Grabsky is interested in biography, but he is well aware, as he indicates in a lengthy interview included as a bonus on the DVD, that it is the music that is the really important thing. The strength of In Search of Hayden is the music. Grabsky fills the screen with Hayden's music performed by some of the world's great artists, and he is never afraid to spend the time necessary to allow the viewer to hear extended portions of those performances. Artists explain the significance of a piece and then illustrate it at length.
Hayden's music is front and center, and that's a good thing, because it is the music that is the best thing in the film. A partial list of performers includes The Endellion String Quartet, The Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Ronald Brautigam, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, Emanuel Ax, Alison Balsom and Sophie Bevan. Grabsky is partial to close ups of the performers getting fine shots of their fingering and bowing and giving a real feel for their virtuosity. They of course are bolstered by the typical talking heads, but there are some good anecdotes and little pompous pontificating. There is a real interest in making the man and his music accessible.
Subtitles on the DVD are available in a number of different language. Bonus features include the Grabsky interview, and seven musical movements selected from performances not used in the final cut. Although Grabsky maintains that when he began his Mozart film, he wasn't thinking about a series, a series, it seems is what he's got: turns out that In Search of Chopin is on the way. Gives us something to look forward to.