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"I have heard many recordings of Beethoven's masterpiece. But this is notjust one of the good ones .....it is THE ONE. The combination of Berlin, Karajan and last but definitely not least, Anne-Sophie Mutter makes this the best music DVD I have ever seen and listened to. Not only is the orchestra perfect, the violin takes the music to new heights and on top of all, the camera is never intrusive, but always there where the action is. If you are looking for a perfect concert and love the violin.............this is it. The best $ 20 I have ever spent! Beethoven must be smiling!"
Karajan and Mutter create magic
Tina Morris | Rockville, MD USA | 01/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Karajan was working on his Legacy video series in the '80s, he was criticized for his narcisstic obsession with the medium of the music video and his detail-oriented, painstaking recording style. Also, especially for the Beethoven interpretations, he was said to be beyond his prime. Wrong! The series as a whole is an outstanding collection of wonderful interpetations that I would rank with some of his best stuff from the 50s and 60s. Furthermore, the recording of the Beethoven violin concerto truely brings out the almost magic connection between young virtuoso Mutter and the great master. They did many wonderful recordings together, but this has got to be one of the absolute best. Recording and sound quality of the video are outstanding as well. Karajan was very much ahead of his time every step of the way. A treasure!"
Great audio but video leaves something to be desired
R. Nicholson | 01/09/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was somewhat disappointed in the DVD
This is a 1984 recording on the Sony label by H. Von Karajan and Anne-Sophie Mutter: It is part of Karajan`s Legacy recordings.
I've always considered Beethoven's Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61, one of the greatest pieces of music of all time. The opening orchestral bars have a grandeur to them that is emotionally stirring and uplifting, and the solo violin builds on this theme throughout the first movement. The second movement is slow and deliberate and continues non-stop into the rondo finale, which is simply breathtaking.
I had previously purchased the CD version (recorded in 1980) of this recording and was struck with the beauty of the playing. I thought that the DVD version would give a visual enhancement to the superb audio that I had come to know and enjoy. Sadly, such is not the case. While the music remains spectacular and there is nothing technically wrong with the video, I have several concerns: for instance, I found that camera placements and film editing were less that ideal. Most shots of Anne-Sophie Mutter (at least in the first movement) were from her left side with Von Karajan to her immediate front: this one view became rather monotonous after a while and it was hard to see her finger work from this position. Also, the camera work on the orchestra tended to be tight close-ups of several sets of violins, cellos, clarinets etc.: there where virtually no panoramic views of the orchestra, which I feel, would have been preferred for some of the magnificent orchestral passages: which instead featured mostly Von Karajan.
But, I think my biggest disappointment was the stage presence of Anne-Sophie Mutter, or lack thereof. She appeared to be tense (I suppose who could blame her, given the circumstances): eyes almost never looked up from her instrument. Little or no personality shone through during this performance to go along with the extraordinary music that was coming from her instrument. [In comparison, try to see Gil Shahan's performance of Pablo De Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy, opus 25 on the New Year's Gala 97 (ARTHAUS label) and you'll see what I mean about playing with emotion and what an effect it has on the overall presentation.]
All in all, not what I had expected or had hoped for when I purchase this DVD. A 5 star audio recording but the video portion does not do justice to the beauty and grace of Beethoven's Violin Concerto."
Professor Ahmet Alp Sayar | Istanbul, Turkey | 06/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Audio Merits:9/10; Video Merits:9/10; Cinematographic Merits:8/10; Musical Merits:10/10; Overal Artistic Performance:10/10; DVD Extras: 8/10; Recording Total Quality:9/10. Professor's Comment: LWBeethoven, HvKarajan, ASMutter have been considered as the ultimate masters of their genres. BPO is the greatest classical orchestra ever ensembled. It is to be noted that there is a veiled name who had contributed to produce these references: Dr. Günter Hermanns, Recording Engineer of the Legacy Serie. His contribution deserves great appreciation."
My favorite Annie, like angels singing
Scott68 | Columbus, Ohio United States | 04/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Beethoven Concerto is intensely lyrical with an emphasis on melody instead of a display of technique. I find the work to be a vehicle of expression that is full of romance and intricate dynamics. I remember when I recieved this in the mail, I could not stop playing it for weeks, to see a woman that beautiful pouring her heart out is not unlike watching an angel sing.Of all the recordings in general that Anne Sophie Mutter has made, this is my favorite. Ms Mutter delivers an inspired and emotional performance, and really shows astonishing virtuosity playing the Kreisler cadenzas. She has the ability to vary different forms of vibrato to meet her needs of expression and her intonation is completely flawless. I tend to think she over does it a little with how much vibrato she uses most of the time but she is the artist not me and Im sure she is getting exactly the sound she wants, it is clear to me she is in complete control of the instrument especially with respect to bowing and dynamics in volume and tone. The video was recorded in 1984, (when she was 20) right around the time she bought her second Stradivarious the Lord Dunraven. I tend to think this is her old Stradivarious known as the Emiliani. I heard her sound change when she started playing the new violin but this is a good example of her style before she changed her sound.Even though the emphasis seems to be on Karajan's conducting, I still loved this video immensely. My only complaint would be showing the soloist from the front instead of placing her behind the conductor as a result of the camera angle during most of the video.Of course there are videos out there of the Beethoven by Perlman, Kogan, Szeryng, and Francescatti that may be considered better in some way, but they dont look as good as her. If you are a serious violin student I would suggest getting the Kogan DVD but that is black and white and has a dated sounding recording. (The Perlman and Francescatti videos are terribly hard to get and the Szeryng was recorded too late in his career)If are looking for a nice modern recording and if you like Ms Mutter's style and are looking for a video of violin music full of emotion, or just want to see a stunningly bautiful woman pour her heart out, you must get this, a very worthwhile purchase.4 & 1/2 stars: thanks again Annie!"