Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Leaving Home Orchestral Music in the 20th Century|
Actors: Sir Simon Rattle, Langridge, Meven, Rai, Davis
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
I Won't Be Leaving Home After Getting These DVDs
Kenneth G. Franconero | West Palm Beach, FL | 08/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't profess to be an expert on 20th century classical music. Or classical music for that matter. However, I can say without a doubt that this is the most entertaining classical DVD collection I've ever watched. I've been hogging these from the library, and I want to buy my own set before they disappear.
Like the average person who is interested in modern classical music, there aren't a lot of outlets for self-education. You have to dive right in and listen to CD's, or hope that there is a performance within driving distance. These DVD's are a godsend.
Sir Simon's sheer enthusiasm about these pieces is contagious. He reminds me of an American Bernstein - he educates and explains the music to the average listener. Still, one is not going to enjoy every piece of music that is featured. Some of the Stockhausen and Boulez compositions were in outer space.
The American selections were fantastic. I forgot how great the West Side Story Symphonic Dances are. Rhapsody in Blue was wonderful, and so were the more sublime Charles Ives and Elliot Carter selections.
This DVD must have been filmed in hi-def because when the Birmingham Orchestra is featured, you feel like you are right on the stage with them. The featured vocalists are all outstanding, including one who sang a Kurt Weill piece and another who sang an opera by Bela Bartok.
When the orchestra is not on the screen, then abstract images are shown. These include woods, a castle or a cityscape. These are very well chosen and augment the meaning of the music.
Sound and video quality are excellent throughout. There are not a lot of extras, but the few that were included were well chosen, such as a complete performance of one of the featured compositions, or an audio track with additional information about the composer.
For anyone who has always wanted to take a journey through the landscape of modern classical music, I would not hesitate to order this collection.
So close to wonderful; or, waiter, there's a thing floating
Gerard Dionne | 05/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This series emblefies that which too often goes wrong when music is produced for visual media. And here it's doubly troubling because the music-making itself is first rank. When we watch the orchestra, or other ensemble, in action, the shots are relentlessly too close. Tight shots of the bell or bow are such a cliche; and so unhelpful. How could the director of such a project be so out of touch with the music and musicians as to ignore the body english of the players? I want to see the eye contact between Rattle and the players. I want to see how the sections interplay. Still, it is rare to see film of Richard Strauss at leisure; or hear Conlon Nancarrow's superhuman rhythms. For this we are grateful."