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Symphonie Fantastique


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Product Details

  • Actors: Erik Bruhn, Henning Kronstam, Frank Schaufuss, Stanley Williams, Niels Bjrn Larsen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Classical, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Video Artists Int'l
  • DVD Release Date: September 15, 2009
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002N1C1A6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #503,261 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Ballet choreographed by L onide Massine. Performed by the Royal Danish Ballet (1948). (Silent "work film" synchronized to Liszt's piano transcription of score performed by William Hicks) 52 min., B&W.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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[...]
In 1948 choreographer Leonide Massine opted to notate his staging of this Berlioz symphony by photographing the full stage width during a run-through. Dancers are in leotards and the five different backdrops are available. No soundtrack was made of the rehearsal piano (the Liszt transcription has now been added). The five scenes follow the composer's scenario: A love-sick musician takes opium to die but instead hallucinates, repeatedly but momentarily seeing his beloved, till he dreams he kills her, is executed, and is enveloped by sorcerers and monsters. The dancers' faces are unrecognizable, some of their balletic work ambiguous. Superimposed titles have been added to guide the viewer. You can select Angle 1 for full stage or Angle 2 for half stage (very grainy).

On the case front the production photo of the two leads affirms that the Massine production was costume heavy. The documented choreography affirms that it was pantomimic and lacked vigor, with no one permitted to dance more than a few phrases before being whisked off. The stage is often overcrowded.

Oh, there are so many wonderful dance DVDs available now! Spend your money on these.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Smith on November 13, 2011
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This is an amazing DVD. It was recorded in 1948 as a working film, yet somehow it got preserved. It is like squinting through a time machine. The dancers are not in costume. The music was synchronized with the original silent film at a later date. The film is grainy, the dancer's features are indistinct. Yet here is a major Massine choreographed work performed by one of the great dance companies of the world. Erik Bruhn became one of the great heroic dancers of his era. I saw him live in the 1960s, he was amazing. This might be one of the few DVD records of his work. For all its flaws I found it fascinating to watch and artistically satisfying. We are lucky to have it. If your primary interest is Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique this is not the DVD you should buy. Consider, instead, the San Francisco Symphony Series, Keeping Score. There is an episode in regular and Blu ray DVD devoted to the Berloz work. It provides both background and a performance of the piece beautifully conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas who also narrates the DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By WRP on January 13, 2010
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Briefly, it is a miracle that we can view one of Massine's ballets! If you "know" ballet and the Royal Danish stars, you will love this DVD. Where else can one view the famous stars of the Royal Danish in their youth dancing major roles: Fredbjorn Bjornson, Henning Kronstam, Toni Lander, Kirsten Ralov, Frank Schaufuss, Stanley Williams, Mona Vangsaae (the only film I know of this prima ballerina is of her in the mime role of the Mother in Napoli), Niels Bjorn Larsen. Of course, one also gets the young Erik Bruhn in minor roles of a shepherd and Third Monster before he progressed to be one of the steady stars at ABT in the '60's. The print is very clear, and the surtitles are useful--identifying the lead dancers, the roles they were portraying, and where they are on the stage. Obviously the film was not made as a finished product and was intended as an educational tool to help someone re-create the ballet. I did find the dancing expressive in an older style (the Fokine story-ballet tradition)(why would I want to see close-ups of a dancer's or an opera singer's face?!)in the very very complicated and technically demanding choreography. This is a must-have for ballet aficionados! The synchronization of the film with the piano accompaniment is perfect. (If you think playing Liszt's piano transcription is easy....Bravissimoo, pianist William Hicks!)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ali Hassan AYACHE on February 14, 2010
The stamp will make a work of archeology. Unearth rarities from opera and ballet and inaccessible places on the market. But not everything that is old is synonymous with quality.

Symphonie Fantastique is one of the most important and revolutionary works of Hector Berlioz. Producers forget to quote on the cover name of the composer. The name of the choreographer Leonide Massine and the Royal Danish Ballet are in there and seem to be more important.

The music is presented in piano reduction. The original recording of 1948 has no sound, tried to synchronize the music of piano and dance. The result is strange, you lose all the melodic richness of Symphonie Fantastique.

The choreography is odd and nothing like the work of Berlioz. Music and dance one side to another. Often uncoordinated, dancers seem to School samba.Os costumes are test pieces of everyday life, are funny and clash of all.

Symphonie Fantastique reports an artist who tries to commit suicide with opium. Frustrated by unrequited love. But the dose is not enough to kill him, and he's going to delirium. Hallucinations, feelings and memories are translated into real music with a recurring theme. The choreography does not show the psychological complexity of the work. The piano reduction weakens the plot and the costumes are amateurs.

People, Shelves in them. This deserves to be burned with the worst quality opium.
Ali Hassan Ayache

O selo VAI faz um trabalho de arqueologia. Desenterra raridades da ópera e do balé inacessíveis e os coloca no mercado. Mas nem tudo que é antigo é sinônimo de qualidade.

Symphonie Fantastique é uma das mais importantes e revolucionárias obras de Hector Berlioz.
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