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Buena Vista Social Club At Carnegie Hall(2 CD)

4.8 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 14, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

The landmark Buena Vista Social Club concert at Carnegie Hall-July 1, 1998-was both the start of a remarkable story and the culmination of a dream. This one-time-only event elevated veteran Cuban performers like Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez, Compay Segundo and Omara Portuondo to long-overdue status as international stars, and it transformed the BVSC's already critically acclaimed album into a commercial juggernaut. Since then, the Grammy-winning Buena Vista Social Club, recorded at Havana's Egrem Studio by guitarist Ry Cooder, has sold over eight million copies, making it the best-selling world music album ever, and the 'Buena Vista Social Club Presents' imprimatur has come to represent an unwavering mark of quality. The evening also became the dramatic heart of German filmmaker Wim Wenders' popular, Oscar-nominated documentary, also called Buena Vista Social Club. No one who saw it could be unmoved by the sight of an elderly performer like Ferrer taking in the skyscraper vistas of New York City or being overwhelmed by rapturous applause after he sang. This live set, then, is the crucial link to everything that happened before or after the Buena Vista Social Club as a group of musicians and as a brand; it's the album fans have eagerly awaited for a decade.
'With the bittersweet delicacy of a classic bolero,' said The New York Times in a review of the concert, 'the Buena Vista Social Club simultaneously celebrated the vitality and virtuosity of its musicians and mourned the era they embody.' The cultural significance of BVSC's performance was matched by its political momentousness; this concert offered a rare opportunity for these master Cuban musicians, coming together for the first time as a single ensemble, to freely play their classic songs for an American audience. This two-CD set preserves an important, but sadly evanescent, moment when borders and bureaucracies miraculously disappeared in the name of art. As singer Portuondo, who would subsequently embark on her own successful American tour, recalled, 'I felt triumphant seeing how we all worked together as a group, seeing how the music reached the audience...We felt so elated to be able to share our music. All of us had known each other for many years and played together many times, but it was a unique and unrepeatable occasion that our culture and our roots could reach the public through such a beautiful concert with all of us there together on the stage.'
To build awareness and anticipation for the live set, Nonesuch released a digital single of 'Chan Chan,' the concert's opening number and arguably the
BVSC's signature song, on July 1, the 10th anniversary of the concert date. The two-disc package also includes candid, often quite moving, first-person reminiscences from many of the surviving participants about the days-and hours-leading up to the concert and the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the evening itself. As album producer and fellow performer Cooder puts it, 'Listening to the tapes of the concert for the first time in ten years, I'm struck by what an amazing musical event it was. You'll never hear it again, people of this caliber working together. They were dramatic personalities and they're nearly all gone. There's nobody left like that anymore.'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B001DCEZE6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,099 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Buena Vista Social Club Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The studio BVSC recording is timeless, I've had it since it first came out and I return to it often, I liken it to a warm breeze on a sunny Saturday afternoon, ultimately relaxing. This live version contains some of the same songs but a bunch of new ones as well. What makes this new recording really stand out is the energy that the live setting brings to this music. I can't really call it improvisational but there is an extra looseness to the proceedings, little instrumental accents where the studio versions seemed more "by the book". Easy 5 stars. It must be noted however, this could have fit on a single disc, but that's a micro caveat given the quality of the music itself. The notes are top notch as well.
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Format: Audio CD
So it's Monday morning and you are just waking up and you're not ready for your week yet. What to do? 10 minutes of BVSC. Anything, whether it's Omara, Manuel, Ibrahim, Compay I swear 10 minutes of BVSC is enough to kick start your week. Then walk to work (I can, I am lucky) with a bit of Ibrahim on and you are ready to face anyone and anything!
Of course your parents also like this music and the whole world has spoken about the significance of this album, concert and phenomenon. My folks behave like young teens again trying to dance around the living room like in the old days. That is the music we listen to? Why not. The proof however is my 2 year old niece. I put on the Carnegie Hall CD, she stands on my feet and dances with me. I defy you to sit still. We can't. I travel to the forests of Asia, put my BVSC on and the locals start dancing automatically with me. Try it...
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Format: Audio CD
Listen to them...it's a celebration of life. I can't imagine how anyone could not feel something deep inside while listening to this recording. Yes, it was stretched into 2 discs, but for the Amazon price that doesn't matter. But, what is most amazing to me is the obvious appreciation this group has for the chance to perform. They don't mail in a performance as we sometimes hear from others.
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Format: Audio CD
heck even if you are not a fan you should get this.. Can't listen to it without tears in my eyes..
Hope a DVD of this performance is release.

To the musicians that are gone , God Bless Your Souls.
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Format: Audio CD
Better than the original release--the musicians perform live for a very rich sound. Quality of sound puts one in 3rd row center at the concert.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am delighted to have this cd available at long last. Using the movie for music listening was not optimal. My one gripe is that version of "Chan Chan," the BVSC signature song, is decidely not the one from the end of Wim Wenders movie, where the members of the band were introduced et cetera. I was really hoping to have that one. But it is an amazing show; one which can never now be recreated live. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although a big fan of Buena Vista Social Club and its performers, I was expecting the whole Carnegie Hall show including comments between songs and also the reprise of Chan Chan at the end of the show. I had the oportunity to see Compay Segundo twice and his comments between songs were worth the admission ticket for the show. The same could be said for Ibrahim which I also saw in concert.

The performance and recording are very good, and considering the historic value of the event it is a must have assuming you already have the studio album. I wished they had released the whole Carnegie Hall and Amsterdam shows on DVD instead.

As another writer mentioned, this release could have been done on one CD instead of two CD's. It appears as very greedy behavior from Nonesuch to release this show as a two CD set. I hope the performers and the families of those who have died will receive the appropriate royalties from this release.
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By DJ Wilbur on September 10, 2012
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
wonderful vinyl pressing sounds awesome with zero surface noise...what a treat to get perfect vinyl...all four sides...terrific performances too!

if you are a fan of any of the Buena Vista's certainly worth hearing them in live performance.
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