Woodland Poet | 09/12/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being a Hilary Hahn fan, I found this to be an interesting disc to try. I was not disappointed. This is a remarkable concerto. Hilary Hahn gives a wonderful performance of the Mozart Violin Concerto No 3, complete with her own extended cadenzas, which are amazing, and beautiful.
But the real surprising treat here is a fantastic performance of the Dvorak 9th Symphony "From the New World" under the baton of young conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Dudamel and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra hold nothing back in the way of power or artistry here. This young conductor has a bright bright future, and I had the feeling I was witnessing some history here. This work, amidst the striking architecture of Pope Paul VI Audience Chamber presents us with an memorable image. This Dvorak 9th is the very best that I have ever heard.
All the great music and the historic occasion of the concert make this disc well worth acquiring."
Classic Concert for Pope Benedict XVI
Esperanza Reynolds | Miami Lakes, Florida | 12/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On 2000, we visited The Vatican in Italy and we were enchanted by the peace provided by the visit. Every 25 years, 4 times per century, the holy doors are opened and those who get to walk through them have a special blessing. At the time, Pope John Paul was still alive and we heard his voice as he addressed a congregation of over 350,000 faithful followers visiting to get his blessing.
When we saw this DVD become available, filmed at the Vatican on April 16, 2007, we knew we would love to relive the experience of seeing such a magnificent place. The concert is in celebration of Pope Benedict XVI's 80th-birthday celebration and it incorporates words from our Holy Father saying thanks to all.
Violinist Hilary Hahn and conductor Gustavo Dudamel of Venezuela delight us through great music, and we find that anyone watching this DVD will enjoy the superb rendition of classical music. A must see!"
Not just for Catholic viewers
Abel | Hong Kong | 04/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Though I must confess that I AM a Roman Catholic.
This DVD records His Holiness' 80th birthday Concert in April 2007.
The programme, so it says, was chosen by the Holy Father himself.
The focus rightfully go to the two young musicians, but a considerable share of the camera also goes to the Orchestra itself.
Hilary Hahn, the violin sensation from Curtis Institute who has in recent years yielded classical music's brightest stars (Hahn, Juan Diego Florez and Lang Lang),spends no time here to prove her impeccable virtuoso. Her delivery is clean and precise; her tone full and sumptuous. At times one yearns for a slightly less focused tone colour, especially in the slow second movement. The camera's focus on the predominantly female woodwind section of the Orchestra blends in well with the visual impact on Hahn, tastefully attired in a silk embroidered gown. The cadenzas are all Hahn's, showing her great respect for the occasion and love for the Pontiff. They are all rather long, but show off her virtuosity to great advantage. The star conductor, Venezuela sensation Gustavo Dudamel had a job competently done by giving the necessary orchestral backing in a way no more and no less.
The showtime for the conductor comes in the second half. Dvorak's New World Symphony is passionately rendered, with the piece suiting the young star's conducting style to a T.
The audience's elation is obvious, and the Concert ends in a high point with the Gabrieli's brass composition."