Itzhak Perlman does honor to Beethoven and Brahms
R. Nicholson | 09/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A fabulous DVD!
This disc features Itzhak Perlman* playing two of the worlds most famous violin concertos. ( Beethoven and Brahms). They have been recorded in 1992 at the Schauspielhaus in Berlin with Daniel Barenboim conducting the Berlin Philharmonic.
There are so many things to like about this DVD... to mention a few
-the audio is simply superb. I'm fortunate enough to have a fairly good sound system and I must say that the audio on this DVD is by far the best I've heard when playing either of these two concertos. The basses are deep and rich and the orchestral passages have a real sense of presence and fullness. Obviously, the acoustics of the theater, along with the sound engineering has resulted in a superior product.
-the video was generally well done; the lighting, camera angles and switching were performed, with a couple of minor exceptions, with skillful timing and good effect.
-the Beethoven is played with smoothness and grace; the grandeur of the opening bars has always been one of my favorite musical passages. The cadenza is played with skill and technique that Mr. Perlman has become famous for.
-the Brahms, to me, is the best I've ever heard and it is different, wonderfully different. The first movement, at times, is played with a sense of primordial passion and well....almost aggression by Mr. Perlman. The notes are seemingly ripped off the instrument with sense of urgency and power. The second movement is the antithesis of the first, played with a quiet sensitivity and beauty that would allow you to hear a pin drop in the audience during one of the brief lulls in the music. The third movement showed unabridged joy and happiness as it pulsed on toward its conclusion.
The only niggling feature (from a strictly video point of view) on the entire DVD was perhaps Daniel Barenboim's conducting style; he appeared very stiff on the podium, almost marionette-like at times.
All in all, an opportunity to add another masterpiece to one's classical library. Highly recommended!
*Mr Perlman plays the Soil Stradivarius (pronounced 'shwah') made in 1714; many consider it to be the finest Strad ever made."
One of the best DVDs of classical music.
Francisco Yanez Calvino | Santiago de Compostela, GALIZA, Spain. | 11/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know this two concerts since a long time ago, from the time when I played violin when I was a child, and I'm still in love with them, a long relation that grows every time I listen and understand deeper this wonderful scores.
After having some other versions of the works I finally bought, in the `90s the Beethoven & Brahms concertos played by Perlman & Berlin & Barenboim (EMI), the couple I think give the best for this two masterworks. Brahms version I had on CD (EMI 7 54580 2; released too in mid price: 5 62598 2) is the same you can watch and listen now in this wonderful live DVD from the Schauspielhaus in Berlin, recorded in 1992. Beethoven's Concerto is a different version than the CD I had, EMI 7 49567 2, which was recorded live in Berlin, but in the Philharmonie a year before. Both performances are wonderful but I have to say I prefer a bit more the CD one from the Philharmonie.
So, what we have here is an outstanding DVD, one of the better I know in classical music. It use to happen we have on DVD some concerts not very good and finding this level of excellence is something really grateful for all those who love this music. From the technical point of view, the realization is very correct, modern and well done, with lot of good takes of Perlman's playing and some good medium and general takes of the orchestra and the scene.
The performances are so great as we know from the CDs, based on a very idiomatic versions, in really german style. I've listened lot of versions of this two concerts played by some outstanding violinist and conductors, but no one with the inspiration and technical precision of this EMI recording, developed with a great germanic taste in the way they play this music.
It's very well known Daniel Barenboim's affinity with the music of the genius from Bonn and you can listen it very clearly in this live-recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker, in my opinion the most beethovenian orchestra in the world, much more than the Wiener, because of the very german sound the berliners have, a very complex concept to explain but very easy to recognize if you are used to listed some compared versions between the most strong, deep, dense and male Berliner Philharmoniker, and the most clear, opened, crystal-built, and female sound of the Wiener; a difference that was appointed by many artists in different areas of arts and philosophy.
So, what we have here is a high performance, from the technical point of view and from the sense of the performance, a really beethovenian-language version, built up with the conviction and the strong stream Barenboim creates with the orchestral sound. Perlman gives his best in one of his top performances, in my opinion better than the recording with Carlo Maria Giulini for EMI label too. As I wrote before, I prefer a bit more CD release with the two romances, but this is outstanding too.
In the case of Brahms's Concerto I have to say that I prefer a little more Perlman & Giulini's version released by EMI on CD (Mid price No. 5 66992 2), a studio recording wonderfully performed. This one on DVD is a bit more european in the way the berliners play, and in the more german way Barenboim conducts, based on the own Beethoven's Concerto as the origin of the late romantic Violin Concertos.
The sound it's not bad at all. Of course it's not the best DDD recording I've listened, but it can be enjoyable with a good Hi-Fi system. It's well known that EMI recordings use to be poor sometimes, specially in live-recordings, but this is correct enough. The image is great. I use to watch it in a Philips Pixel Plus 2, which improve the image very much, but I think it could be good enough in any TV.
The final conclusion is this is a DVD for not mi missed, a jewel to be enjoyed with your eyes and with your ears.
Kelley Arney | Iowa City, IA | 08/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was wonderful to feel a part of the performance, the interplay between Perlman, Barenboim, and the Berlin Phil was beautifully recorded so that the viewer can feel the drama of this great work from the inside"