A Mix of Wonderful and So-So Exaggerated -- But Certainly Wo
Dr. Ervin Nieves | 09/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As in every DVD review, one can spend some time talking about obvious omissions: i.e. who should have played at this event, but didn't. Van Cliburn hosts, but does not play. Missing are Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, and many other pianists greater than most pianists who make it onto this DVD. Who was great? Surely Josef Hoffman's student, Shura Churassky (spelling?) steals the show. One can see Maestro S.C. playing in supberb body position using the European weight method against the keys. His hands appear to massage the keyboards with such beautiful musicianship and technical mastery. Just to view Maestro S.C. playing twice is worth the full price of the DVD. And add to that the piano play of Murray Perrahia and Alfred Brendl, and one feels happy about the performances, except for the fact that Perahia and Brendl do not play live on stage like Maestro S.C., but from Steinway's basement (M.P.) or Europe (A.B.). One wonders if M.P.'s and A.B.'s performances are take 4 or 14 of a series of taped takes, but no matter. Both are wonderful to watch. Incidentaly, I watched A.B. in Chicago this year, and he was wonderful live! I enjoyed watching some of the other minor performers on the DVD (and suffered through others). One had the feeling many of the pianists on stage were there because of good connections with Van Cliburn or other famous or wealthy mentors, instead of their virtuosity and musicianship. Missing were a Martha Argerich, Alicia De LaRoccha, etc. And why wasn't someone of the caliber of Constance Keene (Chasins) not invited to perform? She's an ignored piano legend and should have been recorded as a tribute to her contributions as a pianist and piano pedagogue in America. Most annoying was the Brazlian pianists with a Liberace/Lang Lang histrionic performance and a maniacal smile. But let me apologize to Van Cliburn after initiating controversial teasing comments regarding his choices that evening. Without question Maestro Van Cliburn is a spectacular host with the most beautiful voice imaginable. And one assumes he excuses himself from performance due to modesty rather than arrogance. Long billed as an American ambassador of the international musical treasure called "The Piano," Maestrom Van Cliburn orchestrates a wonderful night out. I enjoyed the histrionic Korean pianist who played MacDowell's Hexentanz. Not only did she play well, but she was also fun to look at: a kind of Hexen-(witch)-like overweight bombshell in a firecracker red dress (the kind of woman a guy can get into trouble with, suffer miserably, but still remember fondly). So there's a little bit of everything in this DVD for everyone. Buy it without hesitation! I own the videotape version and just ordered the DVD today."
Do not buy this item, it is a ripoff.
Cynthia Thibodaux | 12/20/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is just an advertisement for Steinway. Fifteen different people playing the same music. Don't waste your time or money on this product. I wish someone had warned me before I bought this for my father's Christmas present. The title of this is so misleading."
In celebration of the piano
E. D. Stauffer | South Africa | 09/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Excellent and interesting DVD. Fascinating to watch the playing styles of so many different, but famous pianists. Should be seen by all piano students!"
Piano Music at its highest level
Roberta Miller | Fairhope, Alabama USA | 02/11/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a "must" for any persn who loves piano,and classical music played my the world's best."