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  • The Philharmonics - Waltzes by Johann Strauss arranged by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg & Anton Webern [Blu-ray]
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The Philharmonics - Waltzes by Johann Strauss arranged by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg & Anton Webern [Blu-ray]


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Editorial Reviews

The Philharmonics, the ensemble founded by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, fill the Café Sperl with some of the most authentically Viennese sounds imaginable the Strauss waltzes that Schoenberg, Berg and Webern arranged and performed in May 1921 to raise funds for their pioneering Society for Private Musical Performances. This is music the players have in their blood, and they maintain the echtatmosphere with Godowskys tribute to the city, Alt-Wien and a clutch of Kreisler gems, rounding the programme off with a new piece by the ensembles leader Tibor Ková, based on traditional Jewish melodies and Mahler themes, Yiddische Mame. BONUS: How Schoenberg came to arrange waltzes by Strauss

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: The Philharmonics, Johann Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern
  • Directors: Tilo Krause
  • Format: Blu-ray, Classical, HiFi Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Accentus
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 64 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005KNODUA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,169 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 20, 2012
Format: Blu-ray
This selection of mostly waltzes arranged by largely the Second Viennese School of Berg, Schoenberg and Webern is very easy listening and would appeal to anyone who warms to the New Year's Day concerts of the VPO.

The arrangements were written by Berg, Schoenberg and Webern in 1921 as part of a fund raising venture to support their 'Society for Private Musical Performances' and do not sound like the Second Viennese School as most listeners would expect. On the contrary they exude genuine Viennese atmosphere which would be associated with the Strauss era and which has been scaled down and tastefully adapted for a Viennese café scenario.

Other arrangers featured on this delightful disc are Godowsky, Kreisler and Kovac, none of whom were involved in the Society. What all six have in common is an obvious delight in the music that they have arranged and the desire to share this with a different public in a less formal setting than a ballroom. The playing from these members of the VPO is as expert as one would expect and in idiomatic Viennese style. The recording venue for this production is the genuine café setting of the Café Sperl in Vienna with a small café audience who are free to watch, listen and read or carry on inaudible conversations as they feel appropriate.

The recording is clear with good camera work which nicely captures the ambiance of the event which must have been staged a little if only to effect a recording with all that that would entail. The sound is presented in realistic and atmospheric DTS 5.1 surround and stereo formats.

My wife loved it as an enjoyable surprise to go with her cup of tea when she came home from work! I think that would make an excellent first recommendation! It is hard to imagine this disc failing to give enormous pleasure to future purchasers so therefore, in my opinion, it seems reasonable to rate it as a 5 star issue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Lupu VINE VOICE on May 18, 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The tittle of this Blu-Ray disc doesn't properly describe it contents. This is chamber music in a café in Vienna. It is not the super-orchestrated Strauss's waltzes, and that by itself is a great treat. Serve yourself a cappuccino (mélange in Vienna) and you feel yourself in that Café. A very `different' experience. For those who have visited Vienna, it also brings some good memories of the city and his famous cafes.
Musically, the whole hour is very interesting and not overly saturated with the typical waltzes. The Bonus material explains the source of the arrangements, in itself a very interesting musical anecdote. In addition to Strauss's waltzes and Kreisler's music, it includes an arrangement by Tobor Kovak that greatly surprised me. Track number 9 is called "Yiddische Mame". You wouldn't expect such a tittle in a Viennese music recording. In fact, it is a Potpourri that starts with Mahler, and includes various Yiddish tunes beautifully arranged and performed. Also, I am glad to see Jewish music back in Vienna!
The images and sound are perfect for the settings. In summary, a very pleasant visit to a Viennese café. Strongly recommended. Don't forget to watch the Bonus material; it will help to put things in the right perspective
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The music is good, but what makes it unusually rewarding is the visible interaction among the musicians. When musicians smile at each other and communicate with the eyes, it will make listeners smile too.

You can see some of these clips on YouTube. That's what persuaded me to buy the DVD. It has extra tunes, framing segments, an a short documentary on how the modernists happened to rework Strauss.

Two things bothered me about the recording. One was figuring out where the mics and cameras were. I'm guessing there was an overhead mic setup, not visible in the frame, but it sounds close-mic'd, with great exclusion of background sound, particularly tricky in a hard-surfaced room like that. The credits include a Steadicam operator, and there are some distant zooms, but also camera pull-backs that show no cameras... hard to figure on a realtime recording like this.

The crowd was also a bit distracting. I can understand that they're supposed to be going about their usual business in a cafe, but I don't understand how you can listen to these people play and not stand up and cheer.

The DVD is good, but a major complaint on Amazon... when I search quoted phrase "the philharmonics", I expect to find this disc. Even query "+'the philharmonics'" fails. Amazon delivery is great, but their discovery seems like it's getting drunker by the month.
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The Philharmonics - Waltzes by Johann Strauss arranged by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg & Anton Webern [Blu-ray]
This item: The Philharmonics - Waltzes by Johann Strauss arranged by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg & Anton Webern [Blu-ray]
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