Search - Classic Archive: Music Transfigured - Remembering Ferenc Fricsay on DVD

Classic Archive: Music Transfigured - Remembering Ferenc Fricsay
Classic Archive Music Transfigured - Remembering Ferenc Fricsay
Actors: Rossini, Beethoven, Rai Berlin, Fricsay
Director: --
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2009     1hr 51min


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Actors: Rossini, Beethoven, Rai Berlin, Fricsay
Director: --
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: International, Educational, Classical, Ballet & Dance
Studio: Ideale Audience Intl
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/30/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2009
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: German, English
Subtitles: English, French, German

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Movie Reviews

Remembering Ferenc Fricsay
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 09/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Ferenc Fricsay (1914-1963; his last name is pronounced 'FRITCH-eye', not FRIC-say as is so often heard here on American radio) was a Hungarian conductor who trained under Bartók, Kodaly, Leo Weiner and Ernö Dohnanyi in Budapest. His talent was recognized early and he had a meteoric career tragically cut short when he died at not quite fifty. He was one of the first classical conductors to recognize the importance of televised concerts and rehearsal footage. He spent a number of years leading the RIAS Orchestra in Berlin in the after-war years and this is the orchestra we primarily hear in this documentary; there are short clips of the Bavarian Radio Orchestra and the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. He also conducted at the Deutsche Oper and led the Berlin Philharmonic many times. His conducting hero was Toscanini. He was fanatic about rhythmic accuracy as well as utter fidelity to the score. This documentary, devised by Stephen Wright and Gérard Caillat, includes considerable rehearsal and concert footage in which passages from Smetana's Moldau, Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite, Wagner's Siegfried Idyl, a stage presentation of Don Giovanni with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Brahms's and Bruch's Violin Concertos with Yehudi Menuhin, Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro Overture are presented. As a bonus there are complete concert performances of Rossini's La Scala di Seta Overture and Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3. There are illuminating interviews with some who knew him well, including Fischer-Dieskau and Támas Vásáry.

The rehearsal footage is notable for showing Fricsay's marvelous ability with a few words to convey to the orchestra precisely what he wanted, often using metaphor or colorful description beyond strictly musical terminology. It is impressive to see how the orchestra responds to this. This documentary is primarily taken from TV footage and is in grainy black & white. Sound, of course, is early stereo. Still, something comes through that makes it clear why Fricsay was considered such an important figure and why his early death was such a loss to the music world.

Running time: Documentary: 57mins; Concert film: 23mins; Format: NTSC 4:3; Sound: PCM stereo; Narration: English and German; Subtitles: German and English; Regional code: 0 (worldwide)

Scott Morrison"