Still not quite perfect but very nice indeed
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 03/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"DVD International has added a new entry to its Naxos Musical Journey series: Tchaikovski's (DVDI 1010). Using the Naxos recording with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Antoni Wit) for the Symphony and the Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Ondrej Lenard) for the ballet, the visual format is a tour of locales in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Ukraine, and the Crimea. The first movement of the Symphony is exemplary in its coordination of natural settings with the mood and quick changes of mood in the orchestra: dark blue skies and waters for the Adagio, brighter scenes of mountains and lakes for the Allegro non troppo. The last movement (Adagio lamentoso-Andante) is treated with equal skill. However, the bouncy third movement (Allegro con grazia) suffers from a case of the cutes with people going up and down the famous Odessa steps in time to the music and other shots of people not at all in synch with the music. The second movement starts with a closeup of a frog and gets too much involved with people rather than scenes. Both of the Onegin pieces suffer from the same desire to show milling throngs, although there are several moments in the Polonaise when music and picture get together in a very powerful way. It would have been most helpful if DVDI gave us the locale on the printed notes, since it is awkward to bring up that information from the menu when you want to know where you are. Still in all, not a bad offering in this ambitious but still not perfect series."
........ BLAND, dead-letter postcards ...........
F. Behrens | 07/18/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This one's more or less "music by numbers", a good introduction to the work for the very, very young, or if you're very bored, zap this on the bigscreen, get into the kitchen and whip up a batch of blintzes, in other words : good background music.The AUDIO quality is excellent [cannot fault that] but the visuals are not well edited [just plain old boring stuff, sunsets, museum shots, people and more people] - this is Ken Russell territory or even Elias E. Merhige, so get with it folks - blow our minds with some REAL images!"