Master Shostakovich honored by Previn
Pablo Iglesias Alvarez | Mexico City, D.F. Mexico | 10/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is after all a tribute to Shotakovich through the guide of Previn, using the analysis of the master's 5th Symphony. Previn is convincing, and of course the music is superb."
Previn Conducts & Explains Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony
Leon Kuby | Roseville, CA (USA) | 10/12/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There have been many conductors who have favored the music of Dimitri Shostakovich and have played his music at concerts and in recordings. Most of the recordings I have heard have been satisfactory, but not definitive, except for Andre Previn's recording of Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony. When Previn was in his musical prime in England he showed a mastery of Shostakovich's music. The video that was recorded of the Fifth Symphony may not be the best example of Previn's mastery of the piece; however, it is worthwhile having in one's collection. Buy the cassette or CD of Previn's interpretation of this excellent symphony to determine how thrilling it can be if performed properly. Maxim Shostakovich also performed his father's music with great virtuosity, understanding and love."
Also worth owning by fans of Vaughan Williams and Roy Harris
R. Evans | Montgomery AL | 03/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this video, as I have enjoyed other videos in this series. Previn is the ideal host: clear, calm, authoritative but not smug, witty but not overly clever, and obviously in love with music and the people who compose it. He does not dominate in the performance; anyone who wants to see the details of how the music is made (rather than merely watching a conductor) will value this film. A special treat is the inclusion of the entire 3rd movement of Vaughan Williams's fifth sympthony, as well as the inclusion of part of a movement of the Roy Harris symphony #3. Anyone who loves Previn's performances of Vaughan Williams (whose music needs on film much more than it is) will treasure this video. Anyone who appreciates music that is not of the "dropped silverware" variety will also appreciate some of Previn's slightly pointed comments in the first part of the film."
Robert G. VanStryland | Denton, TX USA | 08/08/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The idea behind this DVD is a good one. Previn's commentary is illuminating without being too technical for non-musicians to understand. But the actual performance of Shostakovich's symphony does not do justice to the music. I can only guess that there was not adequate rehearsal prior to recording. There are problems with ensemble, phrasing, intonation and rhythm. Often the playing is not perfectly together, and the only musical conception in evidence is the desire to make it through without disaster. Previn is a fine conductor; I don't know why he would allow this inferior product to be issued. There is a terrific performance of this work on VHS, conducted by Leonard Bernstein; you might want to get that one instead. Also, I've seen notification that a (Cologne Music Triennale) DVD will be issued soon, so we may hope for better."