Melodramatic artiste meets Europe's finest chamber orchestra
Erik Ketzan | Orbis Tertius | 12/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Swing, Sing and Think is a chronicle of the young French pianist David Fray's recording sessions of three of Bach's famous clavier concertos. Each chapter features a few minutes of Fray at home in Paris explicating his interpretation of the score at his piano, followed by rehearsal and recording sessions he conducts with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, one of the finest chamber orchestras in Europe.
It's easy to see why Monsaingeon made this film: Fray's a character. Young, handsome, and talented but extremely melodramatic. As he plays piano, he wears his emotions on his face, from gloom to rapture to heartbroken to basically coital, much to the amusement of the veteran musicians of the Kammerphilharmonie, who amiably attempt to follow the variously vague, flowery, and obtuse musical instructions of this young, passionate French stereotype.
The music that emerges from these sessions is great-- a very fresh take on familiar music. For all his intense facial expressions, Fray is an immensely talented pianist with deeply sophisticated interpretations of Bach. But the film's greatest success is capturing the imprecise art of musical collaboration and the synergy that emerges here DESPITE the core tension between Fray and the Kammerphilharmonie.
Fray's a talent worth watching and this DVD is, too."
Crazy Good Bach.
M. Stample | Los Angeles, CA USA | 01/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Utterly fascinating! Fray is a huge talent, and some of his Bach playing on this dvd is as good as any I've heard, from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Yes, Fray's body language is beyond eccentric -- he reminds me of Keith Jarrett in the old days, dry-humping his Steinway. Think Lang Lang, on crack. But the music! The feeling! The brains! Hey, this kid is the Real Deal. By the way, Fray's directions to the chamber ensemble are some of the most obscure, nuttiest, and most poetic instructions ever delivered to a group of professional musicians. At times, it seems they're about to burst out laughing at the young Maestro...but then they hunker down and give him what he wants...and the result is absolutely convincing. In the end, they buy his vision, and they're happy they did. With this video, Monsaingeon has given us some of the most illuminating -- and laugh-out-loud hilarious -- rehearsal footage ever shot. Don't wait, just buy this dvd!"
Insight into a true musician
J. Campbell | Toledo, Ohio USA | 01/27/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot recommend this DVD enough. David Fray is a pianist/musician of the highest order. Watching him play and conduct and watching the musicians
he plays with react to his suggestions is both great fun and magical. He is able to coax some great playing from the orchestra which is composed of
older musicians than he is. The slow movement of the Bach is gorgeous. Highly recommended!"