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Coming Home: Israel Philharmonic 75th Anniversary

5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The film "Coming Home" by Janos Darvas brings to life the 75 year history of the Israel Philharmonic with grace and pathos, telling the story of the orchestra itself within the history of Israel, her formation, and her people. The concert celebrating the orchestra's 75th anniversary, featuring young soloists and performed under the esteemed baton of Zubin Mehta, is presented alongside this gorgeous film and allows the audience to see the fruit of 75 years of labor: great art.

Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Julian Rachlin, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Evgeny Kissin, Zubin Mehta, Vadim Repin
  • Directors: János Darvas
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Hebrew, Japanese
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 148 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008P76WEI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,780 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This 75th Anniversary concert, recorded in 2011 at Tel Aviv in Hanger 11, is a spectacular success on every level.Clearly this anniversary meant a great deal to the players and audience and the whole event rises to the occasion in a way that is really quite special.

The concert starts with an assured and exciting performance of Saint Saens' Introduction and Rondo played by Julian Rachlin who adds a thoughtfully satisfying Sarabande from Bach's second Partita as an encore. Expectations were high therefore as Kissin settled down to deliver as fine a performance of Chopin's fist piano concerto as I have heard. This was full of detail and nuance without, for a single moment, losing the wonderful effect of spontaneous music making. The number of meltingly beautiful moments throughout this concerto were almost beyond number. Interestingly it was not a brilliant performance in terms of virtuoso speed. Those characteristics, which he demonstrated at Warsaw on a previous anniversary concert (Chopin's), were put aside in favour of a more deeply expressive interpretation here - not that there was any lack of brilliance at the essential moments of pure display passage work. At the end of the concerto, which was justifiably greeted with rapturous applause, it was a pleasure to see Kissin react with more relaxed pleasure than usual. He followed this lyrical performance of the concerto with a positively blistering account of the second Scherzo which was simply jaw-dropping.

'Follow that!' you could say - and that is what Vadim Repin did with a wonderfully expressive account of Chausson's multi-layered and evocative Poeme, the perfect complementary piece to balance Kissin's extraordinary display of brilliance in his concluding Scherzo performance.
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Format: Blu-ray
This is a fascinating Blu-ray in many ways. First and foremost, it marks the 75th anniversary of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Curiously, as good as the concert is, I didn't really detect extra emotion from the players or audience related to this major occasion. But the accompanying documentary (nearly an hour long) fills this gap nicely.

The documentary effectively charts the history of the orchestra, hitting all the highlights. Benefiting from a large number of interviews with orchestra members past and present, it shows how the orchestra has attracted stellar musicians from around the world, originally largely from Germany and Austria, and more recently from Russia. It also touches on Arturo Toscanini's early championing, Leonard Bernstein's injections of excitement, and the five-decade relationship with Zubin Mehta, who has helped the orchestra maintain its Central European sound through all these years. I found it very interesting, and as you might expect, moving in parts.

The concert features a rather eclectic program. Two French violin works (Saint-Saens and Chausson), Bach, Chopin and Beethoven. One bit of trivia: All the soloists are former child prodigies.

Mention is made in the documentary of how Jewish musicians are particularly skilled at making string instruments sing, and certainly Julian Rachlin and Vadim Repin do just that in Saint-Saens' Rondo Capriccioso and Chausson's Poeme, respectively. Rachlin follows the Saint-Saens with an encore: Bach's Partita No. 2. It's equally impressive.

But I suspect for many the highlight of this disc will be Eugeny Kissin tackling yet again the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Israel Philharmonic does its usual superb job, especially when under the direction of Mehta. Kissin gives a spectacular performance of Chopin. And the DVD has an fantastic added bonus about the Israel Philharmonic with commentaries by Mehta, Barenboim, Zuckerman and many others connected with the Orchestra
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Format: Blu-ray
This is a superb DVD. I particularly enjoyed the fascinating documentary "Coming Home". It is a great companion to "Orchestra of Exiles" - which is a must-have!
Musically, I enjoyed the solo and orchestral performances, as well as the fine Blu-ray quality. Thanks, Amazon!
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