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The Music of Leroy Anderson: Once Upon a Sleigh Ride

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Oct 31, 2006)
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$99.99 $79.46

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Editorial Reviews

Narrated by Dick Cavett, this award-winning program about Leroy Anderson (1908-1975), the composer of popular, light classical music such as Sleigh Ride, and Bugler's Holiday. Since its release in 1999, it has aired on PBS stations more than 1,200 times. This DVD contains more than two hours of previously unreleased bonus material. This rare footage consists of a 1961 television program in which Anderson conducts the WCBS-TV Orchestra, a 1970 program with Anderson at his Connecticut home playing and discussing his music and 30 minutes of unpublished Leroy Anderson songs from the 1958 musical Goldilocks.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Leroy Anderson, Dick Cavett
  • Directors: Peter Rosen
  • Writers: Sara Lukinson
  • Producers: Peter Rosen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 31, 2006
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ICLRC0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,903 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Music of Leroy Anderson: Once Upon a Sleigh Ride" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
If you were growing up in the 1940s/50s and 60s, you'll probably remember most of Leroy Anderson's hit songs of the 50s (they seem to refer to it as easy listening music today), but it was a time when music was melodious and catchy and you could at least whistle or hum a pop song. What a wonderful and humble composer he was!

This DVD is exceptional for its content, with lots of archival footage of Arthur Feidler and the Boston Pops, Ed Sullivan Show, and even John Williams. There are excerpts from Leroy Anderson's most memorable tunes as well as some interesting interviews with Anderson's family and his peers. The DVD is presented in full frame 4x3 because the material comes from a time before widescreen TV. For its time, the picture quality is quite good. Some of the audio is mixed in stereo. If you enjoy quality music and want to reminisce about 'happier times,' then this is the program made just for you! Enjoy your trip down memory lane.
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Heard "Fiddle-Faddle" on my local classical station and was blown away. Looked him up and realized I already knew some of his music (like "Sleigh Ride"). Bought some recordings and fell in love.

I hate it when his music is classified as "easy listening"---it is anything but. His own description of his work as "light concert music" is much better, but could still be somewhat misleading. He has exuberant music, humorous music, beautiful lyrical music, but the common thread running through all his music is pure, simple joy. The best of his work, when done right, at times expresses an almost violent joy in living that seems to rebel against the very thought that anything else could be important. This is a man for whom suffering seems not to have existed. In short...what's not to like?

Unfortunately, this program does take an "easy listening" approach to Anderson's music to some extent...but there is so much great material here that it's a nearly unmitigated pleasure to watch in any case. The best parts are footage of Anderson himself discussing and performing some of his music. And it's nice to hear his work discussed by other conductors such as Arthur Fiedler, John Williams, and Seiji Ozawa.

There is also a recording of one movement of his piano concerto, which he had withdrawn due to lackluster reviews upon its premier, but which he later commented upon favorably and planned to revise before his death and which his estate re-released. It would have been nice if the entire concerto had been included, at least in the bonus materials, but the other special features are fantastic. There are interviews with the stars of his Broadway musical, Goldilocks, and demo recordings of unused songs, as well as a couple of songs written with Ogden Nash as lyricist for a planned (but never realized) musical based on Gone With the Wind. Some of these are real gems, and the DVD would be worth buying for them alone.
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A well-made piece that's very informative about the man's work but not so forthcoming about the man, himself. One gets the impression that he was a VERY private individual and this film does little to impinge upon his privacy.

Some very interesting interview footage as extras.
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The DVD is more than what I had expected. It covers the whole life history and career of Leroy Anderson and how his music is being
written and played. Don't expect a concert performance but watching how the sound effects are generated is worth much more than
just listening to the music. My understanding of music and connection with a local conservatory of music really open up my mind to
the wealth of information contained in the DVD. If you really appreciate good music and the people who present them to you this is
the DVD worth having.
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