Search - Henryk Szeryng Plays Brahms Violin Concerto, Bartok & Ravel (EMI Classic Archive 20) on DVD

Henryk Szeryng Plays Brahms Violin Concerto, Bartok & Ravel (EMI Classic Archive 20)
Henryk Szeryng Plays Brahms Violin Concerto Bartok Ravel
EMI Classic Archive 20
Actors: Henryk Szeryng, Michael Isador
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     1hr 45min

For many listeners, Henryk Szeryng would be the No. 1 choice for a recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto. His interpretation is technically flawless, emotionally involved, and deeply probing; it makes Jascha Heifetz, fo...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Henryk Szeryng, Michael Isador
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: EMI Classics
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 02/10/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, Spanish, German

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Movie Reviews

Greatest complete Brahms Concerto and Tzigane on video
Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 01/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this DVD as an import from the orient months before it was available here in the USA, sure I paid almost double but its worth it for me to pay more and not have to wait, especially with a great artist like this.Mr. Szeryng needs no introduction, many believe he recorded the greatest solo Bach, arguably the hardest works available to violinists.A mixed bag of repertoire, from blatantly lyrical to dazzlingly technical. Mr. Szeryng has the perfect style of passion and expression combined with effortless technique, the instrument simply does what ever he wants it to. I find his sound to be much more appealing than Heifetz with and equal ability to play even the most difficult works with ease and conviction, like saying "I'm all over this". For this reason, he is in my top five all time recorded violinists category. One thing I respect about Mr Heifetz is that his musicality and sence of conviction is undeniable and also he was able to maintain this standard for about 60 years where Mr. Szeryng was on that level for about 20 or 30 years and fortunately for us these videos were made in his prime, unlike the Huberman Fest video and part of the other DVD available.Presented here is the greatest complete recorded Brahms Concerto available on video, I prefer Oistrakh for the Brahms but there is only a clip of the last movement. For this recording of the Brahms alone makes this DVD worth getting, the soaring melody of the first movement has to be the most beautiful melody ever written to me. It breaks my heart when I read how this concerto was dismissed as inferior and neglected for years, it was shunned so badly that a second violin concerto was burned by Brahms and I will forever be torn by trying to imagine what a second violin concerto would have sounded like. For me this concerto is the most robust and mature ever written.The Tzigane is also noteworthy here, a masterpiece and performed with exceptional emotion and conviction and again effortless technique and flawless intonation. In contrast, the Suk, Debussy, and slow movement of the Le Clair is played with an indescribable singing like quality, displaying his sensitivity and the ability to play with passion, emotion and speak with every note. Complete contents of this video include:Brahms Concerto
Bartok Romanian Folk Dances
LeClair Sonata in D maj Op9 No3
Brahms Hungarian Dance No 17 in F minor
Ravel Tzigane
Bach G min Fugue
Locatelli Caprice in D maj Op3 No23
Suk Love Song Op7 No1
Novacek Perpetual Motion
Debussy La Plus Que Lente, valse
Mozart Serenade No7 in D maj K250 Mvt 4 Rondo Allegro
Kerisler Recitativo and Scherzo-Caprice Op6Actually the Hungarian Dance 17 is in F# minor, a printed mistake.Begin rant:
I have to say that one thing that I hate about the new EMI DVD's is that the video will not play all the way through without you having to keep pressing play when it gets to the next video, I find this annoying. This leads me to want to transfer the DVD on to VHS so I can watch all the way through without intrerruption but the have found a way to prevent copying which makes me very angry and infringes on my right as a consumer to copy my own property, very unfair! On top of that I lost my remote and there is no way for me to move the cursor to the bonus video so the only way for me to watch that is to go to my mother's house and use her machine!
/End RantThis is a 5 star DVD all the way and much better than the other DVD with Mr. Szeryng. Now if I could get my hands on the complete Brahms Concerto video by Oistrakh I would truly be in heaven. Even if I did, I would still treasure this stunning document of Mr. Szeryng's great legacy."
Excellent DVD
Nabih B. Bulos | Baltimore, MD USA | 06/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yet another one of these hit-and-miss EMI "Classical Archive Series" DVD's is on the menu, although this is most certainly a hit, a very palpable hit.
Henryk Szeryng, though not as famous as his other illustrious colleagues, was an excellent violinist in his own right. Despite the fact that he came to fame a little bit later in his career than expected (through Sol Hurok, with Isaac Stern's mediation I believe), his recorded video legacy is quite large. An unabashed performer, Szeryng believed in the video medium, and cameras were welcomed (unlike Kogan, who apparently abhorred the damn things).
Thus, what we have here is a pretty good selection, covering the gamut of the violinist's art, from virtuosic trifles to magnum opuses for the instrument, and much in between.
The Brahms is, as the other reviewers say, quite weak in terms of orchestral support, and it is a shame that a better rendition of this piece was not available for inclusion. The Brahms is also marred by occasionally moronic camera angles, although this is a small gripe in what is still a very good performance.
Generally speaking, the remaining pieces are excellent, especially the Tzigane (played with great verve). The bonus clips are also quite interesting, in that they are in color, and they're also taken at a later point in Seryng's career. It is gratifying to see the great artist in fairly fine form, although his Scherzo Caprice does lack some polish (not to mention the fact that he looks kind of drunk).
This rates as my second favourite DVD of this series, and is a worthy addition to anyone's violin library."
The Art of Szeryng
BLee | HK | 04/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The quality of the films are slightly above average only. The picture is slightly grainy but they cover the hands quite a lot, and the angle of the camera is good, some from the aerial. Audio-wise, they can amply let you distinguish and enjoy all the intensity and colours of this most beautiful sound of violin.Some minor drawbacks. Szeryng was definitely a top Brahms player and he took very good care of the orchestra. So he had to hold back quite a bit. Furthermore, the recorded sound of the orchestra is not too ideal, and the sound of the oboe which had a number of dialogues with the violin is rather odd. One may not take delight in seeing the camera zoom out to cover the whole orchestra either. Fortunately that is rare. On the other hand, viewers could take consolation to note that the accompanist for the other pieces was the regular one for Thibaud (one of the mentors of Szeryng) before his tragic death.Here Szeryng plays with (in almost every piece and not just his Brahms) even more colour than Heifetz and perhaps with no less colour than Menuhin, and Szeryng does it well within the bound of a great tradition. No wonder Mr Perlman is so jealous while Rubininstein is so impressed by him. There are things in Szeryng that could make even Menuhin or Heifetz blush or even jealous...
This DVD runs 104 minutes, covering one of the greatest violin concerti plus some other great German, French and even some Hungarian violin music, interpreted by one of the greatest violinists of the golden age. Wjile Hilary Hann quite rightly says Szeryng's Bach has everything a violinist would aim for, here we have a much fuller magnitude than just Bach: a whole cross section of the art of the violin by this pre-eminent artist. This DVD should fairly and squarely be called the Art of Szeryng or else the Art of Violin, if those titles do not pre-exist."
Fine Historical Tribute
teva_man | United States | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"When we listen to Henryk Szeryng, we are listening to a violinist who was probably the most disciplined and hardest-working of any virtuoso on any instrument. Szeryng was one of the greatest fiddlers of all time. His interpretations may not be the most spontaneous or the most interesting - they often tend to proceed upon a well-marked road map. But his playing truly represents what the program notes for this disc mention, that "he placed remorseless demands upon himself." For him, violin playing was very serious business. Despite the many unflattering rumors out there about his dour personality, he didn't mind being filmed and enjoyed showing audiences another side of the violin.

This disc is a generous compilation, for the mere $12.95 cost of the disc - the Brahms Concerto, plus a number of vignettes. The Concerto (a live performance in France with the legendary Paul Paray at the podium) is everything most of us could hope for. I've heard so many fiddlers play it live over the years, and although I'm partial to (gasp!!!) Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Szeryng's approach is a refreshing change.

To comment on all the other numbers would be gratuitous - needless to say, Szeryng does them magnificently. The much-played LeClair Sonata is imbued with a certain heartwarmth,
as is Suk's rarely-heard "Love Song." Quite spectacular are
the Novacek Perpetuum Mobile and one of the **verrrry** seldom-played Locatelli "Labyrinth" Caprices (which were written long before Paganini wrote his 24). The Ravel "Tzigane," like Grumiaux's recordings of it, suffers a bit for lack of pizazz and abandon, as does Bach's "Fugue" from the G minor Sonata, which is played too slowly (the tempo is 'Allegro' and Szeryng plays it 'Moderato'.) Tasso Janopoulo is the competent pianist for most of the numbers.

But perhaps best of all are the two bonus items, taped in 1975, in color (the rest of the disc is in black and white, taped in the early 1960s). The Mozart-Kreisler "Rondo" in G major is nice - Szeryng does the mini-cadenzas quite nicely,
with elegance. Kreisler's "Recitativo and Scherzo" for solo violin is a brilliant piece of music and Szeryng tosses it off effortlessly.

One of my colleagues said that Szeryng never made a bad recording. I can't vouch for that statement enough times over.