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Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Historic Telecasts with George Szell (Mussorgsky / Beethoven / Berlioz / Mozart) (1961)

George Szell , Erica Morini  |  NR |  DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Historic Telecasts with George Szell (Mussorgsky / Beethoven / Berlioz / Mozart) + Chicago Symphony Orchestra Historic Telecasts: Reiner/Hindemith/Stokowski + George Szell - One Man's Triumph / Cleveland Orchestra
Price for all three: $77.44

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Product Details

  • Actors: George Szell, Erica Morini
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Video Artists Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: October 22, 2002
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006LPGT
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,164 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Telecasts of December 10 and 17, 1961
  • Includes Mussorgsky Prelude to Khovanshchina, Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, Mozart Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro," Mozart Violin Concerto No. 5 with Erica Morini, Beethoven Leonore Overture No. 3

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Featuring original footage of performances originally broadcast in 1961, this program of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by 20th-century heavyweight maestro George Szell is a pleasure to watch in more ways than one. Acting as a kind of time capsule, the program, consisting mostly of popular pieces by Beethoven, Berlioz, Mussorgsky, and Mozart, reminds us of an era when classical concerts were beamed into homes as regular Sunday-evening fare. Guest cellist Erica Morini commands a searing and stately performance through the Mozart Violin Concerto, but the star of the night here, of course, is Szell himself, and this release gives enthusiasts the opportunity at last to experience the conducting legend in as intimate a setting as is currently available. While the clarity of the picture often falls victim to the technology of the time--in some segments the black-and-white video could be described as flat-out blurry--the sound overall is surprisingly good. Rest assured, however, that any shortcomings in the quality of the 40-year old videotape is more than compensated by the chance to watch Szell in the twilight of his career conducting with such passion and virtuosity. --Karl Wachter

Product Description

A pair of early '60s Chicago TV broadcasts featuring conductor George Szell leading the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are featured here. The first includes the "Roman Carnival" overture by Berlioz, Mussorgsky's Prelude to "Khovanshchina" and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, while the second features violinist Erica Morini and includes Mozart's overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" and Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219 ("Turkish"), and Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3. 93 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the "Twilight" of Szell's Career September 3, 2011
Format:DVD
The product summary refers to this 1961 recording as having been made in the "twilight" of Szell's career. I would beg to differ and suggest that he did some of his very best work in the ten years before his death in 1970.

As another reviewer noted, it would be nice to see more video of Szell with Cleveland, an orchestra he personally turned into (one of) the best in the world. (It still is: A number of years after Szell died, Cleveland's subsequent music director Christoph von Dohnányi was quoted in the NYT as saying, "We give a great concert, and George Szell gets a great review.")

That said, while Szell was building a superb orchestra in Cleveland, Fritz Reiner was also polishing what was already a pretty fine orchestra in Chicago. The CSO's style then was similar in some ways to the style of Szell's Cleveland Orchestra.

So even though this recording is not with Cleveland, it's still a very interesting look back at what one great maestro could do with another great maestro's outstanding orchestra.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Incredible George Szell October 12, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was delighted to find a DVD of George Szell's work. Unfortunately it's with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra rather than the Cleveland Orchestra, the musical instrument that George Szell turned into the greatest orchestra in the world. I was tempted to give only four stars because of the antiquated audio of the DVD; but I decided that was a "revisionist" injustice. George Szell was the greatest orchestral conductor of the Twentiesth Century. Seeing him work with any orchestra is a miracle. Sadly. even now only the most dedicated of classical music nuts know who he was and he's been gone only thirty-some years.
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10 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Morini Alone is Worth the Ticket Already August 29, 2004
By BLee
Format:DVD
Recommended for :

(i) the nice and rather easly listening repertoire;

(ii) it gives us a much better idea of how Szell conducts;

(iii) we could readily compare Szell with his successor Sir George Solti, and

(iv) most importantly of all, we have Morini, one of the greatest violinists of the century (from the Viennese School) playing Mozart-- her footage alone is worth the ticket already, especially for those who have a ear or taste for the more refine and assuring sort of music and suffice to say that among all violinists of the past, Hilary Hann would particualarly love to see Morinin at work!

The sound is indeed quite good and the picture is more than acceptable.
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