The Music of Leroy Anderson: Once Upon a Sleigh Ride
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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There is also a recording of one movement of his piano concerto, which he had withdrawn due to lackluster reviews upon its premier, but which he later commented upon favorably and planned to revise before his death and which his estate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.
Some very interesting interview footage as extras.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Found this absolutely fascinating. Loved the music! This man should not be forgotten. Recommend this for high school band and orchestra teachers!Published on February 10, 2014 by Samuel J. Tomaino
Great tribute to a fine American composer. Interesting also to learn of Anderson's character -- not your typical neurotic/narcisstic artist.Published on October 2, 2013 by Vinkelheimer