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Mozart - Requiem
Mozart - Requiem
Actors: Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Hadley, Marie McLaughlin, Maria Ewing, Cornelius Hauptmann
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2007     1hr 9min

A performance of Mozart's final work, in the edition completed by Franz Beyer, and here dedicated to the memory of Leonard Bernstein's wife.


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Movie Details

Actors: Leonard Bernstein, Jerry Hadley, Marie McLaughlin, Maria Ewing, Cornelius Hauptmann
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, DTS, Classical
Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/09/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 9min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)

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Movie Reviews

A Late Mozart-Bernstein Masterpiece
B. Stockwell | San Francisco, California United States | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am a Bernstein fan but I usually find his late-period performances drawn out in a way that didn't necessarily bring out anything in the music. His slower-than-Furtwangler approach sometimes meant doing something TO the music rather than WITH it. In this case, in the Mozart Requiem (in the edition by Franz Beyer), his late tendencies work. Or, more likely, he simply reins things in more. (This performance was released on CD years ago and you can head over to those reviews and read every sort of adulation and criticism.) It is a powerful interpretation and appears to be very spontaneous - sometimes Bernstein pauses between sections; other times, he plunges into the next section. Although this is not a period performance, he does not use a huge chorus. It is a very measured, personal and gripping performance, extremely emotional but not infuriatingly so. The setting of this performance is a wonderful church in Bavaria. Bernstein makes his entrance and there is no applause. (Either the audience was asked not to cheer before the performance of the Requiem or the setting/occasion discouraged applause.) Similarly, there is no applause at the conclusion of the work. Instead, we hear church bells tolling as Bernstein quietly exits without much fuss. His "Lenny" persona is nowhere to be seen. He died two years following this July 1988 performance, nine months after his Berlin performance of the Beethoven Ninth, a performance that is almost painful to watch. In the Requiem, we see him still strong (relatively), although there are none of the podium mannerisms that were his trademarks. He is an old man near the end of his life - he understands the meaning of a requiem beyond its musical value. A compelling extra feature on this DVD is a short introduction by Bernstein. He reads - in German and with little dramatic empasis - a letter written by Mozart to his father. The letter explains his - Mozart's - happy life but also his awareness of the shortness of life. The letter sets out very concisely part of Mozart's character. He was a vibrant young genius who nonetheless was deeply aware of the impermanence of everything. To hear Bernstein's deep old man's voice reading these young man's words is a small revelation. Here, Bernstein seems to be indicating, is a young man with his life ahead of him and yet thinking of death as inevitable and he does this without a trace of self-pity, terror, or irony.

Bernstein, of course, sees himself in this work but he does not aggressively act it out or overpower it. He does not meddle with the music. It's not going to be to everyone's taste - this performance is, after all, a Bernstein performance. Yet, there is much more Bernstein than "Lenny" here. It is a defining, almost valedictory, performance, one that, if I were doing a documentary film about either Mozart or Bernstein, I would end with."
Ismael Pini | So Paulo, Brazil | 05/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sound, choir, soloists, place or recording/performance, history, etc... everything in this DVD is great! I do recommend it, also for those who already have any other DVD from Mozart's Requiem."
H. A. J. Martens | 01/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This video offers a very vivid version of the Requiem. Inspiring, both in sound and image!"
A unique Mozart Requiem
gpk | Forest Grove, OR, United States | 06/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Leonard Bernstein dedicated this performance to the memory of his late wife, the actress Felicia Montealegre. It was recorded during two concerts in July 1988 in the beautiful St. Mary's Cathedral in Diessen at the Ammersee and has been available as a CD since 1989. The DVD's bonus has the conductor present, as an introduction to the work, a deeply felt reading (in German) of a letter by Mozart to his father dealing with the subject of death and its serene acceptance. Bernstein uses the Franz Beyer "completion" of Mozart's unfinished mass. His tempi are predominantly slow, accents are sharp, and the excellent Bavarians, both orchestral and chorus musicians, achieve a high level of transparency despite the reverberant church acoustics. Bernstein's reading of the score is neither "romantic" nor "authentic": it is unique in its uncompromising, searing intensity. The four soloists are outstanding. All in all, this may not be your one and only performance of the Requiem, but it is immensely moving and it will stay with you. Get it while you can."