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  • Hearing the Silence
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Hearing the Silence


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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: January 25, 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0046IGO98
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #439,622 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This DVD conveys an intensely moving view on one of the world's finest and most-respected conductors, Claudio Abbado. The film shows excerpts from rehearsals and concerts with some of his favorite orchestras. In addition, various and colorful stories of A

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
[This review was written for the earlier release of this documentary in 2005.]

This prize-winning documentary by the noted music documentarian Paul Smaczny from 2004 comes very close to a hagiography of Claudio Abbado. There are some very high-toned elements -- among them quotations (read by Bruno Ganz, the wonderful Swiss actor) of poetry by Hölderlin, a favorite of Abbado's, accompanied by dreamy landscapes -- as well as some wonderful, simply wonderful musical excerpts, usually too short. Abbado is notoriously shy of interviews and yet there are a number of clips of him talking with an unseen interviewer. The problem, though, is that he doesn't reveal very much in them. Far more revealing are the comments from colleagues like the young British conductor Daniel Harding, and members or former members of the Berliner Philharmoniker such as violist Wolfram Christ, oboist Albrecht Mayer, concertmaster Kolja Blacher. Still, their comments come close to being fluff -- how democratic Abbado is (in comparison to his unnamed predecessor, Karajan), how he wants to be called 'Claudio,' not 'Maestro,' how he enjoys making music, and so on. The most valuable comments, actually, and there are a lot of them, come from Abbado's friend Ganz who actually describes Abbado's platform behavior and his conducting technique. (I will add the Harding also comments that Abbado has 'the most beautiful left hand in the world.')

By far the most valuable parts of this 67-minute film are the clips of performances (with several orchestras including the ones he currently works with a lot, the Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra) of music by Dvorák, Mahler, Debussy, Nono, Webern, Stravinsky, Brahms, Beethoven, et al.
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Given the subject matter, I would probably have given this a 5-star rating. However, the overwhelming majority of the film was in either German or Italian with NO subtitles. Now much as I would like to be fluent in these languages, I am not. Because of this, I could not understand what was being said, other than a word here and there. I was very disappointed and if this is an appropriate venue to request a refund of my purchase, than I so request.
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Both DVDs are directed by Paul Smczny. I recommend them both. I don't know of any career plans from Maestro Abbado, but I assume he will continue conducting the Berlin Philharmonic. He has a great rapport with the musicians in all the orchestras he conducts.
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