Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart - Famous String Quartets / Gewandhaus Quartet|
Actors: Gewandhaus Quartett, Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Laid-back, lyrical Mozart quartets from Mittel Europa
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 03/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded for the recent "24hours Mozart" broadcast celebration of his 250th birthday, this excellent DVD presents 3 major Mozart string quartets along with the ever popular Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Watching this EuroArts DVD reminded me that there are great stylistic differences inevitably imposed by geography on the performance of Classical and Romantic era music. Listening to the Emerson Quartet play two of these quartets, for example, one hears forceful, analytic Mozart. Not inauthentic, just different: Mozart for the New World, perhaps. Listening to the Hagen Quartet play another one of these quartets, on the other hand, one hears a more ambiguous, lyrical Mozart with darker hues in the strings. The Gewandhaus-Quartett are in the latter category. Their Mozart is lyrical, laid-back, somewhat blithe, emotionally ambiguous with darkness at the edges. This seems to be a Mittel Europa style, perhaps a true Mozartean style born of two centuries of experience with this glorious music.
These performances were filmed 11-13 May 2005 in the beautiful Baroque castle of Rammenau in Saxony. The Gewandhaus-Quartett are certainly poised to provide a "true" Mozartean performance style. Amazingly, they are the longest continually active string quartet in existence. There has been a Gewandhaus-Quartett in Leipzig since 1809, and since the 1838-39 season it has been an official adjunct of the famous Gewandhaus Orchestra. The present line-up hasn't been together quite that long. Rather, they have been performing together since 1993.
The program begins with one of the two "Haydn Quartets" that are presented on this disc: the string quartet no.19 in C Major K.465 "Dissonance". This is followed by the string quartet no.21 in D Major K.575, the first "Prussian" quartet, composed for the cello playing King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, who had commissioned six quartets following his introduction to Mozart in April 1789 by Prince Karl von Lichnowsky. Next on the program is the Serenade in G Major K.525, "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik". Finally, first of the "Haydn Quartets", string quartet no.14 in G Major K.387 "Spring". It is a well chosen program of Mozart's finest quartets. I've watched this disc many times and I never tire of this sublime musique du chambre. The Gewandhaus-Quartett seem to hit all the right buttons, emphasizing the lyricism as well as emotional ambiguity and drama that is the hallmark of Mozart's finest mature work. If you have any interest in Mozart's string quartets, or if you desire a good introduction to the glorious music that awaits you, this disc is a fine place to start.
The picture format of this DVD is NTSC with a region code of 0 worldwide. The film is shot in 16/9 anamorphic widescreen and looks beautiful. The sound formats available are PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 Digital Surround. The DTS 5.1 sounds crystalline with rich presence and superb spatial localization of the strings. The Dolby 5.1, slightly less focused is nonetheless equally present and clear. PCM stereo is also excellent, though obviously less spatially deep. There are the usual menus. Extras include a short photo documentary about the recording: Behind the Scenes. Running time of this disc is 102 minutes.
This is an excellent DVD of some of the finest string quartets ever composed. I enjoy this disc immensely. Very strongly recommended for everyone, especially for lovers of Mozart and chamber music.
Excellent performance and production
William Fletcher | Little River, CA USA | 08/05/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the perfect high quality, classical, surround DVD. The sound is superb. The video is nearly HD quality and the setting and room ambience is perfect for string quartet. 16x9 anamorphic - DTS 5.1 multichannel surround."
Robert Baksa | new york state | 11/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the decades when LPs, tapes and CDs were the main source of our experiencing music, we in some ways lost touch with the physicality of performances. Now, my vast collection of opera recordings sit quietly on the shelfs because I prefer watching the singers on DVDs even when the performance is not as polished as some of the classic studio recordings available on the older media. The same applies to this DVD of several Mozart Quartets. To see the concentration and skill of these performers adds imeasurably to the total experience. The sound is exellent and the picture sharp and clear. Two of Mozart's greatest quartets are featured, #14 and #19. To this are added the first of the Hoffmeister quartets and Eine Kleine Nachtmusic with the addition of the string bass. I would have preferred the last of his late quartets with its buzzing bumble bee finale or Quartets #16 and #17 which are great favorites of mine. I was not anticipating enjoying the over played Nachtmusic but was pleasantly surprised. It is, of course, a wonderful piece, the great genius in a lighter mood but always written with the consumate skill which characterizes "Wolfie." This DVD makes me regret that I do not live in Europe to experience performances like this in halls as intimate and beautiful as the one where this was filmed. Highly recommended."
Great DVD Video - peformance and video both
David Dare | Newport, RI USA | 11/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I often watch this DVD. It contains really good performances of some of Mozart's great quartets and the famous (infamous!) Serenade. The serenade is played with the group size it was written for, instead of transcribed for orchestra as has been common. Both approaches are very interesting, but this is a great version to have! This is one of the best DVD music performance videos that I own. Although not in a "HD" format such as blu-ray, it is a very detailed recording visually and in a widescreen format. The video direction is pleasing as well. It does not bounce around and is focused on the musicians at the correct time."