well as triumph and jubilation. Battle and Marsalis perform with John Nelson and the accompanying St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra.


Opera soprano Kathleen Battle and trumpeter Wynton Marsalis are two of the most watchable and listenable musicians around today. So seeing them work together in this documentary about their collaboration on a concert and recording session of several duets for soprano, trumpet and orchestra by Bach and Handel is a treat. Hearing Battle sing in her hometown church and Marsalis play jazz, you understand what a remarkable distance they have come in mastering music as refined and demanding as Bach. – David Patrick Stearns, USA TODAY, February 7, 1992

The creative process is always fascinating to watch. – Kay Gandella, DAILY NEWS, February 7, 1992


National premiere on PBS series Great Performances

Emmy Award nominee for Outstanding Classical Program
in Performing Arts (1992)

Award Winner, National Education Association Awards
for the Advancement of Learning through Broadcasting (1992)

Prize for Best Media Work, Montreal Festival International
du Film Sur L’Art