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Herbert Von Karajan & Berliner Philharmoniker: Opening Concert Berlin 750 Years
Herbert Von Karajan Berliner Philharmoniker Opening Concert Berlin 750 Years
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2003     1hr 21min


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Classical
Studio: Sony
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/11/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 21min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French, German

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Movie Reviews

Opening Concert Berlin 750 Years
Michael T. Willoughby | Overland Park, KS United States | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I thought at first that having Mozart's "Divertimento K.334" mixed with "Also sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss was a little odd. I believe that these choices were mostly done due to the rich history of Berlin, and how works such as these were important to the Berliners, and Austrians. Berlin and Vienna's musical elite, such as Sigmund von Robinig would commission works to be played in their salons, such as "Divertissements" or "Divertimento's." This was the order of the day for many elites, since they could afford to commission private musicians for years. This fasinating work was done in 1779, one year before the so-called start of Mozart's Golden Decade. These five separate movements are a continual testament of Mozart's genius and musical ability. Karajan's powerful allegro cycles through the moods of the Andante, Menuetto, Adagio, and back again for the Rondo/Allegro. Only Karajan can slap a person's mind with Mozart, then offer up Strauss before the smelling salts can be administered. This twist in the evening with the tone poem Zarathurstra can actually bring back moments of the Space Odyssey 2001. This flying through the color spectrum at the speed of light would even wow Arthur C. Clarke. This DVD is a must have for any collector of the Herbert von Karajan legacy videos, or with anyone with a yearning to experience again the Odyssey masterpiece!!"
Musically fine, but visually awful
HB | Fort Mill, SC | 09/11/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"If this was a CD it would get 5 stars, although I am not happy that Maestro Karajan skipped a movement in the Mozart Divertomento. The other five movements are played beautifully by the great Berlin Philharmonic strings. And the Strauss is also exceptional. But here is the problem: this DVD was made at the end of the conductor's life. His conducting is so minimal that it becomes extremely boring after just a few minutes. And the camera work is also very dull. Finally, the picture has little clarity, let alone brilliance. Unless you are a Karajan collector, I would avoid this DVD."
The Old Man comes to life!
Mr John Haueisen | WORTHINGTON, OHIO United States | 12/06/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If it seems odd to be pairing Mozart and Strauss, perhaps the reasoning behind it was to show the changing of music over time, viewed at the 750th anniversary of Berlin. The Mozart Divertimento provides a classical piece from back when a conductor's chief purpose was to beat time. Mozart (except in his mind) probably never heard this divertimento played this well. The BPO was Karajan's personal instrument and his musicians play as one. They sound like the consummate chamber orchestra--certainly more accomplished and harmonious than anything Mozart ever had at his disposal.

Then, for the second part of this performance--Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra--the BPO is transformed into a gigantic modern orchestra with many more voices and means of expression--yet always precisely under Karajan's control.

Herbert von Karajan was rather advanced in years at the time of this recorded performance. During the Mozart, he appears as a very old man as he barely moves his hands to conduct. But as mentioned earlier, during the Classical Period, little conducting was actually done. Conductors, when there were any, often just beat time or indicated direction from their position at the harpsichord. Thus, Karajan's lack of involvement can be attributed to little need for it in a work of that period. When the Strauss piece begins, the "old man" comes to life with numerous arm movements and varied gestures appropriate for bringing out the nuances in a Romantic Period piece.

This DVD is a must for those who love Karajan or anyone wishing to hear an excellent performance of Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, so "futuristic-sounding" that it became the well-known theme for Kubrick's film, 2001, a Space Odyssey. Hear the music here--performed at its best!