Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Berliner Philharmonic/Simon Rattle Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition/Borodin - Symphony No 2|
Director: Elisabeth Malzer
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sir Simon and the Berlin Philharmonic are an excellent match
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 08/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Berlin Philharmonic has been known to eat conductors alive. Even the iron-willed Herbert von Karajan had his problems, barely escaping unscathed following a controversy over his choice of orchestra members. So when Sir Simon was picked as principle conductor of the orchestra there was some surprise over the decision; the impression that he might not be up to the task because of his easy-going nature was fairly wide-spread. But he has been a splendid conductor of the orchestra and the match appears to be a nearly perfect one.
This DVD features two superb Russian works that convey something of the vivid nationalism that swept through Russia in the Nineteenth Century. Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition as orchestrated by Maurice Ravel has been a popular work since its first performance. The Berlin Philharmonic are especially brilliant in these large-scale pictorial works; their wonderful technique, stunning tone and sheer forcefulness have never been more evident than here. Listen to those deep, rumbling brasses, the expressive sheen of their strings and the intimate lyricism of the woodwinds and you will appreciate why this orchestra is considered so special. This is a vivid technicolor performance with Sir Simon firmly in control, loosening the reins now and then as needed. The huge orchestral finale with its mighty reverberating gongs seems to magically conjure the Great Gate of Kiev into existence in our imagination and it is simply thrilling.
Borodin's slightly more subdued Symphony No. 2 is a lyrical masterpiece that evokes a mythical Russia. To my mind it seems to convey the vast frozen steppes and the ancient invading Rus. There is an autumnal Slavic melancholy in almost every note of the symphony. Sir Simon and the orchestra emphasize the sheer sonic beauty and yearning soulfulness of this work. The strings play with a satiny softness in the most lyrical moments, while the more forceful ones are presented with understated power by the brasses and winds. Sir Simon is never less than utterly appropriate in his choice of tempo, texture and dynamics. If you love these two works then you will treasure these performances from one of the world's finest orchestras. If they are new to you then this DVD will make a splendid introduction. Both sound and picture are exemplary.
A Wonderful Performance.
Zarathustra | Sacramento, CA USA | 10/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I agree with Mike Birman's review, so I'll make this short. The Berlin Philharmonic just gets better every time I hear it. It is great to see so many young men and women in the orchestra. This is a superb performance of Pictures at an Exhibition. The Borodin is less familiar to me (I love his Quartet #2) but was beautifully played.
Like all EuroArts DVDs, this concert looks and sounds great. Highly recommended."