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"This concerto includes Prokofiev's Classical Symphony No.1 and Tchaikovsky's piano concerto No.1 featuring Evgeny Kissin. Karajan is in very good mood despite the pain in his back that kept him leaning back (instead of his customary forward position) in the special supporting device prepared for him in the conductor's podium. The octave motif that makes the main theme of the fisrt movement of Prokofiev's 1st is played with almost comical accuracy, as if imitating Mozart. I never liked this symphony before. Now, after listening this interpretation I really learned to enjoy it. I have mixed feelings about the piano concerto. The young Kissin (just a boy then) exudes so much adrenaline; you can see in the little man's face the weight of being playing with the best orchestra in the world, conducted by a living legend. He seems very aware that the last recording of this concerto with Karajan-Berliner, was performed by no other than Sviatoslav Richter. The performance, though, although not note perfect, is very good. The only flaws were caused mostly by the boy excess of energy. I listened this version on CD years ago, but in the video, the boy generates such tension that it's almost distracting. The best part is the last movement, were the boy's tension matches so well with the character of the music. The final part is unforgettable, it keeps you at the edge of the seat until the last chord. The DVD in a whole is very well balanced and makes a wonderful experience."
Different opinion regarding the filming of Kissin
Hannes Vogel | Houston, TX USA | 04/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The musical and historic value of this recording cannot be underestimated. It represented von Karajan's last public appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic. It is remarkable how relaxed, almost amiable he seems when considering the strained relations with the orchestra. I refer the reader to the Osborne biography for further details in this regard. Interestingly, Kissin is said to have wanted to play the concerto faster, but Karajan prevailed, and in my opinion chose tempos that befitted the grandeur and depth of this work, instead of allowing it to become yet another breakneck display of virtuosity of superficial musical value. I found the balance between the focus on Karajan, the musicians, and Kissin to be quite acceptable. There are solo recitals by Kissin on the market which will allow you to revel in his astounding talent. But the chance to see von Karajan weave his magic in his twilight years makes this worth buying in and of itself."
A Wonderful Karajan, but a poor display of Kissin.
davidsrx | Chicago, IL | 05/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although this was a DVD showcasing Karajan, it was unfortunate that Kissin's virtuosic performance was severly neglected camera-wise. I've listened to this CD years ago, and I think it's one of the best interpretation of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto no.1 to date. While watching this DVD, I felt robbed of seeing the young Kissin's virtuoso performance of this highly difficult concerto. I wished Sony Classical could produce another better DVD showcasing the then young Evgeny Kissin's amazing talents. I would highly recommend this DVD for Karajan-admirers, but if you're a Kissin-fan then trust me, you don't want to get it."
Thrilling except for camarawork
davidsrx | 02/02/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not a big fan of the Sony Karajan series in general but the two DVD's with Kissin and Mutter are excellent.I too was a bit disappointed in not seeing the camera fixed on Kissin more often and for that reason deducted one star. Nevertheless, compared to many of Karajan's subpar Beethoven DVD's, this one is a real gem."
Young Russian Prodigy Shines brightly with Tchaikovsky.
George E. Rowe | San Diego, California | 02/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was Herbert Von Karajan's last appearance with the Berlin Philharmonic. He is of course, the best and the recording a treasure. His quiet passages may be a little too soft for some, but he is a Master Conductor whom I understand delighted in encouraging young artistes. Mr. Evgeny Kissin, a teenager of about 15 at this time is astounding. His technical prowess and strength unbelievable for one so young, and his passion and musicianship superb! I bought this DVD strictly for the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and can recommend it without reservation as an inspiration for young musicians, as well as other adult fans of Russian Music. To solo a piano concerto with the Berlin Philharmonicer at 15 - astounding!"