Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart Symphony No 36/Brahms Symphony No 2|
Actor: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Brian St John | Moorhead, MN, USA | 05/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so happy that this was finally released on DVD! The Mozart symphony is incredible. What you get here is arguably the best orchestra in the world performing music they know intimately while being led by a conductor who knows what they need musically. If you have not seen this before, and you are interested in conducting, you might wonder why it is so special. Well, the main reason is that part of conducting is knowing when not to conduct!
Kleiber leads where and when he needs to, and doesn't get in the way (as so many conductors do). He is truly the musical conscience of the ensemble. You see the shapes of the line, the spirit of the music, and the textures. You do not see "the beat" nor should you - these are players at the top of their craft.
Both the Mozart and Brahms are very much worth hearing and watching. The sound is recorded wonderfully, and the video is beautiful. This is truly an inspirational production!"
The Brahms merits a 6th star
Plaza Marcelino | Caracas Venezuela | 04/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here you will find one of the most compelling performances of the Brahms second symphony you're likely to find around. With committed, indeed fiery playing from the VPO as exacted by Kleiber, this is Brahms at his most volatile, romantic and energetic, with lively tempos and a fully charged exposition of the score that will virtually have you sitting on the edge of your chair, not wanting to miss a beat. With a clarity of articulation worthy of a Klemperer (but with far livelier tempi) and a flair for rythm management and understanding of the brahmsian spirit worthy of a Furtw?ngler, Kleiber exposes the bare bones of a composer all too often mis-interpreted as backward-looking (but listen intently to the way Kleiber clarifies the woodwind and brass sequences during the second movement and smile at discovering the source of inspiration for many a Mahler passage), conservative or dull (Boulez's unforgivable remarks!). No, on the contrary, Brahms as presented by Kleiber is the powerful composer of the austro-German second half of the 19th century that prompted Sch?nberg's famous rebuttal to the misconception of Brahms as a "defender of the faith" harking back to classical times in his essay "Brahms the progressive". A performance to treasure indeed, from a conductor much lamented after his passing in August 2004 and whose dislike, not only of the recording studio but also his fastidiousness for allowing legal release of his few live recordings is posterity's loss.
And what of the Mozart? The Linz Symphony, although receiving a remarkable performance, remains at that "remarkable" level, whereas the Brahms goes far beyond. I have a feeling that Kleiber was more attuned to the brahmsian world than to the earlier composer's. This performance of the Brahms' Second and his equally great reading of the fourth, taped in 1980 for DG and also with the VPO, for me sufficiently support the allegation. He doesn't seem to have conducted the other two symphonies, for that matter (the narrowness of his repertory is well known), nor any of the concertos.
Wonderful playing from an enthusiastic orchestra, with better sound for the Mozart than for the Brahms, caught on different but consecutive dates. Orchestra staff changes somewhat from one evening to the other, notably the much-lamented Gerhart Hetzel, the orchestra's concertmaster who was to die at 52 the following year to these concerts in an alpine hiking accident, who is present in the Linz Symphony but was replaced by another concertmaster for the Brahms work the following evening. The programme was the same for the two consecutive concerts; neither the box nor the inside booklet mention why Unitel (Philips' source) chose one work from one date and the other from the other date. But curiously enough, you will spot a few faces in the public common to the two works."
Manoa Road | Honolulu, HI United States | 12/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kleiber makes my all time list, esp in opera (I like him better than von Karajan - but Kleiber ultimately turned down the Berlin post). Get everything in dvd you can. The ultimate musical genius cum artist. Your jaw drops as you observe his stick work. His soul definitely is at one with the composer's. He is beautiful to behold - not only his conducting but his body movement is like a dance, but never overstated. Yet his interpretation of these works reaches incredible profundity. Alas, there is so little of him in dvd (of course, he conducted relatively rarely). He died last year. Definitely also get his Rosenkavalier."
Five stars for this Brahms' Second.
Francisco Yanez Calvino | Santiago de Compostela, GALIZA, Spain. | 01/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
I know Brahms' Fourth Symphony conducted by Carlos Kleiber (DG) since a long time, one of the best available. A few months ago I bought his recording of this Fourth Symphony with the Bayerisches Staatsoper (DG, DVD), which I didn't like too much because of the orchestra, that could be clearly better, as I wrote in my review of that DVD for Amazon.com. Now I have Barhms' Second performed, like the Fourth in CD, with the Wiener Philharmoniker, the orchestra I really think Kleiber had much more feeling with. And the result is wonderful, probably the best Second I know, and of course the most perfect and electrifying recorded live. Last movement ends so wonderfully that it's difficult to describe.
The film edition pays a lot of attention to Carlos Kleiber conducting, that's wonderful, because you can feel how much he have worked with the orchestra to reach this level of perfectionism. On the stage, Kleiber feels the music and gives lot of emotional indications to the orchestra, as the technical base it's clearly very "cooked" before they play this concert. The tempo is light and clear, like the way the orchestra play, but with tension and strong vibration in every movement. Pizzicatti, dynamics, orchestral dialogues... all is wonderfully designed in this performance. Of course you can ask for a little more perfectionism in some very concrete moments, as we are listening a live recording, but the emotion of the moment and the emotion of watching Kleiber conducting makes you forget everything.
Mozart's version is not so good, and this is why I give 5 stars to Brahms, Mozart is clearly out of nowadays style in playing classical music. Kleiber has a great musicality, but the way he understand this 36th Symphony is romantic enough. I clearly prefer the way Hogwood (L'Oiseau Lyre) performs this symphony. Vienna plays wonderful and the strings are fantastic, but not in Mozart's style I like.
The sound of this recording is not very good, specially if we think that Brahms' Second Symphony conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini (DG) was recorded just a few months before in the same place, with the same orchestra and Giulini's one sound terrific. The image is not very clear too for being the `90s. But everything is over because of this wonderful performance of Brahms' Second Symphony.
If you like this Symphony you should not miss this DVD.