Search - Great Violinists of the Bell Telephone Hour (1959-1964) on DVD

Great Violinists of the Bell Telephone Hour (1959-1964)
Great Violinists of the Bell Telephone Hour
Actors: Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Michael Rabin, Zino Francescatti, Erica Morini
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2002     1hr 30min


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Movie Details

Actors: Yehudi Menuhin, Isaac Stern, Michael Rabin, Zino Francescatti, Erica Morini
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Video Artists Int'l
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 06/25/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 08/13/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 30min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Intriguing document of heroes from the past
Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 02/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great video especially if you are a musical historian or if you play violin. You may become frustrated by the many excerpts of full length concertos because the entire concerto is not presented. Keep in mind they were aried live on national television and the show only permitted little time for performaces so they had to decide what will be played with the length of time available. In all actuality, we are lucky to see these performance that have never before been issued. Stern-Saint-Saens Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso:
Not my favorite performer but he is in his prime at the time this was made and his intonation is better than usual. His timing is still lacking for my tastes and perhaps a lack of inspiration kept me from fully loving this performance. What I did like was that the fingers of his left hand can clearly be seen so we can see his choice of fingerings, shifts, vibrato, and phrasing style which can be used to better understand the mechanics of how to play the piece correctly.Francescatti-Debussy La Fille aux Cheveux de lin:
Im not really the biggest fan of Debussy but this is a good vehicle for Francescatti to show off his wonderful tone, I don't think I have ever heard a tone like that before or since.Francescatti-Sarasate Zigeunerweisen:
I like Francescatti for the more singing style material and not as much the virtuoso material. His tone is again fantastic but his intonation and timing are not entirely satisfying to me on this one, but I loved watching and hearing him play anyways. More insight on how to play this unbelievably beautiful and difficult piece.Rabin-Tchaikovsky Concerto Movement 3:
This is the guy that made me want to play violin, his bowing and intonation is completely faultless, his tone is full, his timing deadly accurate. No doubt about it Rabin was a monster violinist with an awesome tone. This performance is very strict with the rythm and contains deadly accuracy, while some may perfer a more loose and playful interpretation. This video only confirms what I already knew, he could play the Tchaikovsky as well and convincingly as anyone who ever lived. Remember Rabin is the violinist who even Galamian said he has " weaknesses, not ever." I honestly see Rabin as a mix between the virtuosity of Heifetz (who he greatly admired) and the beauty of Francescatti. It is apparent to me his playing is not quite what it was in 1959 but it is really really great have a chance to watch his technique.Rabin-Kreisler Caprice Viennois:
I absolutely melted inside when I hard Rabin play this. What an awesome melody proceeded by that spine-tingling chromatic passage. This clip shows Rabin's ability to play with completely effortless and flawless technique and at the same time play with sensitivity and incredible beauty and expression. Rabin-Kreisler Tambourin Chinois:
Not my favorite piece but it is difficult and played very well. I remeber the first time I listened to Kreisler's music and thinking that he must have known Paganini's music intimitely.Mischa Elman:
Not one of my favorite violinists but this is a good example of his golden tone that everyone fell in love with during his day. The Wieniawski here is such a beautiful piece of music.Morini-Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 mvmt 3:
This clip totally blew me away! Morini studied with Sevick and has such an articulate bow technique, her staccato is simply nothing less than powerful and commanding. Perhaps the Bruch should be played a bit more smoothly and not as choppy but I loved this performance anyways, especially considering the high level of difficulty involved in performing it. I read in one of her CDs that Bruch himself consulted with her about his intentions for this piece so we can know by watching this that is it close to the composer's intent.Menuhin-Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 mvmts 2 & 3:
Im not really big on Menuhin especially for virtuoso material but I love when he plays melodic and singing pieces. The second movement was played with true beauty and elegance. Again, it is useful for me to see a virtuoso's left hand to better know what their preferences are for fingerings and shifting.David & Igor Oistrakh-J.S. Bach Double Concerto mvmts 2 & 3:
So beautiful and romantic, I feel like I am in heaven when I see and hear this. Not much more needs to be said.Ricci-Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto mvmt 3:
I really enjoyed this, Ricci plays really great here. I can't help but to wonder how good he was when he was a child. Some of Ricci's recent recordings reveal poor intontion but not here, truly a fantastic performance. I respect Ricci for daring to play what very few do, of course he was the first to play all Paganini caprices.Piatigorsky-Faure Elegie, Saint-Saens Allegro Appassionata:
Piatigorsky toured with Horowitz and Milstein and was one of the best cello soloists the world has known. The Faure is such an emotional composition and is played here with all the necessary beauty and sensitivity that is required, it does things to me that I can't explain. The Saint Saens is a real show off piece so the two show a talent of great sensitivity and feeling and the ability to display chops with subtance, Bravo!I completely recommend this video as a companion to "The Art of Violin" video, the only thing is that if you are anything like me you will be wondering where these clips have been the last 20 years of your life???"
Poor Picture Quality with More than Acceptable Sound
BLee | HK | 07/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It was a joy to see Morini play, albeit just for one movement. She was one of the pre-eminent violinists of the Vienna School, the sound as dictinct from the Russian School is so lean and so elegant. She was the perhaps the only vioinist whom Heifetz really admired. Heifetz actually took his violin to her asking her to teach him her staccato-- Menuhin also asked Oistrakh to share with him his staccato too.We also have Menuhin and Oistrakh in this DVD. Menuhin played part of the Paganini whereas the Oistrakhs played part of the Bach souble concerto. Fans of Menuhin and Oistrakh of course would not like to miss them.What are really outstanding in this DVD are: 1/ Isaac Stern's Saint-Saens. Having heard his marvelous performance, one have to upgrade him to one of the greatest masters of all times-- as a whole even better than many of Oistrakh's playing; 2/ we have a top representive of the finest Viennese School of viloinists, Morini which is so different from those violinists of the Modern Russian School: she played with such grace and assurance, and was definitely an aristocrat of violinists. She was the one who automatically moved Furtwangler to tears upon the very sight of her after WWII...Sure Elman sold most records at his time and my daughter in fact grows up with his music. But here somehow, one gets the feeling that Elman is lost in his quest for a beautiful sound. We also have Ricci and Rabin, the two child prodigies. On this occasion, it's interesting to see who gets it better as they are both playing the third movt of Tsaichovsky.What is more interesting would be Francescati though. Here we see some colourful playing , not just the sunshine we used to have from this master.As bonus, we have two pieces by Piatigorsky. Both wonderful works. It's not as long as Walton Concerto from the newly issued EMI, but lovely little pieces. If one ever finds Rostropovich too tense, one ought to lend his ears to Piatigorsky. He was handpicked by Furtwangler to become the principal cellist of Berlin Philharmonic; he also played quite a lot of chamber music with Horowitz and Mehuhin and later with Milstein. He also took up Feuerman's place and teamed up with Heifetz. Horowitz ranked him the best cellist of his time after Casals. The picture of this series is barely acceptable though. The colour is like what we had when we first have colour pictures and the grains are not fine enough and the preservation of the film is far from the best. The sound is fortunately more than acceptable. But again, it's somewhat discounted by standard of the orchestra. Otherwise, this DVD should deserve a 5 stars."
Great Violinists (and Cellist) of the Bell Telephone Hour
snerdly | California | 11/10/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Great to see and hear all of these musicians perform - However, I think cellists should be appropriately represented on a DVD devoted to the art of cello playing, not as add-on bonus items on a violinist DVD. Also, for me, hearing the last movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in two different performances was not as interesting as having more variety in repertoire. Could it be that there is so little to choose from in the archives of the Bell Telephone Hour?"