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Berliner Philharmoniker: Latin American Night
Live Recording from The Waldbühne Berlin, 1998
Daniel Barenboim conducts the Berlin Philharmonic in their open-air summer venue, in a concert of spirited Latin-American gems from 1998.
This is a wonderful evening of evocative tango and Latin American inspired rhythms, fittingly conducted by the Argentinian-born Daniel Barenboim. Despite playing music outside their usual repertoire, the Berlin Philharmonic enthrals the audience with an exotic programme, which begins with works by those ‚honorary Spaniards‘ Ravel and Bizet, and then features special arrangements of lesser-known melodies and dances from a host of South American composers, including Rodrigo‘s famous Guitar Concerto played by John Williams, and passionate tango by Astor Piazzolla.
This is a rousing, fiery concert from the leafy open-air Waldbühne, the Berlin Philharmonic summer home in the woods outside Berlin, and is a must-see for all classical music lovers.
Arrangements by José Carli; direction by Bob Coles
Sound Format: PCM STEREO, DD 5.1
Picture Format: 4:3
DVD Format: DVD 9, PAL
Running Time: 119 mins
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.
Gustavo Dudamel - The Promise of Music
Documentary & Concert
The Promise of Music is a full-length feature film about the story of Gustavo Dudamel and his Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela.
The film documents Dudamel preparing his orchestra in Caracas for their upcoming concert at the Beethovenfest in Bonn. By following different musicians in their day-to-day lives, the film shows how classical music is changing the individual characters as much as their environment.
The climax of the film is the Bonn concert, a stunning success with standing ovations given to every work on the programme, which included Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and repertoire from the orchestra’s Latin-American homeland.
Director Enrique Sánchez Lansch also created the award-winning documentary Rhythm Is It! About Sir Simon Rattle’s education project with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
The Promise of Music will be the first full-length documentary on the Venezuelan Sistema that lives up to the highest European TV standards.
Given the worldwide interest in Dudamel, the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and the Sistema, this film will be in high demand.
“Anyone who was fortunate enough to have attended last year's sensational Proms performance from the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra under their charismatic conductor Gustavo Dudamel will want to view this inspirational and heart-warming DVD.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 *****
“The "sistema" has been going in Venezuela for more than 30 years. It is probably the most ambitious programme of music education and orchestra training in the world. This uplifting, superbly paced documentary should be required viewing for every government minister in the UK.” Gramophone Magazine, Awards Issue 2008
“Nearly 30 years have elapsed since Boulez and Chéreau last created a new production together – the Paris premiere of the Cerha completion of Lulu. In the interim the conductor has taken on repertoire he might have blanched at in those days (Bruckner, Janácek, even Richard Strauss) while the director became more involved in the cinema and the plays of his late partner Bernard- Marie Koltès. Their return, in a staging shared by four houses, shows the old fires undiminished, although the heightened realism and visual beauty still practised by Chéreau's team (his designer Richard Peduzzi has worked with him since their schooldays) have changed little over the years and, inevitably, lack the radical edge they had in the 1970s.
Janácek's (and Dostoyevsky's) prisoners are modernised painlessly to a non-specific 20thcentury gulag surrounded (except in the river bank scene, here a huge rubbish dump, that opens Act 2) by Peduzzi's trademark steep Italianate high walls. As in all his productions and films, Chéreau's directing turns everyone into such complete and natural actors that the descriptive term 'acting' seems almost redundant.
Even in Act 3, where Janácek's dramaturgy calls for perhaps one prisoner story too many, the staging's pulse never falters. Only the plays in Act 2 feel a little too carefully stylised (and Eastern-influenced) for these prisoners to have put on themselves, although they're unfailingly reflective of the characters in the main story.
Boulez once said that he began conducting in order to achieve really good performances of modern works. Now in his 80s, he is still operating at that level in this tricky score (he uses the Mackerras/Tyrrell critical edition), treading the finest balance, as did Janácek, between reported emotion and outright passion. It really is invidious in this ensemble piece to pick out individuals, but Ainsley creates a compellingly dangerous near-ballet out of Skuratov's insanity, and Bär and Stoklossa limn beautifully the growing closeness of the nobleman Gorjancikov and the young Aljeja. The sound picture does justice to Boulez's balances, while the camera-work and editing are a lot happier than the bumpy film of the 2005 Chéreau/Aix Così.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.