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Christmas in Rome [DVD Video]
Christmas in Rome
DVD Video
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2007     1hr 42min


Movie Details

Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/13/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 42min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: German, English, Italian, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

A very traditional Christmas
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 11/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Well, if you've been hankering for a traditional Christmas, here it is. Spanning the years from the early fifth century, when the beautiful church of Santa Maria Maggiore was built in Rome (where these performances were recorded), to the mid-18th century (when the latest pieces were composed), this DVD celebrates angels and shepherds viewed through the music of the Italian Baroque composers. Composers include Victoria, Palestrina, Frescobaldi, Carissimi, Josquin, A. Scarlatti, Corelli and Vivaldi. Major pieces include Scarlatti's cantata O di Betlemme altera, Corelli's Concerto grosso in G minor op.6 no.1 Christmas Concerto and Vivaldi's Gloria RV 589, performed by Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert with Nancy Argenta as soloist. The shorter pieces are performed by the Gabrieli Consort and Players led by a young Paul McCreesh. A short opening fanfare is played by the Renaissance wind band Pifferari.

All of the historically informed performances are superb, as expected from these splendid musicians. The instruments are fascinating in appearance, especially to those unfamiliar with these older, authentic instruments. My favorites are Jeremy West's cornett, which resembles a funhouse clarinet and sounds surprisingly full and warm given its curved shape, and Paula Chateauneuf's 6-8 foot long chittarone (a lute on steroids). The church looks gorgeous: with its gold filagreed walls and columns, mosaic tiled floors, stunning Baroque paintings and frescos, lovely altars, porticos, balconies: the camera simply doesn't know where to pan next. This is a splendid DVD, filmed in performance Dec. 1992. The digitally remastered widescreen picture is crisp and clear, sound in PCM stereo and DTS 5.1 is warm and full. The performances last 102 minutes. The camera is mobile, showing the church in all it's beauty, the performers to best advantage and Rome with all its eternal grace. This is a very traditional Christmas.

If the beauty of a traditional Baroque Christmas celebration is something you've craved, search no more. This is a superb DVD which you'll probably play often during the Christmas season, as well as the rest of the year. Most strongly recommended.

Mike Birman"
A real treat
Jay Young | Austin, TX USA | 12/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I just got this today, and it's a real treat. I'd like to second Mr. Birman's review. The English College Concert Choir and the Gabrieli Consort do a superb job in artistic interpretation of Christmas music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. It's quite fitting that the concert take place in Santa Maria Maggiore, as many eminent composers, including Palestrina, worked there, and because it supposedly possesses Jesus' original crib. The choristers are always expressive, and the music is a joy to listen to. Even if you can't listen to this on Christmas, this is a great DVD to listen to/watch at any time of the year."
Somewhat disappointed...
Debra | Maine | 02/16/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The sacred music was beautiful to listen to, but I was disappointed that the video consisted only of watching people sing. I was hoping to see pictures of old churches, historical Roman sites, Christian art, the Christmas story, etc."