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Bach: English Suites
Bach English Suites
Actor: Andras Schiff
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2006     2hr 55min


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Movie Details

Actor: Andras Schiff
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Hungaroton
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/28/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 55min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical,Import
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, Hungarian
Subtitles: French, German

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Movie Reviews

Magisterial keyboard Bach
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 04/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The 6 Bach English Suites are a collection of dance movements, a summation of compositional styles and keyboard technique with no known English connection. This is relatively early Bach, mostly composed at Cothen before 1723. Andras Schiff plays them on this Hungaroton DVD with his customary intelligence and brilliant technique. He introduces each suite with fascinating analysis and keyboard examples. It is like a Master Class for pianists. The performances were filmed on February 11 2003 in concert at the Budapest Academy of Music. A nice touch is the occasional superposition of the score onscreen at key points of the Suites. This makes the experience of these beautiful dance movements a feast for the mind as well as the ears.

Schiff's piano style is historically informed, obviously influenced by the authentic performance movement. His tempos are fleet, he doesn't linger over notes (no 19th Century rubato here), there is little use of the pedals. Bach played on modern piano rather than the earthier harpsichord sounds more abstract to my ear. What the modern piano provides as compensation is superb control over dynamics. This expressive dynamic control is where Schiff truly shines. These performances are marvelous. I've been playing this DVD constantly for days. It is a gem. I hope Schiff intends to release more Bach in a series. The menus allow one to acess any or all movements, skip or play the introductions (which must total 40 minutes or more). If Bach played on modern piano is amenable to your taste, I urge you to try this superb DVD before it disappears.

Picture format is full screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The picture is crystal clear. Region code is 0 worldwide. Sound formats are PCM 48khz stereo and Dolby Digital 4.0 Surround. They both sound spectacular with the Dolby 4.0 providing a deeper soundfield and nice rear ambiance. Subtitles are in Magyar, English, German and French. Schiff recorded his introductions in both Hungarian (Magyar) and English. Total time of the disc is 175 minutes.

Wonderful keyboard Bach played on modern piano by Andras Schiff will provide great pleasure. Strongly recommended.

Mike Birman"
Highly recommended
Peter T. Sipos | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | 10/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The previous reviewer pretty much said it all. I agree with his endorsement.
Of interest, the DVD has four spoken tracks (Hungarian, English, German, French). I've listened to the first two and they are not dubbed - Schiff actually delivers his lecture in each language (not sure about the German and French, but I assume the same is true.)
The audio is very clear and the camera work is very fine with good balance of body, face and hand shots. Schiff's style is incisive and eloquent - no overpedaling, dragging tempos or over-ornamentation.
The disc is indexed so that one can easily select an individual suite, an individual movement, an introduction, or the entire disc. There are no "extras", but who needs anything extra after such a spectacular main event.
I share the previous reviewer's hope that Schiff continues to record Bach for DVD. I highly recommend this disc for all lovers of good music."
Don't be put off by the cover
oregonian | Kingston, NY USA | 10/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Despite the weird high-school picture on the cover, this is in fact a beautifully-filmed 2003 live concert from a beautiful old theater in Budapest. Before each suite is a short, enjoyable informal talk by Schiff in the studio. There are about 5 distinct camera angles, from full-on facial, to tight closeup on the fingers, as well as a few environmental angles from the stage and hall. If you like Schiff, this is all you could ever hope for (and then some). If you don't like Schiff, then...what's wrong with you ? Perhaps aided by the fact that there are overflow seating of people on the stage there with him, behind him, never the less there is a feeling in this film of truly being right there, inches away from a dream come true for many of us."