Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bernstein Brahms Symphonies nos 2 4|
Actors: Brahms, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bernstein
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
BRAHMS:SYMPHONIES NOS 2 & 4 - DVD Movie
A Trip Down Memory Lane
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 06/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD won't be for everybody, particularly as there are DVDs with Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in all the Brahms Symphonies. Brahms: Symphonies or Leonard Bernstein Conducts Brahms - Boxed Set But there are reasons for some of us to get it. For one thing, these performances are from 1972 which is a period before Bernstein began his inexorable slowing down of tempi, worrying for many Bernstein admirers. And the Boston Symphony, here in their summer gig at the Tanglewood Festival, play like angels. And although the audio from 1972 is a bit ancient by current standards, it was recorded in warm analog sound, a definite plus for some. Bernstein directs the works without score and with a moderate amount of choreography (for him). One cannot watch, however, without catching the spirit of Bernstein's enthusiasm for these scores. He often stated that the Second was his favorite Brahms symphony, and that shows. He simply revels in it. As does his orchestra.
Visually the DVD is dated. First of all, the BSO are outfitted in baby blue tuxedos -- their summer gear, I guess -- and many of them have early 1970s sideburns, a bit laughable nowadays. Roger Englander, the director, wisely spends much of his camera time focused on Bernstein, which is, I suspect, a plus for Bernstein fans. There is, nonetheless, a good bit of skillful focus on the individual players as well. One does not get dizzy from frenetic cutting from one view to another; the slower pace is a bit of a throwback to a calmer time video-wise. (One notes in passing that now-famous composer John Corigliano is listed as an assistant director of the video.)
There is also a nine-minute 'documentary' which Bernstein narrates. In it he tells some of the history of Tanglewood and of its importance to him (and to music lovers, young musicians and particularly young conductors). There are some wonderful scenes of early Tanglewood days as well as a snippet of a masterclass Bernstein gives with some young conductors.
Format: NTSC 4:3; Sound: PCM stereo, Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1; Subtitles (particularly important in the documentary): English, German, French, Spanish; Region code: 0 (worldwide); Time: 86 mins (concert), 9 mins (documentary)