Search - Leonard Bernstein Mass at the Vatican City on DVD

Leonard Bernstein Mass at the Vatican City
Leonard Bernstein Mass at the Vatican City
Actor: Enrico Castiglione
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2004     1hr 58min

Originally commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to commemorate the memory of John K. Kennedy, Leonard Bernstein's Mass is an exhilarating religious and musical masterpiece. The work is a staggering example of musical...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Enrico Castiglione
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Classical
Studio: Kultur Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 08/31/2004
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2000
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 58min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Sub par
Tom | Cincinnati, OH | 12/15/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I am a huge fan of Mass. I have been since 1972 or so. I saw the 1973 BBC/PBS broadcast of the European premiere which was incredible. I saw the 10th anniversary production broadcast live from the Kennedy Center on PBS. It was good, but not as good as the 1973 broadcast. This production doesn't compare. It is a concert production so there is very little staging. The soloists do a fine job with the singing, but for the most part, I have seen more believable acting at my local high school. The classical chorus in the background is small and weak. The climatic scene where the Celebrant hurls down the communion chalice and wafer and removes his vestments and dances on the alter has been emasculated. This is a poor production in most aspects.

Give us the first two video productions on DVD instead of this poorly staged and acted concert production."
A moving account of Bernstein's MASS
J P Falcon | Fords, New Jersey United States | 11/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"If one is to compare this performance with the original PBS version, then you will find this production lacking. However, if you take it on it's own merits, then you will be well pleased with this performance. The tension between the Celebrant and his congregation is well done, and an attempt to give each member of the group their own personality, through dress and mannerism, works well. Kudos must be given to Douglas Webster who provides a moving and sympathetic performance as the Celebrant. The Orchestra of St. Cecilia at times sounds hard pressed, but manages to navigate Bernstein's musical tapestry and are most effective in the Meditations, especially in the Mahlerian first one. As noted, this is basically a semi-staged production, and while I will not harp over what is lacking, I must comment on one ommission which I find regretable. At the emotional apex of the piece, when the Celebrant cries "Pacem!", he is to throw the Communion Chalice onto the floor, which shatters. In this production, there is no Chalice to be seen, which makes the following song "Isn't that Odd?" sound very odd indeed when the Celebrant is describing the spilled wine and shattered glass. This episode reminds me of Wotan singing about his spear, but the director decides that the god will not have one. Come on, cannot a director appreciate the need for a prop once in awhile? Anyone unfamiliar with the MASS, will wonder what the heck the Celebrant is talking about. Now that I aired my pet peeve, I'll conclude by saying that this is a very moving performance that could warm even the coldest of hearts, if only for two hours....recommended with minor reservations.."
Concert DVD Vatican - Mass
Ruth K. Hroncich | Chicago, IL | 09/08/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I received my Vatican Performance DVD of Mass yesterday and watched it last night. It's a nice performance - I liken it to the PBS version of Les Miz versus a staged theatre version. The scola and children's chorus are adequate, orchestra ok, celebrant, boy soprano and soloists (for the most part) awesome. BUT, this is not a staged version - there is some half-hearted attempt at movement, but no dancers - no elaborate vestments - which I found disappointing having seen the PBS version in the 70's and a staged version at Northwestern University in the 90's. Still, since there are no other versions, this is a worthwhile investment at about $25 on Amazon. Purists be forewarned, apparently Stephen Schwartz lyric changes (specifically during the Confiteor) have been implemented. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Mass, but if you are looking for a fully staged version, we'll have to wait and see if it is ever available on DVD, because this isn't it. The original CDs still offer the best musical quality. The celebrant isn't Mr. Titus, but is excellent in his own right."
Very Disappointed in the Surround Sound
John S. Mattingly | Charlotte Hall, MD | 10/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I have followed the Mass from its beginning. I was fortunate to experience it at the JFK Center on opening night, the second opening attended by Lenny with the former First Lady and also at the Pope Paul VI auditorium. It is a masterpiece and timeless. The Surround Sound does not begin until the Credo. Am I the only one that has this problem or do I have a defective DVD.

Does anyone know of another DVD of The Mass? I watch it weekly and Lenny has the insight to see the Catholic Church as it is.

What an experience.

Thanks ofr any help with questions I ask."