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Daniel Barenboim: 50 Years On Stage
Daniel Barenboim 50 Years On Stage
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2005     3hr 50min


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Euroarts
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 02/22/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 3hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French

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Movie Reviews

A Barenboim Love-Fest
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 02/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A 2 DVD set celebrating Daniel Barenboim's fifty years before the public that comprises a two-hour recital (with thirteen encores!) filmed at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, commemorating Barenboim's very first recital in his native city, plus a ninety-minute documentary about Barenboim's life.

First the recital: The regular program consists of the Mozart C Major Sonata, K. 330, followed by Beethoven's 'Appassionata' Sonata, Op. 57. After the interval are excerpts from both books of Albéniz's 'Iberia'--Evocación, El puerto, El Corpus de Sevilla, Rondeña, and Triana. Then follow thirteen encores demanded by an adoring and vociferous capacity audience in the Colón who at one point sing 'Happy Birthday' in Spanish to Barenboim. He talks to the audience before every encore and charmingly says that when he was planning his recital he at first thought he might just repeat that first recital he had played when he was ten, but thought better of it because 'some of you might have been there that night and would tell me the first concert had been better.'

The musical aspects of the recital and the marathon encores were typical Barenboim--delicately nuanced moments peppered with bombastic playing that is over the top. Clearly, though, all these years of primarily conducting orchestras like the Chicago and the Berlin Staatskapelle have not robbed him of his pianist chops.

The documentary on the second DVD traces his life from early childhood in Buenos Aires (and includes footage of a trip back there to see childhood haunts including the synagogue he had attended) through visits to the Berlin Staatsoper, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, a visit to Israel (where he grew up after about age ten), a session with the orchestra he founded consisting of Israeli and Arab musicians, the controversial concert with the Staatskapelle in Jerusalem where he finished a concert by asking the audience if they would be willing to hear some Wagner (Prelude and Liebestod) which provoked an outraged few to shout and then leave the hall. And finally a little bit of tango with bandoneon and double bass players back in Buenos Aires. Throughout Barenboim is shown to be a charming and genial man who clearly enjoys life to the fullest (including smoking big cigars at any opportunity, and spicing up a Chinese dinner with salsa).

An interesting combination of musical recital and documentary, both filmed by a team consisting of Paul Smaczny and Isabel Iturriagagoitia, beautifully videographed. Sound is good. Subtitles in English, French, German. Sound choices: DD 5.1, DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo. Total time: concert 140 mins; documentary 90 mins.

Scott Morrison"
A Wonderful Surprise - The Conductor, Can Still Play Brillia
Dr. Ervin Nieves | 11/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This 2 DVD set helped me appreciate Barenboim. Up to now, I thought he was merely a conductor who once was a pianist, but never impressed me as having top caliber pianism. I see I was wrong. In this DVD, Barenboim gives you his heart. He plays a splending program of Beethoven, Chopin, Moriz Rosenthal, Albeniz, and so many many others. The DVD downplays all the extra encores Barenboim "presents" -- in the sense of a "gift" -- to his heart-warming audience, who cheers him on and sings happy birthday to Barenboim. Barenboim's warmth was endearing. I imagined him as a megalomaniac conductor, as most of them are. But no, here was a man of elegance, but also of candor and warmth. There were musical goodies in the Documentary portion as well, not just talk. It's wonderful to appreciate Barenboim's outstanding musical memory in action. There were some minor gliches, but in general, absolutely brilliant playing. Barenboim got better as the program progressed. His second half is electrifyingly splendid. His Spanish speaking was also a bonus. Bravo to a great soul!"
A supreme gift
J. Anderson | Monterey, CA USA | 03/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Disc 2 of this double DVD set is a pulsing look at Daniel Barenboim and his immense world of music and art and indeed fine living - friends, discoveries, everything a gifted and elegant intelligence can thrive within. He comes across an interested, intriguing man of tremendous gifts and sensibilities. It's a joy to watch him work and relax, to witness his world, and it's easy to understand his artistic preeminence after 50 yrs living a musician's life. It's a film unafraid to present its subject as one who listens attentively to the requirements of great gifts, and man, does it make for a beautiful one. Beautifully, intelligently filmed and edited, the pacing's just right and the sound is superb, and a few nuggets from the concert are studded throughout - it's just right. As fine as the documentary is, the real gift of this set is Barenboim's concert at the Teatro Colon. The Mozart and Beethoven that open the concert are just the rumblings. From the Scarlatti sonata in D forward, Barenboim commits playing that in any age would be judged a supreme art. Such playing! He gives Ginastera's gemlike Danza de la moza donosa a performance of spectacular ease and mysterious colors. Barenboim's magical intelligence absolutely possesses the keyboard, spinning out Schubert and Chopin, a delectable Rosenthal, Villa-Lobos, on through encore after loved encore, until he himself finally closes the piano lid, indicating the necessary end. The Chopin's a revelation! An etude - a nocturne of sublime artfulness - the gods were with the maestro this night in Buenos Aires. The piano playing is STUPENDOUS, and I'm an old man with lots of experience up that river. It flat out overwhelmed me - I watched it twice in immediate succession! If you dont know this authoritative and elegant musician's musician, if you've not heard him play, this 2-disc set is THE perfect moment to wake up! A profound artist with humility that clearly underpins his art and makes it memorable beyond words. Honestly, the finest filmed piano concert I've ever experienced. The intense and loving air in the Teatro Colon comes right to you, beckoning. Dont miss it."
Don't hesitate to buy this
Patrick Hudson | New Mexico | 05/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This DVD is excellent in all respects ... good audio, good video, well recorded and a great concert. You can sense the emotions that were present. The second DVD which is biographical is a lovely documentary in its own right. If you did not know already, this DVD will convince you of Barenboim's exceptional qualities as a musician and more important as a human being."