Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Mozart on Tour|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Hosted by eminent conductor, pianist and manabout-music André Previn this series tells the story of Mozart's travels, featuring a piano concerto from each period of his life. With performances by well-known international s... more »
Complete Set of Wonderful Mozart Documentaries
JohnL | Alexander, NC United States | 05/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the complete set of the documentaries originally produced by Philips Classics around 1991 (the bicentenary of his death), in conjunction with their colossal "Complete Mozart Edition", a 45-volume, 180-CD venture. These documentaries were, of course, released on VHS in 7 separate volumes. I own a couple of them, and the majority of the rest I taped off a Connecticut public TV station several years back.
As the title of this series suggests, each segment takes you through the main stages of Mozart's life and travels. A total of 13 documentaries are each about 55 minutes long. This fascinating series is hosted by the eminent conductor and pianist Andre Previn. Much of the information presented has its main source in the frequent letters written back and forth between Wolfgang and his father Leopold. Back then, letter-writing was very much like the modern-day E-Mail correspondence carried out by countless millions today. Wolfgang would report day by day, and Leopold would comment, advise, instruct, and even protest frequently. Portions of these many letters are read by Michael Kitchen. Also, each segment is highlighted by a performance of a Mozart Piano Concerto, 14 performances in all (see below for performers). Also, portions of some of Mozart's chamber music are performed, as well as small segments from many of his operas. The series was filmed in the European cities that were visited by the composer.
If you love Mozart, you will without a doubt thoroughly enjoy this marvelous series of Mozart On Tour. You will be informed of many personal and interesting events and circumstances in his life and travels, as well as be entertained by some wonderful performances of Mozart's most personal of works: His supreme Concertos for Piano and Orchestra, very nicely performed. My only beef is with the interpretation of K.488, the Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major. The soloist Zoltan Kocsis plays the first and second movements much too fast, and then plays the finale too slowly. I was disappointed by these chosen tempos of perhaps Mozart's most beautiful of concertos, vastly different from the overwhelming majority of performances that I have heard (although I think Horowitz was a little too fast on his version on video). That being said, however, all of the other performances I have no qualms about whatsoever. For Piano Concerto No. 23, you will have to be satisfied with Murray Perahia's excellent version on Sony (CD), or any other fine recording out there. If I'm not mistaken, Pollini has a very good performance that is currently available on DVD (on DG label, I think).
Here is a list of the 14 Piano Concertos contained in this complete set, along with the soloists. Enjoy!!
Concerto No. 1 in F Major (K. 37) composed 1767 - Heidrun Holtmann
Concerto No. 4 in G Major (K. 41) composed 1767 - Heidrun Holtmann
Concerto No. 5 in D Major (K.175) composed 1773 - Malcolm Frager
Concerto No. 6 in B flat (K.238) composed 1776 - Christian Zacharias
Concerto No. 8 in C Major (K.246) 1776 - Christian Zacharias
Concerto No. 9 in E flat (K.271) 1777 - Mitsuko Uchida
Concerto No. 12 in A Major (K.414) 1782 - Vladimir Ashkenazy
Concerto No. 17 in G Major (K.453) 1784 - Dezso Ranki
Concerto No. 19 in F Major (K.459) 1784 - Radu Lapu
Concerto No. 20 in D minor (K.466) 1785 - Ivan Klansky
Concerto No. 23 in A Major (K.488) 1786 - Zoltan Kocsis
Concerto No. 24 in C minor (K.491) 1786 - Andre Previn
Concerto No. 26 in D Major (K.537) 1788 - Homero Francesch
Concerto No. 27 in B flat (K.595) 1791 - Alexander Madzar