Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Shostakovich Cello Concerto No 1 / Prokofiev Sinfonia Concertante / Rostropovich |
EMI Classic Archive 15
Actors: Mstislav Rostropovich, Galina Vishnevskaya
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
A valuable aid for cellists
Matan | 11/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a cellist like me, these performances are useful if just to see Rostropovich in action. The performance of the Shostakovich with the LSO is rather superb. Rostropovich is in top form and you can sense that he is at the peak of his powers. The Prokofiev is not as fine. Rostropovich is a little older but still vivacious. He gives his all, but the accompanying orchestra is atrocious, despite a conductor who seems to be giving an earnest effort. The ensemble is never together, many wind and brass solos start off confused at a wrong tempo and it doesn't appear as if the orchestra grasps the structure of the work. This is a problem when Prokofiev himself designates this work a display of cello AND orchestra. This happens to be my favorite cello concerto and Rostropovich is THE messenger for its notes but this is not the performance for a new listener of the piece. That is why the previous reviewer so callously dismissed the genius of Prokofiev without adequate knowledge of the piece. Despite all this, Rostropovich is the main attraction, and any close up video of such a unique instrumentalist in action serves more than musical enjoyment to developing string players."
A master performs pieces written for him
A. Yen | MA, USA | 12/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rostropovich's playing attracted both Shostakovich and Prokofiev to write pieces, including sonatas and these concerti, for the great cellist. The results are staples of the 20th-century repertoire, along with other non-Rostropovich staples like Walton, Elgar, and a few others.
I believe that these are great performances of great pieces, which are a must for lovers of these pieces or cello concertos in general. There is little about them that needs to be said in praise; the DVD speaks for itself.
However, several disconcerting comments in other reviews in this and other EMI Classic Archives series DVDs should be addressed. What one gets in these DVDs are historical performances by usually deceased masters of their art playing pieces that each were deeply tied to, for example these concertos, which were written for the performer on this DVD.
I don't think it is necessary to state that the video is of degraded quality or the sound is old or that no one should ever buy these DVDs. The first two points are simply expected due to their age. However, one should never presume that "no one should buy these DVDs" because every historical performance is of incalculable importance to musicians like myself. Old and thin-sounding, yes. But worthless, no. Where else do we go to watch and be taught by the greatest dead masters of all time? (No offense to those still living, like Rostropovich.)
Anyway, that is my extended rant. I hope this helps those who may have been deterred by claims of "worthlessness," for one man's treasure may certainly sometimes be another's trash."
Good DVD.Fantastic bonus
Osvaldo Colarusso | Curitiba, Paraná Brazil | 02/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rostropovich playing the First Cello Concerto by Shostakovich is fantastic. I think ridiculous finding this "old" because it is black and white ....the horn solos played by Barry Tuckwell are very special.The conductor is very good too .The Prokofiev is very good too. But the Bonus. Ah, it is ridiculous calling this as a "Bonus". The bonus is more important than the other pieces. Rostropovich plays very well the piano part and Galina Vishnevskaya gives here the most impressive version of this fantastic Song Cycle by Mussorgsky that I ever heard. The couple understood every note, every word. I listened three time the first time I saw. It's a class of musicality und comprehension of a Lieder ."
Remarkable historical document
Randy C. Baer | Los Angeles, California | 10/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I took a gander despite the naysayers, and was pleasantly surprised. Despite the age of the videos, production values, in terms of camera position and movement, were excellent. EMI does a great restoral/remastering job with this series. And, finally, there are the performances. The Shostakovich remains THE great 20th century cello concerto. While the Prokofiev is not one of his seminal works, it still has great value (the Adagio is exquisite). The playing of Rostropovich is, as usual, first rate. The orchestral accompaniment of Sir Charles Groves and Okko Kamu is nigh perfect. And, as a bonus, Vishnevskaya (Mrs. Rostropovich) singing Mussorgsky's masterful song cycle. Sure, the performances are vintage - nowhere near modern standards - but, so what.
If you love this music and these performers as I do, you can be grateful that documents such as this are made available."