Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Eighth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Here to Make Music|
Actor: Dudley Moore
Director: Peter Rosen
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Ariel | Buenos Aires, Argentina | 03/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is great to be the first in reviewing this wonderful documentary on DVD. First it should be mentioned that all the Van Cliburn Piano Competition DVDs are absolutely great, very emotional, inspirational, beautifully made and fantastic to watch.
I would like to say that the documentaries from the Seventh and Twelfth ("In the Heart of Music") Van Cliburn Piano Competition are both very good indeed and worth watching but the ones from the Eighth ("Here to Make Music"), Ninth ("Life in Music"), Tenth ("Playing with Fire"), and Eleventh ("Playing on the Edge") are better, this is just my personal opinion.
About this particular programme from the Eighth Van Cliburn Piano Competition that took place in 1989 in Fort Worth Texas, I would like to say that it is simply superb, it is interesting to say that this documentary won an Emmy Award to "Outstanding Directing in Classical Music" and a DGA Award to "Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary", the film was made by the renown Peter Rosen and is a pure joy to watch from beginning to end making you feel part of this exceptional programme.
If you are involved with the piano or just love it this DVD is a must-have, start here, after watching this one you will be totally and deeply engaged, and I have no doubt that you will not want to miss the other Van Cliburn Piano Competition releases, and that you will follow this wonderful competition in the years to come, the next one will be in 2009 (last one was in 2005).
Lastly I would like to especially mention the great Alexei Sultanov who deservedly won the first prize with only 19 years-old being the youngest winner ever, his performances were absolutely superb, it was like the piano was actually singing all the time, and his technic, concentration, musicality and expressiveness were outstanding and a delight to watch, this exceptional programme is a special tribute to this unbelievably great young talent, Alexei Sultanov."
If in doubt, begin with the 8th Van Cliburn  competiti
Anthony J. Lomenzo | Fort Ann, New York | 04/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would agree with the previous reviewer, Ariel, that if you have to start somewhere with the available Van Cliburn competition DVD's, the 1989 8th Van Cliburn ["Here to Make Music" -- Emmy Award Winner production by Peter Rosen Productions] is the one to choose!
The competitors with emphasis on the six finalists of course literally grow on you and, in my opinion, the viewer can make up their own mind about what I felt to be the excellent playing/interpretations and in fact "well earned" gold medal by Alexei Sultanov who was then only 19. But so what! It's not the age of the competitor, it's the playing and interpretive ability! Joyce Yang took the silver medal at the 2005 competition and she was but age 19 herself! Indeed, even the 2005 competition media wag dubbed "the Undertaker" [sic], Alexander Kobrin, at 25, had the last 'dig', as it were, by taking home the gold!
Why Van Cliburn jury member Gyorgy Sandor was so upset about the '89 Sultanov win totally escapes me and readers may recall Mr. Sandor relegating Sultanov's 1989 gold medal win as a publicly stated "tremendous scandal" [sic]. Even juror member John Lill made with the "medal weighing heavily" rhetoric on Sultanov. I stated in another review on a different DVD item that Mr. Sandor appeared in the DVD itself to be biting on lemons when the name "Sultanov" was announced and he sat there stone-faced as various of the other jurors caught by the camera applauded. Why? Dunno! Apparently, to Mr. Sandor anyway, 'anyone' in their teens or perhaps under 30 which is in fact the 'maximum' age for the Van Cliburn 'pro' competition [as opposed to the Van Cliburn "Outstanding Amateurs" competition open to the over 35 crowd] simply 'lack the experience and depth of understanding' of the great pieces yet it remains ironic that the pianistic masters themselves were 'composing' much less playing the great classical pieces while they themselves were quite young!
As is known, Alexei Sultanov passed away at age 35 from long term medical issues and complications in 2005, the same year as Mr. Sandor's own passing in his 90's, but I believe the DVD is a fine testament to his playing skills and his overly friendly, daring albeit within reason and charismatic demeanor much akin to Davide Cabassi in the 2005 competition.
So too, this DVD has ample bonus extras including a Van Cliburn competition retrospective. Those of us who both love and play classical piano and at whatever level of competence [what's that? Well, let's just say that 'my' rendition of Beethoven's rather sublime 2nd movement "Appassionata" may not always conform to the way the great master composed it. Ahh -- for that "Muppet Show" shtick and the "Bust of Beethoven", you know, the great man in bust form placed near the piano but when Borge hits a [purposeful] clinker in the "Moonlight Sonata" piece and Fozzie-bear says to Borge, "Did you make a mistake?", the 'Bust of Beethoven' suddenly pipes up to defend Borge and quips, "No, that's the way I wrote it!"] should enjoy it immensely.
The DVD has a little bit of everything both behind the keys and behind the scenes so to speak including the on-going commentary segments by well known artists and the Van Cliburn competition jurors and administration. An excellent compliment or adjunct companion, if you will, to this particular DVD is Joseph Horowitz and his book, "The Ivory Trade"  which has a specific focus on the 1989 8th Van Cliburn competition with a built-in Van Cliburn competition retrospective and is an excellent read which well compliments the Emmy award winning DVD!
Thomas Allen | Aubrey, TX | 08/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Watched this on A&E many years ago and was so pleased to find it on DVD. Recomend it highly."