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Vengerov's formidable musical genius and commitment have brought him the highest musical prizes and a huge army of fans along the way. Living the Dream, which began filming November 2004, traces the hectic jet set life of the 30 year old master violinist, appearing in concert and recital across the globe. It takes us from his last concert at the end of 2004 in Istanbul, through his return to his childhood home in Novosibirsk in the depths of a Russian winter, to his premiere performance of a brand new commissioned concerto in Hannover. During this time he is working and preparing for the new concerto, composed by Benjamin Yusupov, which involves him playing viola, improvising rock on an electric violin, and dancing the Tango to the last movement. We see him having improvisation lessons from the jazz violinist Didier Lockwood, taking Tango lessons with Sebastian Misse and Andrea Reyero in Paris, devising the Tango choreography with his partner Christiane Palha in Amsterdam, and finally the performance to wild acclaim of the "Viola Tango Rock Concerto" with Eije Oue in Hannover. Maxim also reflects on how the experience of his sabbatical has impacted on his recording and interpretation of the Beethoven concerto with the LSO and Maestro Rostropovich. <br /><br />This programme, and the accompanying concert from Moscow are full of dazzling virtuoso pieces by Paganini, Ysaye, Wienawski, Kreisler, Rachmaninov and more - before an ecstatic audience in Moscow's Conservatory. This is a fascinating study of Vengerov at a crucial period in his life - capturing some stunning performance sequences, and revealing his thoughts and emotions as he seeks to change and control his life and broaden his challenges. It provides a uniquely intimate glimpse of a master talent at the peak of his powers, yet still in development, searching for new fields to explore and conquer.
“The scenes of Vegerov rehearsing Beethoven with Rostropovich are reason enough to watch this. Yusopov's "tango" concerto may leave this documentary diary on shaky ground, but Vengerov's ardent personality is given plenty of space to speak for itself and every aspiring musician should see the footage of his Moscow Conservatory masterclasses.”
“…Ken Howard's film is most welcome. It is refreshingly well-researched and intelligently structured. …Vengerov is every inch the performer, but disarmingly frank, able to laugh at himself and with a gift for the pithy phrase.”