Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Twelfth Van Cliburn Piano Competition - In the Heart|
Director: Andy Sommer
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
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...and to think I was looking forward to this garbage.
Ben | Texas | 12/12/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"After four months of waiting, I couldn't have been more dissapointed when this documentary finally aired on PBS. In matters filmmaking, it was just plain sloppy. Transitions were rough and camera angles were questionable. But the real travesty was in the documentary's content. I don't think anyone could have produced a poorer representation of what actually went on at the Cliburn.
Of course, being co-produced by the Cliburn Foundation, it would have been innapropriate for the documentary-makers to include any of the controversy that went on outside the concert hall involving Kaplinsky (however relevant it was to what went on inside). Their job (apparently) was to tell the story of the competition through a few select contestants. And what two contestants did they focus on the most? Maria Mazo and Davide Cabassi. WHAT!? That doesn't make any sense. It seemed like half the documentary was spent alone on what music means to Maria Mazo. SHE DIDN'T EVEN MAKE THE FINALS! I almost lost it when Mazo and (I think) Claude Frank indulged in a lengthy, and very very scripted conversation about Beethoven's Hammerklavier sonata. I guess Mazo was the only one who really "got into the heart of the music."
As far as actual footage of performance goes, there wasn't much of it. And of the little there was, none of it was all that extraordinary. They did spend a lot of time at the host houses, where Cabassi's charming personality really found a place in the hearts of the filmmakers. Well, at least he made the finals. I also seem to remember a lot of time spent at the Hoe-down they threw for all of the people involved in the Cliburn. Shouldn't the filmmakers be focused primarily on the contestants' preparation and practice for the competition when focusing on events outside the concert hall. I would have much rather seen these people sitting and practicing their pieces really slowly than giggling and dancing around like idiots.
All of the finalists played over three hours worth of repertoire, so surely there was more to show of Kobrin's playing than the little section of his Rach Rhapsody. And most of the off-stage footage of him consisted more of his relationship with Cabassi. Surely there's a story there, about how this dorkly little shy guy goes and wins the Cliburn.
I also remember very little of Sa Chen's playing, even though she received the Crystal. That would have been another great story, to include how she recovered from two rather awkward and embarrassing on-stage moments (her botched last note of Schumann's Carnaval and her huge memory mistake in the fugue of the Barber sonata) to perservere and play well enough to win third. These stories would have been much more interesting and relevant than anything having to do with Maria Mazo.
The biggest dissapointed of all, I thought though, was the COMPLETE lack of focus on Roberto Plano, who was a finalist. All of the other finalists got more air time, and of course Maria Mazo got more than anyone. The documentary played only 30 seconds Plano discussing the Rach 2 with Conlon, and NONE of his playing. This after Plano delivered, hands down, one of the most amazing and moving performances in his semi-final recital. It's hard to believe these filmmakers were actually at the Cliburn. There were also several other performances from earlier rounds that had lots of people talking, like Sa Chen's Gaspard. There were also many competitors the didn't even make the semi-finals who delivered staggering performances in the first round. I guess they would rather show Mazo's Hammerklavier. Also, Joyce Yang won the piano quintet award, why didn't they show any footage of her Dvorak? Instead they showed a little bit of Mazo's Schumann quintet.
I could go on like this forever. I can't think of any possible reason for anyone to shell out 30 bucks on this crap, unless they include concerto performances from the winners. (Even then, I certainly wouldn't want to watch Joyce Yang bang out her way through an incomprehensible Prokofiev 2)
Whatever happened to Peter Rosen? He made other documentaries for the Cliburn which turned out very good. Who is this Andy Sommer guy?
In conclusion, don't buy it. IT'S SERIOUSLY THIS BAD.
Where are the rest of talented competitors? :(
Robert Chan | USA | 12/15/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I couldn't agree more with "Ben" who wrote a verg long review about how this documentary neglected other very talented pianists and focused (primarily on the daily life, not the playing) of only four pianists. Please don't take this the wrong way. I very much admire four pianists in the film but I just think that we should hear and see at least a little bit of everyone, like previous documentary when Sultanov and Nakamatsu won.
I don't know what was the criteria that the film-maker used when they selected these four pianists. I (and probably most buyers) would love to see the whole atmosphere of the competition, see other players and probably could compare their playings, feeling like you are following the competition from the beginning to the end. This DVD didn't give you any of these.
Well.... in short, it is still fun to watch and I enjoy seeing four pianists and learn a little bit more about them not only as a pianist but as a person, but I would rather see other competitors playing in the early rounds and see more of the concertos in the finals.
P.S. The lengthy conversation that Mazo had with Mr. Menahem Pressler was very interesting, but I don't think it has anything to do with the competition."
12th Van Cliburn Piano Competition
Luis Gonzales | Delaware | 01/16/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I believe buyers of this particular DVD have been rip off big time! This is one lousy compilation of the event. There were no complete performances of the gold and silver winners unlike the 11th competition. I'd give this rating a 0 star if this is available on your chart."
Too Much Hype
Robert E. Shreve | 03/09/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is too much non music video. The town, the houses, and
what music is shown is too abrupt.
Besides they only show the semi-finalists and finalists why not show some of the non-finalists?
The Cliburn competition treats the non -finalists
as if they never existed.
The best Cliburn competition dvd is the one named "Playing
on the edge".
And let us hear the complete piano number the winners play.