Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wiener Philharmonic/Daniel Barenboim Sommernachtskonzert Schoenbrunn 2009|
Actor: Daniel Barenboim
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
D. DEGEORGE | Ellicott City, MD USA | 11/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The summer concert presented on this DVD has "night" as its theme, quite appropriately, as we get a splendid view of a Vienna night, not only on the grounds of Schoenbrunn, the summer palace of the Hapsburgs, looking more like a people's park on this evening, with many strollers wandering in and out of the concert area, but with scenes throughout the musical city.
The most substantive work on the program is probably de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain, in which Barenboim serves both as piano soloist and conductor. On the other hand, I don't mean to slight Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, one of Mozart's many gems, and, although comparisons are odious, a more masterful piece than the de Falla. What I mean by de Falla's being more substantive is only that it is a bit longer and weightier, while the Mozart verges on being hackneyed by now, which is not to say it isn't perfect for this occasion.
The scariest night music of the evening was "A Night on Bald Mountain," not only the scariest, but the most puzzling. Neither the program nor the program notes shed any light on the strangeness of the arrangement performed this evening; although it purports to be the Rimsky-Korsakov orchestration, it is not the one that is usually performed, nor is it Mussorgsky's original. The arrangement on this DVD is far more different from either Mussorgsky's original version or the Rimsky-Korsakov version than the latter-mentioned versions are from each other. Several conductors have made yet other orchestrations of the piece, and I am inclined to guess that Barenboim made his own for this evening; but as I say, no light is shed on the subject in the notes.
This leads me to observe that while this DVD is a delight, it has its flaws, one of them being the relatively sparse program notes, especially in view of the mystery about the Mussorgsky piece. The other problem is that, compared with the spectacular visuals seen in high-definition on TV, this is but a standard DVD; no Blu-ray is available, at least not yet; and much of the beauty and sheer wow factor of the videography for this special is lost in the fuzz of standard definition. This omission is something of a puzzle to me because this program is, let's face it, something that we could have simply recorded off the air if we only wanted a standard-definition version. There are no high-definition DVRs that let one make a Blu-ray copy, nor any set-top Blu-ray burners; and only the most determined PC hobbyist (or pirate) has any way of saving this program in all its glory. It seems to me that DG has a golden opportunity here to make something available that we are unable to record for ourselves; why don't they do it? The same situation holds for Gustavo Dudamel's premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, brilliantly telecast in HD but only available as a standard DVD from DG. Something is amiss here.
To be fair, the DVD does offer a few advantages over recording off the air: (1) no PBS and local station logo, (2) better picture quality than available on the non-HD channel, and (3) significantly better audio, including surround sound."