Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Beethoven Violin Concerto Handel Violin Sonata Shostakovich Four Preludes / Leonid Kogan|
Actors: Leonid Kogan, Elizaveta Gilels-Kogan
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Disappointing, but it's still Kogan.
Nabih B. Bulos | Baltimore, MD USA | 05/27/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am generally speaking a big fan of this Classical Archive Series, and am quite pleased with the compilations (though occasionally wish there were more pieces on these DVD's). Thus, it was without hesitation that I decided to purchase the Kogan DVD. After all, he's one of my favourite violinists, and a chance to see him in action is a treat not to be missed.
However, I have to admit I'm quite disappointed with this particular collection of his pieces. The selection is perplexing in its lack of pyrotechnics and finger gymnastics in which Kogan is virtually a nonpareil, and the footage has moments of what appears to be a bleaching of film (in the Beethoven Concerto). It is downright confusing as to why EMI didn't choose to include Paganini Concerto No.1 (in which Kogan excels, especially with the might Sauret Cadenza), or perhaps the Khachaturian concerto (which was briefly seen in "Art of the Violin").
The production still warrants three stars, however, if only because of the quality of playing, which really is quite fantastic. A collection of uninspired programming choices does not diminish the grandeur of Kogan's playing, and although I would recommend this DVD to die-hard Kogan fans only, there is still something noble in his contribution to the violin art."
It is Not Shattering, But...
BLee | HK | 07/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Those who come with a mind for Kogan's devilish edge comparing him with Heifetz, they may well be diappointed: they may have to look for it somewhere else. Here Kogan plays a number of short pieces, with composers spanning all over Europe playing some German, French, Italian and even Spanish music. The longest piece is Beethoven. It's amazing that after having heard dozens of renditions of the same piece, one stil finds his Beethoven fresh and new and that is despite the fact that the French orchestra doesn't quite give him due support. Needless to say his Shostokovich is unrivalled. It's so amazing that he managed to play Handel nearly as good as Adolf Busch; and his Debussy almost as good as Thibaud and that was despite the fact that Thibaud himself was a Frenchman with the widest imaginable exposure. No wonder Thibaud handpicked him from among his fellow Russian violin pupils.His Bach is not the best one available on DVD, but the French audience seemed exceedingly delighted by it. Hopefully, viewers would find the same. The last three pieces i.e., Brahms, Pagaini, Falla are instead the most intriquing of them all, fully demonstrating Kogan's musicianship. The bonus shows us what an excellent chamber musician Kogan was. Emil Gilels's sister, Kogan's wife though not equally as impressing as either her brother or her husband, does help to bring out Kogan's finest qualities as a musician.There is one thing that is quite extraordinary. We don't always have an appetite for Heifetz, nor Menuhin. One may even get tired of hearing Oistrakh. This may not be the case of Kogan. I have watched this DVD 3 TIMES in a go and still left with an urge to go back to it, and that is despite of the fact that Kogan doesn't have any outstanding accompanist like Emil Gilels or Richter or the like! Marvelous, isn't it? I suppose that is the very essence of musicianship.As to the picture, the worst part comes from his Beethoven where shiny part comes as "blackouts", sometimes a big as a fist and that come a dozen times or so. The grain and resolution of the film isn't quite the best. But the picture is generally quite pleasing as the photography is excellent. There are moments we can actually see how fleshy his fingertips are and how excatly he effected his vibrato etc. The sound is even better than the sight."
The art of Leonid
Bach H. Nguyen | MA | 10/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the first time I saw this DVD, the cadenza in Beethoven concerto had made me shock, even I've heard Kogan play this concerto so many time. He played with an impressing technique and emotion. The pity is that EMI hasn't emitted other Kogan's performances like Paganini concerto No. 1 (with the outstanding interpretation of Sauret Cadenza that gave Kogan the first prize in Queen Elizabeth Competition, 1951), Brahms concerto, Tchaikovsky concerto, or Prokofiev concerto No. 1 (which now very rare in old issues of Melodya, one played by Kogan, other by Tretyakov). There is also an interesting comparision with Bach's Sarabande if you've ever heard N. Milstein in Sonatas and Partitas. In this DVD, Kogan also played 4 preludes by Shostakovich, this is really nice part. The Handel's sonata is great with the accompany of Mytnik.
Strongly recommend !!!"
Leonid the Great
teva_man | United States | 11/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To my knowledge, this is the only video presentation (other than "Kogan Interpretations", available only on VHS) of Kogan's playing, out there. Kogan couldn't stand bright lights or cameras, although he was a big fan of mechanical gadgets.
Thankfully, EMI has released this. Kogan, sadly, left us way too early and as a result, his name is seldom mentioned when discussing the great violinists of the past. Plain and simple, this guy knew how to play - it was often said that his playing lacked individuality, but that is completely untrue for those who know his (all too few) recordings well.
This DVD features the Beethoven Concerto, performed live in Paris in 1962. A scant 7 or 8 years before, Kogan had concertized extensively there for the first time, and really knocked the public's socks off. This performance is phenomenal, with all of Kogan's trademarks - the gigantic tone, aided by a surprisingly taut vibrato, with quicksilver fingerwork and intonation. The first movement cadenza is particularly electrifying (I'm not sure who wrote it...but it's not one of the standard ones). Unfortunately, the camerawork is terrible and there is a fair amount of bleeding and strobing of Kogan's violin and bow. You can actually see the camera equipment set up in the first few rows of the auditorium. The film wasn't edited well, either. When we see a live performance, we want to see the whole thing from start to finish; it woulda been nice to see Kogan coming onstage after acclaimed conductor Louis de Froment.
The rest of the program is on a par with any of Kogan's other recordings. Particularly nice are the E major Handel Sonata, Debussy's Beau Soir, and Shostakovich preludes.
The Leclair duo sonata (or one of them), with his wife Elizaveta Gilels, is a tremendously welcome inclusion. I wish they'd gotten their son, Pavel Kogan (today a great conductor as well as violinist) into the act, too.
This disc is highly recommended - and especially to aspiring soloists."