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David Helfgott - A Musical Journey

5 customer reviews

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David Helfgott - A Musical Journey + David Helfgott Plays Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3; Four Preludes; Sonata No. 2
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Editorial Reviews

This South Bank Show presentation profiles David Helfgott, the Australian classical pianist whose extraordinary life-story inspired the Oscar-winning film Shine. Following the huge success of Shine, David Helfgott has returned to the concert platform where his performances have thrilled audiences. This program captures the energy and enthusiasm generated by this warm, humorous man. Melvyn Bragg’s conversations with the pianist and his family are interspersed with dramatic footage from Shine, and performance excerpts from Helfgott’s 1997 world tour.

This DVD contains over 40 minutes of extra concert footage from David Helfgott in Concert, Nottingham, that was not broadcast as part of the original London Weekend Television South Bank Show. Works included:

Mendelssohn: Andante & Rondo Capriccioso in E minor
Liszt : Un Sospiro Concert Etude No 3
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No 6
Beethoven: Appassionata Sonata No 23 in F minor

"He Shone" THE INDEPENDENT

"A profoundly gifted man having the time of his life" THE SUNDAY TIMES


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LP6KS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,763 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gene Cisco on November 17, 2009
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It is remarkable to see David Helfgott in person warts-and-all cast his spell and turn music critics into pointless insignifigance while playing inconsistently and unevenly as suggested. However, I think it is not lost on the audience the inner demons that tug at him as he expertly fingers the keyboard. It is so inspiring to see a genius once demolished rise from the ashes with brilliant finger flourishes in each selection. If he falters, momentarily, covering with improvisation it is inspiring too. This footage exceeded my expectations in unforeseen ways. I looked at David as I would an aging athlete that I had seen from his prime to his decline where you forgive the errors and replace them with early greatness. But in truth, David Helfgott is still in his prime.The music perfectionists may condemn his finger lapses on principle, but I hear something incredibly exciting in his style in concert performance that a brittle Horowitz, note and tempo precise, can not touch. Knowing how hard it is in one's lifetime to display one's greatness, it is totally joyous to see one so emotionally damaged display any measureful of dexturous genius. I could name several great athletes who were so close to the same genius level in their respective sports who tripped themselves up slightly, and walked away to never ascend again. Helfgott reminds us that it is not the heights we reach, but what we do with the time at hand. He seems to play with the intricacies like no other pianist I have seen. (I believe he could play the numbers with the backsides of his hands) This fortunate man plays with the classical greats as Shakespeare would an Olivier reading! I hope David lives long enough in the sunshine of audience applause to silence all his inner demons so that he sails through his recitals with unhampered genius once again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy on December 3, 2007
If you didn't know already courtesy of the movie Shine, Australian pianist David Helfgott was born of Polish Jewish parents in 1947, studied in London in the late 1960s, suffered a mental breakdown and was rehabilitated in the 1980s. In 1997 he undertook a world tour and Melvyn Bragg made the documentary which takes up about half this DVD. The other half is part of a recital given in Nottingham before an enraptured audience. The very first point which comes across in the documentary is the disparity between the reactions of audiences and most critics to Helfgott's playing. One of the critics, Andrew Clements, was unable to continue listening and became a deserter at half time. But Norman Lebrecht, who has certainly un mellowed in the last ten years, comes to Helfgott's defense. In this respect the documentary does well in assessing the pianist's stature. His coach Peter Feuchtwanger is interviewed and freely admits to his inconsistency. Helfgott's limitations in coping with larger structures are also demonstrated to us. The principal compensations are here attributed to a spiritual element to his playing but I would suspect that it is Helfgott's ability to communicate that wins over the audiences. The documentary seeks to explore various aspects of Helfgott's mental state through considering his relationship with his father and also through the eyes of his psychiatrist. The effects of institutionalization and his treatment are also considered. But unlike Shine, which takes the long journey and touches it up here and there, most of what you get here is a close up of a rehabilitated man whose behavior is nevertheless unusual. His speech is repetitive and the need for physical contact with Bragg and apparent strangers will make many people feel uncomfortable.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Magnolia on May 14, 2011
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Well, I did get the particular music I wanted which was Listz's Un Sospiro. A little disconcerting was I did not realize he sort of mumbled as he played. I had seen the movie "Shine" based on his life and this was not indicated or shown in the movie. He is such a gifted artist, I just wish I had settled for a CD instead of a DVD. Amazon at least had the DVD which I appreciated and sent it promptly, so it was my error.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By turtlekneader on February 21, 2011
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A diverse view of perspectives on David's life and success and the challenges which accompanied it. Refreshing and insightful in that it viewed his mental illness as more of an eccentricity and accepted David for the amazing person he is.
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By millie herrema on September 24, 2013
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this was very moving, I love his style on the piano, wish he had played Rachmoninoff on it though!. David is a genius, with an unusual God/given gift!'
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