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Abbado: A Portrait
Abbado A Portrait
Actor: Claudio Abbado
Director: Paul Smaczny
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2003     1hr 0min


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Actor: Claudio Abbado
Director: Paul Smaczny
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Arthaus Musik
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/18/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/1995
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: French, Spanish, English

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Movie Reviews

Music making from another type of conductor
fCh | GMT-5, USA | 07/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"i came sligthly skeptical to this encounter with abbado and his music--only an hour-long material with the generous goal to offer a portrait of abbado. yet, i found this dvd packed with so unique a combination of information, dialogue, insight, music, conducting, and personality that i am overwhelmed. abbado defies the autocratic/dictatorial traits of your stereotypical conductor and you can see the transformation of sound into music as result of a different type of relationship between an orchestra and its conductor--abbado likens it to the relationship among chamber music players. the opinions/interviews of/with other musicians about abbado are quite revealing on this dvd and bring real contributions to the general economy of the material.great focus on abbado the conductor yet abbado the person is still present as reflection of his work, style and thoughts.wonderful!nota bene: abbado succeeded karajan at the podium of the berlin philharmonc. the conductor-personalities of the two could not be farther apart so one could say the berliner found in abbado the cure to some forty years of karajan 'despotism,' and, as far as one can tell, that was not at the expense of Music!"
Not much music, and very little on music
BLee | HK | 04/10/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

Here Abbado spoke quite often, telling us about his background and his general view on music making process, but only on very brief terms. It is mainly through his mouth alone that we have some very general idea about his musical background-- that his father was a chamber musician and his mother a pianist, and his brothers instrumentalists-- and that is common knowledge in any event.

There are quite a lot of comments by his colleagues on his charm and his success, both as a musician and a conductor. A member of each of the orchestras like BPO, VPO, Chamber Orchestra of Europe etc would come forward and say a word or two in praise. There are also some comments by other musicians of his own standing like Mehta (on how the two of them got round to see the great conductors in work-- and that is it); Barenboim ( that Abbado "used" to be a very good pianist, fullstop); Boulez interviewing him as to why he was interested in Youth Orchestras!!

Yet, by and large, their comments stressed the democratic quality (as opposed to dictatorship) of the conductor, and in Abbado's word, that is the role of a "co-ordinator". Otherwise, it is more on his attitude towards music partners including soloists.

There isn't much music here, nor much depth on Abbado's view on music nor his interpretation on music, nor on life, let alone his private life. The most revealing account is perhaps that of Pires ( Beethoven's 3rd Piano concerto) which at one point directly gives us an example which touches and concerns music. Schubert's opera is equally worth mentioning too. Otherwise, there is scarcely anything on music.

The film is in mostly in German with a small part in English and another part in French. But there is subtitle in French, English & Spanish. All in all, this is not much of a portrait, let alone that of a great musician."