Haydn is difficult, we learn whys and wherefors
scarecrow | Chicago, Illinois United States | 01/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There have been cropping up many DVDs on Rehearsals, for my money there are not enough.All that are now available perhaps 10 really on real rehearsals, Solti, Boulez, Gergiev, Jansson, Metha,are mixed,all mentioned generally speak very much, and let you know the performative/interpretive problems. This one with Dohnanyi is even more valuable and has an intense focus on a difficult creator to project convincingly. Haydn's music is not easy,it is deceptively simple and misleading; there are no breathtaking melodies,or gorgeous harmonic progressions, no fascinating rhythms either as say in Mozart to transport one blithely away and for a musician to simply bring this beauty into the auditory spaces. (There will never be a Haydn "Kugle" as the heavenly chocolate for Mozart obtainable today);With Haydn we learn from this rehearsal on his Symphony #88; there many more problems,arduous phrasing in particular, to project the music,balance of phrases,the right gesture,intonation(that Dohnanyi cannot correct all the time, He hears it, but there is no time for it he tells all "you must do this yourself. . . ")And then not too much accent,do all accents together,and keeping the accompaniment just below the surface, but not always; for all the music really is, is patterns,intervallic timbres, scales,shapes,and accompaniment that becomes, (earns an importance) only through its passage through time. Haydn's music doesn't suggest lifeworlds,even this one subtitled "The Bagpipe" but when you hear it, you know it is right. The trouble is hearing Haydn when it isn't right so you then know the distance one has travelled to achieve this focus, like turning a kalidoscope as a plectrum to "tune" the phrase the right/correct gesture. This is what occurs in this rehearsal with deeply committed musicians to Haydn's cause.
Dohnanyi's well respected brings all these insights to this rehearsal,travelling through a demonstration in London, picked up by auto. He arrives safely, and proceeds and does break away into his dressing room to discuss this work more intensely."
Orchestra rehearsal, von Dohnanyi, Haydn
fCh | GMT-5, USA | 10/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an honest take on orchestra rehearsing--interested in the mechanics of music making, sharing a few of the conductor's conceptual drivers and some of the orchestra's members reactions too. So while it doesn't touch on the higher notes of, say, truth telling through music it does very well at what it aims in title. Throughout the material, the conductor makes several assessments with respect to Haydn's works and his approach towards them. On a subtler note, one gets a glimpse at Christoph von Dohnanyi's personality and character. Good sound, less than great camera work."
Interesting & Good Stuff For Any Serious Music Lover
BLee | HK | 02/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first review is very much to the point.I'm a great fan of the Grandpa Dohnanyi (the composer and a hugely underrated marvelous pianist) and I knew little and as such expect little of Dohnanyi the conductor-- for to pass music onto the next generation would be difficult enough. How can one pass it onto his third generation? But upon seeing this DVD, there is no question about it whatsoever.The way Dohnanyi rediscovers Haydn, in particular his humour; the way he approaches Haydn, or compares him with Mozart, Beethoven or even Mendelsohnn as a conductor; the sitting arrangement of the players; the reading of music notes as distinct from a book; intonation as a whole and the place of woodwinds in the orchestra; when the tempo should be faster (but not rushing) and when it should be slower; that muisc should be a dialogue instead of being mechanical... Often, you have clear and precise illustrations through these rehearsals with a great conductor as how he puts these elements of music together to make music. And mind you, the Philharmonia Orchestra sound georgeous under the baton of Dohnanyi and I find the photgraphy very well too.
Interesting and good stuff for any serious music lover. I just can't wait to go back to it a second time. My only grumble is: it's too short."