Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Yehudi Menuhin Plays Mendelssohn Violin Concerto|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
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A Treasure for Menuhin Fans and Violin Students
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 11/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD features an historic performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and much more. Virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) plays with Anatal Dorati conducting a symphony orchestra comprised of some of the finest studio musicians in Hollywood, who played the big film scores of the era. Recorded in the Charlie Chaplin Studios in the Fall of 1947, the footage shows some age in the audio as well as the visual, but is still fantastic, and a joy to listen to as well as watch. The presentation and staging are very simple, as Menuhin was not a flashy performer, but rather a thoughtful one, with his aesthetically beautiful, chiseled features maintaining a calm serenity. The Mendelssohn concerto was the piece Menuhin played in his first public performance, at the age of 7, so this concerto has special significance in his life.
The disc also includes encore performances, and these have been filmed in a room, with piano accompaniment, and they are:
Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances, No. 5 in G minor, and No. 4 in F sharp minor.
Pablo de Sarasate: Spanish Dances, Op. 21, No.1, Malagueña, and No. 2, Habanera.
Antonio Bazzini: Calabrese, Waltz in E minor, Op. 34.
The pianist for the Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 4 is Anatal Dorati, and for all the rest, Adolph Baller.
There is also "A Violinist in Hollywood," which is a conversation between Menuhin and his biographer Humphrey Burton, and another segment, "On the Encores," where they discuss the encore performances. There is no date given for these interviews, but Menuhin is quite elderly in them. Menuhin has been a hero of mine since childhood, for his superb musicianship, his artistic daring, and the humanity he expressed throughout his life. Running time for the performances is 44 minutes, "A Violinist in Hollywood," 36 minutes, and "On the Encores," 11 minutes. The DVD package contains a booklet with liner notes and 2 photos. Menuhin admirers will adore this DVD, and certainly violin students will learn much from it.
It was wonderful
Joseph Hart | Visalia, CA United States | 02/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I dreaded buying this DVD because either one or two reviewers 1) made it sound like Menuhin was a braggart, and 2) said that he was all lush and mush and Rachmaninov (the only good composer the 20th Century produced) and could not play virtuoso pieces as Heifetz could. What a relief! The playing was marvelous. The interviews (as "written and directed by ..."???) were priceless. Menuhin is the man I'd like all my heroes to be. Gentle, wise, humorous, warm, intelligent, non-nationalistic, non-religious, good (and you can throw in childlike which covers it all and especially applies to his face and comments when he was seeing for the 1st time himself playing the encores he had filmed in 1947). In the interviews Menuhin talks about many things, his life, his values, world politics and situations, WWII, other performers, there is even toward the end an invaluable piece of instruction for prospective violinists that my violin teacher never told me. It has to do with the thumb. I recommend every minute of this wonderful DVD."
Another Wonderful Menuhin Document
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is just so wonderful to have these old films of Yehudi Menuhin playing in his prime. He was thirty-two when this present film was made in Hollywood. I completely agree with what Alejandra Vernon has said in her review. I just want to add that the Mendelssohn Concerto performance, for all its being with a pick-up orchestra and recorded, according to Menuhin, in just one afternoon, is one of the most exhilarating I've ever heard. The middle movement especially is wonderful with Menuhin's pianissimi simply ravishing. [I wouldn't swear to it, but I'm almost certain that the principal cellist in the orchestra is the young Eleanor Aller, Leonard Slatkin's mother. I couldn't see the orchestral violinists well enough to tell if his father, Felix Slatkin, was among them.]
I had reviewed the earlier DVD - 'Concert Magic' - but in it Menuhin had to share the spotlight with some second-rate artists. Not here. His accompaniments, both orchestral and with piano, are excellent. I particularly loved seeing Antal Doráti playing the accompaniment of the Brahms Fourth Hungarian Rhapsody (in Joachim's arrangement). And he played without score, I noticed.
For all you Menuhin fans out there, this one is a keeper.