Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart Symphonies Vol III - Nos 28 33 39 plus Serenata Notturna and Karl Bhm documentary|
Actors: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Director: Karl Böhm
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Bohm's Mozart is always a sure thing!
Alan Majeska | Bad Axe, MI, USA | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Almost any recording of a Mozart symphony by Austrian conductor Karl Bohm (1894-1981) is a sure thing: excellent sound, and sensible, solid, non-sentimental interpretation.
This DVD has 3 Mozart Symphonies, all conducted by Bohm: Nos. 33 and 39 with the Vienna Symphony, recorded in Studio-Wien in 1969, and a live 1970 performance of Symphony 28 with the Vienna Philharmonic, filmed in the Musikvereinsalle in Vienna.
All 3 symphonies have excellent film quality and sound, although some viewers may prefer Symphony 28, as the presence of a live audience really brings out the best in the Vienna Philharmonic.
Bohm is a joy to watch. His movements are usually minimal, and not the grand gesture and sweep of Solti, Bernstein, Celibidache (in earlier years), Abbado, or Ozawa. Bohm's movements were small and almost understated, and he lets the orchestra play THEIR Mozart: and the Vienna Philharmonic or Vienna Symphony could play this music under "Joe Schmoe" or in their sleep! Bohm, however, knows what IS important in Mozart, and emphasizes the singing line. He is no speed demon, but doesn't drag, either. Minuets move along appropriately, but are not the near scherzos some conductors in more recent years have made of them. Bohm is never sentimental, and knows just the right balance of musical expression and technique, which is what makes his Mozart so fine.
There is a bonus, a nearly 60 minute 1994 film "I Remember" about Karl Bohm's life and career. There is alot of biographical information, some family photos of Karl Bohm as a young child, young man, soldier in the Austrian Army during World War I (1914-17), young conductor, middle aged conductor, and with his friend and mentor Richard Strauss. Bohm discusses his law studies after he left the army (he earned a law degree in 1919), his discovery by Bruno Walter in 1921, his relationship to the 12 tone composer Alban Berg, and promoting of Berg's opera "Wozzeck" in 1928. There are interviews from 1967, 1968, 1974, 1975 and 1979 with Bohm - likely from television appearances, and also candid interviews with Walter Berry and Christa Ludwig, 2 singers who worked closely and made recordings with Bohm during the 1950s, 60s and 70s. There are candid rehearsal segments of Bohm with the Vienna Philharmonic in Brahms Symphony 2:IV and Richard Strauss's "Don Juan"; with the Vienna Symphony in Beethoven Symphony 9:II; and with the Czech National Opera and Martti Talvela rehearsing a final scene from Mozart's "Don Giovanni", where the Commendatore (Talvela) comes back to life. Subtitles are offered in English, thankfully, as I don't speak German, and all the rehearsal segments and interviews were in German.
Bohm is everywhere in command in this film. There was something about him with exuded confidence but with no element of conceit or pomp: Bohm was indeed a humble man who served the music he conducted. It is clear to see why so many musicians enjoyed working with him. He always meant business on the podium, but was not mean or tyrannical. He could be cutting and unpleasant in rehearsals when musicians didn't reach up to his level, but the orchestra players usually put out their all for him, and the outcome was almost always excellent. Bohm confesses in an interview to being frightened before every performance he conducts, and his responsibility to serve the composer whose music he performs.
My copy of this DVD, obtained from a UK firm in August, 2006, is in full screen format, although Amazon's description says "wide screen." Highly recommended!"