Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Prometheus Musical Variations on a Myth|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
An Enjoyable Concert DVD Very Nearly Ruined by the Visuals
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 10/26/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Nothing goes out of date quite so quickly as computer-generated visual effects and this DVD dating from a 1993 German television presentation illustrates that phenomenon. A clever program containing music from four works inspired by the Greek myth of Prometheus -- excerpts from Beethoven's 'Creatures of Prometheus', Liszt's tone poem 'Prometheus', Scriabin's 'Prometheus: Poem of Fire', and Luigi Nono's 'Prometeo' -- and featuring one of the worlds great orchestras, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and one of the world's great pianists, Martha Argerich (in the Scriabin), comes a-cropper because of the cheesy visuals. There are double exposures of the orchestra with images of flames in various colors superimposed, what look like shots of the orchestra shot through various colored filters, a light show of the most irritating sort during the Scriabin, and so on. And I simply don't know how to describe the visual distortions during the Nono. I could barely watch some of it and found that I enjoyed it much more if I didn't look at the TV screen. Well, considering that a DVD is a visual as well as audio medium, that pretty much ruined the whole thing for me and, I suspect, might very well for most others watching it.
Musically the performances are superb. However, to make their narrative points concerning the Prometheus legend (mercifully presented not as voice-overs but as subtitles) the makers of the DVD included only four of the sixteen numbers of 'Creatures of Prometheus' and only one of the many sections of Nono's 'Prometeo.' For that reason I found I responded more to the complete performances, the Liszt and Scriabin works. The visual illustrations included uncredited views of William Blake's Prometheus series, endless vistas of landscapes, and in the Nono some of the most grotesque visual distortions of the vocal and instrumental soloists one could ever imagine.
The bottom line: this is not a DVD I will ever watch again. I may very well listen to it, with eyes averted, but more likely I'll simply go to CD recordings of the Beethoven, Liszt and Scriabin. The Nono is not my cuppa and possibly it was made more interesting with the visuals than it would be, for me, listening to the music alone, but that's just my conservative taste, I suspect.
Sound: PCM Stereo; Picture Format: 4:3; Menu languages: German, French, English, Spanish; Region Code: 0 (worldwide); DVD 5/NTSC; TT=57mins.