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Xenakis: Kraanerg [DVD Video]
Xenakis Kraanerg
DVD Video
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2008     2hr 0min

This DVD features interviews with various Iannis Xenakis experts such as Gerard Pape and James Harley, as well as his widow, Françoise Xenakis. This is the first DVD release of one of Xenakis' best known works, Kraanerg.


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Movie Details

Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, DTS, Dance, Educational, Classical
Studio: Mode
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 05/13/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 2hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French, German

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Movie Reviews

Painting a snake and adding legs
Dr. M. Mechthold-jin | China | 08/14/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Kraanerg is the piece that made me a fan of Xenakis and still, for me, is one of the most beautiful works of modernist music. And here you got another outstanding recording of it. I would have awarded the disk 5 points if it had been a CD with just this marvellous music.

Unfortunately there is a lot more on the DVD and most of it spoils the fun. As the Chinese say, it's like painting a snake and adding legs.

This seems to be the fate of Kraanerg ever since its first performance: At that time the music was well received by the critics but unfortunately a ballet was added and the dancing was a disaster. It was probably for that reason that Kraanerg never became the classic it should have been and has not been performed often. It seems Kraanerg does not need to be visualised: It better speaks for itself.

Although this incident is mentioned in the CD (in the booklet and an interview) the makers (Mode records) have not learned from it. Instead of a ballet they add pictures to the music: A badly edited film of the musicians playing the music during the "live" parts and a childish "music video" during the "electronic" parts. Both are annoying to watch. When there is a trombone solo you can bet the film shows the string section. For long periods of time you just see close-ups of the backs of musicians. Whoever did that had no understanding of the music at all. The "music video" is so bad I should not even mention it here.

This music is as powerful as the ocean and as mighty as a mountain landscape. Who needs silly music videos to enjoy the ocean?

I put the DVD into my CD player to see if I can listen to it without having to bear the visuals but it didn't work. So if you buy this, enjoy it with a big piece of cardboard in front of your TV screen. In the meantime I will keep the DVD in the shelf as a collectors item and listen to older recordings of Kraanerg instead.

This mistake has been made before: There is the Zeitkratzer CD and Mode Record's Legende d'Eer, both of which add terrible amateur "music videos" to Xenakis' music. I believe that even in the hands of professionals this idea would not work out. I can't understand how Mode Records could release something so poor. Their audio recordings are fine."