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Lucerne Festival: Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov [Blu-ray]

8 customer reviews

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(May 29, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Grammy Award winning pianist Yefim Bronfman joins the superstar conductor Andris Nelsons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a stunning performances of Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto. The program is completed (arguably perfected) with Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, works by Dvorak and Beethoven, and the absolute gift of Yefim Bronfman playing Chopin's Etude in F major op. 10/8. "What a find!" The Wall Street Journal

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Classical, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007N0SW1O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,309 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gerhard P. Knapp on May 15, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Recorded live one day after C Minor's disk of Andris Nelsons conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony (see my review) on 5 September 2011 at the Lucerne Festival, this production is another winner. Audio and video are flawless, the camera work is quite excellent, as we have come to expect from this label.

Andris Nelsons is a highly impressive young conductor, and the Concertgebouw musicians respond brilliantly and with enthusiasm to his (mostly smiling) directions. The generous program consists of the rarely heard Ruins of Athens overture, an intriguing late Beethoven piece, the "Emperor" piano concerto with Yefim Bronfman as a powerful and energetic soloist who also provides an encore, Chopin's Etude in F Major, Rimsky-Korsakov's tone poem Scheherazade and, finally, Dvorak's Slavonic Dance in A Major as an encore. Everything is superbly played. Bronfman's conception of the Fifth Piano Concerto is robust but not without subtlety: a joy to hear. Especially exciting is the interplay between piano and orchestra (note the period timpani played with hard sticks). If I were to nitpick, the only criticism I would offer is that Bronfman's reading of the concerto does not reveal anything "new" or so far unheard to me. For some listeners, this may be for the better, as he does not seem to be given to mannerisms, deep introspection or informed by any recent research of the score (for this listen to Buchbinder's new collection of the Beethoven concertos). The Chopin is wonderfully played: glittering and full of élan. Scheherazade is not too high on my list of favorites, but Nelsons and his Dutch orchestra play it with so much conviction, elegance and color that I find it irresistible and fresh, despite some rather slow passages.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Clive S. Goodwin on May 14, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
We're almost half way through 2012, and this is my pick so far for "Disc of the Year". We have Andris Nelsons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) at the top of their considerable form, an exquisite Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, a crackerjack Beethoven Emperor from Yefim Bronfman, and three good fillers, all recorded and directed in fabulous sound and video.

Scheherazade demands an orchestra of soloists, and the RCO is just the ticket. Listen to how the woodwind principals caress and cajole the themes out of their instruments in the second movement! Absolute magic! This is not to dismiss the efforts of the principal string and brass players, all of whom had me shaking my head and smiling.

This Scheherazade is taken a bit slower than average, but this allows Nelsons to coax the whole spectra of phrasing and sonority out of this great orchestra - surely one of the top three in the world. His enthusiasm is contagious, and the RCO obviously has tremendous rapport with him. I think he's all set to take over the mantle of "magician", previously ascribed to Stokowski. He's that good.

I last saw and heard Bronfman on video doing the Rachmaninov 3 with Rattle and the BPO at an outdoor concert - wonderful playing, iffy recording, replete with an infant crying lustily! He almost attacks the piano, and in this Emperor, he really romps through the first and third movements, but is tender and immensely poetic in the Adagio. This is a performance to leave you cheering, you get so caught up in it! It may be lacking some of the subtleties of the Buchbinder version, but this in an altogether more muscular and triumphant journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doubleblue on June 30, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having watched this disc a few times now, I have asked myself why I keep coming back to it.

My reasons:

1) Nelsons' conducting. His joy in the music is vividly on display. Occasionally he tucks away his baton and lets his hands do the work; sometimes he uses his entire body. His face registers determination when the music is stern and lights up with a smile when it is effusive. His bond with the orchestra is fully evident, and they clearly appreciate him as well. During the final ovations he insists that everyone on stage have their moment to bask in the applause.

2) The playing of the Concertgebouw, in ensemble and as soloists. What a sound, both in tutti and when the first-chair players have their moments in the spotlight. In this performance I could see how Scheherazade is a lot like a "concerto for orchestra". Beautiful colors. It must be a lot of fun to play.

3) The video direction. The camerawork in this production is phenomenal. We get to see each soloist as they are featured in the score, with effortless shifts of perspective. I can't remember the last time I saw a filmed concert where the orchestra members were showcased as much, or more, than the conductor, who all too often in these productions is the uncontested "star" no matter what piece is featured (*cough* *cough* Dudamel). The camerawork here serves the music first and foremost, highlighting how beautifully it is scored and taking us on a visual journey to accompany the sound. One thing for sure, it made me give far more credit to Rimsky-Korsakov as a composer than I'd allowed before.

4) The video quality. State-of-the-art HD. What more do I need to say.

5) Sound quality. Also top-notch.

6) The interpretations.
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Lucerne Festival: Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov [Blu-ray]
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