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High Fidelity: Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet (1989)

John Dalley , David Soyer , Allan Miller  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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High Fidelity: Adventures of the Guarneri String Quartet + Indivisible by Four: A String Quartet in Pursuit of Harmony + The Art of Quartet Playing: The Guarneri Quartet in Conversation with David Blum (Cornell Paperbacks)
Price for all three: $43.81

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Dalley, David Soyer
  • Directors: Allan Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • 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)
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001DYRL72
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the filmmaking team that brought us the Academy Award-winning FROM MAO TO MOZART: ISAAC STERN IN CHINA comes this spirited and often humorous documentary about the world-famous Guarneri String Quartet. Filled with the music of Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven, this provocative yet enjoyable film joins the Quartet during intimate rehearsals and recording sessions, as well as on tour to Prague, Venice, Baden-Baden, and across the United States.

An astonishing look into the inner workings of the legendary Quartet, "High Fidelity may be the best film about music and musicians since From Mao To Mozart!" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times).


EXCELLENT! Captures not only the music of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert but also, even more vividly, the music of four distinctive personalities in constantly shifting harmony and dissonance. --Joseph McLellan, Washington Post

An entrancing and highly entertaining documentary about four gifted musicians who have been making beautiful music together for 25 years. --Frederic & Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice Magazine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What It Means to be a Guarneri March 3, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Fans of the Guarneri Quartet will enjoy this chance to go behind the scenes for a glimpse into the world of this fine musical group. However, anyone who loves classical music and has even an inkling of the time, commitment and struggle involved in playing it well will appreciate this film as well. Rather than try to paint a cohesive and tidy picture of the Guarneri, director Allan Miller has wisely chosen to let them emerge as they are - four strong, highly opinionated individuals who are still in the process of evolving with the music they play.
The overriding question of the film, of course, is how has the Guarneri managed to stay together for so long? Even the members themselves have no good answer to that one, but as the film follows each of them from home to rehearsals to airports and music halls, some recurring themes emerge. There is humor and passion, and the satisfaction standing before a wildly clapping audience. There is also something vibrant and challenging in the interactions between the four, even when they disagree. Clearly part of what keeps the Guarneri together is the opportunity to discuss, interpret, and ultimately come to terms with superb music in the company of like minded, if occasionally cantankerous, colleagues.
If there is anything this film lacks, it's time. The 85-minute running time simply isn't enough to do justice to these complex and enigmatic musicians. You will arrive at the end wishing for more. But in my book, that's a good thing. Encore!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Relationship of High Fidelity August 10, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This film is fascinating on several levels. First, the viewer gets an inside look at a highly creative, extremely disciplined, classical music string quartet in rehearsal, in performance, traveling together, and at home with their families.

Second, we learn a great deal about the internal dynamics of a `team' with a mission - quality performance of a very demanding musical genre that requires cooperation, dedication, discipline, and the total love of what one is doing.

Third, we learn something about the nature of personal relationships, writ large, times four minimally, and more if one includes, as one must, the families of the musicians. We learn what relationships of High Fidelity require, their rewards, and their sometimes all too painful costs. In one particularly moving scene, for example, we see the pain in the face and body language, and hear it in the words, of violist Michael Tree discussing his desire to play, sometimes, the violin rather than the viola in concert. He is speaking with fellow members Arnold Steinhardt and David Soyer. They do not seem to understand Tree's desire. And at least in the film, his desire goes unrealized. In another case, we hear the pleading of violinist Arnold Steinhardt that the quartet perform a piece of music he loves. His feelings are not shared, to say the least, by the other members of the quartet.

Finally, and unexpectedly for me at least, we learn something about democracy, that it is built solidly, unequivocally, and constitutionally on compromise. We learn that in a democracy one is required to speak his or her mind, to give his or her opinion, to argue his or her case, and be unconditionally prepared to lose, and not leave.

This story is not about a lonely artist in a garret.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy in an American way. October 1, 2011
By Will
This is a really great documentary. It incorporates a good blend of playing, interviews and other footage and finishes with a knockout performance of the fourth movement of Beethoven's Op 59 No 3.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Quartet December 13, 2010
This documentary, from the 1980s, is a peek into the world of chamber music and, specifically, the great Guarneri Quartet, whose sound one critic likened to "date nut bread and cream cheese." There's a lot of music here but also the process of four individuals who regularly left their families to play music all over the world for three decades. Fascinating.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great lead-in to the Late Quartet February 18, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This film documents a truly great colaboration of musicisans. Luckily most are still around and their students still speak glowingly of then, particularly from their Marlboro years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting evening. September 23, 2014
By sargant
Format:Amazon Instant Video
I had heard the name of this string quartet for some years. This was an interesting insight into the workings of the group. It caused me to look further on the internet to learn even a bit more about them. Good music.
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