Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bruckner/Beethoven - Symphony No 7 Piano Concerto No 3 Alfred Brendel Claudio Abbado|
Actor: Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A splendid live concert from Lucerne
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 06/30/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To categorize the nature of these two performances as similar to chamber music in style and sound is definitely not hyperbole. Not when the musicians in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra include the Hagen String Quartet, members of the Alban Berg String Quartet, clarinettist Sabine Meyer and her woodwind chamber ensemble Blaserensemble Sabine Meyer. There are assorted principal instrumentalists from the world's greatest orchestras, as well. It is a stunning collection of talent led by a gaunt but tanned Claudio Abbado, now 72 years old. He elicits subdued excellence from this assemblage: as if this orchestra is so convinced of its talent it has nothing to prove. There are no gratuitous grand gestures in either the Beethoven concerto or the Bruckner symphony. No bombast, even in the louder passages. The crescendos are played superbly but with restraint. This is confident music making.
Alfred Brendel, the great pianist whose reputation is for poetry and intelligence is provided an absolutely appropriate partner in the Beethoven. By emphasizing the lyrical serenity of Beethoven's score, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra establishes a real dialog with Brendel: allowing the pianist to shine by alternating Beethoven's louder public utterances with quieter, more introverted private musings. By maintaining this balance, it produces a reading that can truly be categorized as Olympian in its grandeur. This is one of the finest Beethoven Third Piano Concertos I've heard. In the Bruckner Seventh Symphony we hear a performance best categorized as Schubertian in its lyricism: with an almost Mozartian elegance in the first and second movements. Stentorian Wagnerisms are banished from the outer two movements, replaced by a lovely Viennese lilt. This without sacrificing Bruckner's powerful massed horns and strings that are his trademark "great blocks of sound". This is a superb performance that firmly establishes Abbado's reputation as a fine Brucknerian. Both performances are memorable and definitely worth owning.
This DVD was recorded live at the Concert Hall of the Culture and Convention Centre Lucerne on 10-12 August 2005. The picture format is 16:9 anamorphic widescreen. It appears to be recorded in high-definition. Sound formats are PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound. All sound splendid with the surround providing greater spatial definition and ambiance. The hall provides a warm, natural sound. The region code is 1. Running time of the disc is 106 minutes.
A great live performance that is definitely worth serious consideration. Most strongly recommended.
This Series is Beginning to Look Like Becoming a Classic
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 07/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's no secret that many people believe that Claudio Abbado, now back in reasonably good health after some health problems a few years ago, is one of the great conductors and possibly the greatest conductor currently before the public. I tend to agree with that assessment and treasure the one time I heard him conduct the Chicago Symphony as well as the growing number of CDs and especially DVDs that he has made with some of the world's great artists. The Lucerne Festival Orchestra is one that he fashioned from the members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (a group he also founded) plus world-famous soloists like clarinetist Sabine Meyer, flutist Jacques Zoon, cellist Natalia Gutman, members of the Alban Berg and Hagen Quartets, and principals of some of the world's great orchestras like Kolja Blacher, concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic, and horn Bruno Schneider, formerly of the Suisse Romande. This group plays like a large chamber ensemble and I can't tell you how important that is to the two works presented here.
The Third Beethoven Concerto, with the redoubtable Alfred Brendel as soloist, is played in a classic manner with impeccable ensemble, with a glowing but not glaring spotlight on the orchestral sections and principals as they converse with the Brendel. Brendel's approach is rather introverted in slight contrast to the orchestra's more outward commentary. This comes across more like a chamber music performance than a big public statement. Clearly this is at least partly the doing of Abbado. Every nuance is indicated by him and one can see him gently shaping dynamics and phrasing in a manner one might expect in, say, a string quartet or piano trio. The camera focuses for long periods on his conducting which I find extremely rewarding. Others have complained about the camera's lingering attention paid to Abbado's technique but I find I learn something with each succeeding release in this series of Abbado-led performances from Lucerne as well as his DVDs featuring the Mahler Jugendorchester and the Berlin Philharmonic. In this performance Brendel plays as to the manner born. His ability to combine technical aplomb with polish, grace and poetry is well-known and we are not let down in this 2005 performance. It is interesting to note that he still sports grubby Elastoplast (BandAid) bandages over the ends of some of his fingers; it doesn't seem to interfere with his playing one whit.
What I've indicated about the chamber-music approach in the Beethoven goes doubly for the Bruckner. Let's face it, this is a work which can sound bombastic, even bloated in the wrong hands. Here every effect is delicately shaped and although the sound of the orchestral tuttis is full, especially when the large brass section is in full cry, there is still a shapeliness that keeps the music, particularly in the Scherzo, from shouting or galumphing. One is almost tempted to say that this is Bruckner as it might be conducted by Boulez, except that there is a good deal more heart in this performance than one would imagine from Boulez. What I'm getting at is that there is a Boulezian clarity and logic coupled with heart-felt but not maudlin sentiment. This is a magnificent Seventh.
Videography, in the slickly modern concert hall of the new Lucerne Culture and Convention Centre, is excellent. Sound is state of the art. Options include PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 There are no extras except for some trailers.
Definitely recommended as are Abbado's other DVDs with these forces.
Outstanding Music DVD!
S. Cheshier | Atlanta, GA USA | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD finally completes the availability of all five Beethoven Piano Concerti in this format. It is beautifully performed and should be in any Beethoven lover's library."