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3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A film shot after the huge success of the 2 volumes of Transcriptions released since 2003. Accentus and Laurence Equilbey inspired the director Andy Sommer, who wrote: "The a cappella music of accentus is magical, its sound at once luminous and full of my


The hit "Transcriptions" CDs by French chamber choir Accentus and its chic director, Laurence Equilbey, have helped reorient our ears to music we thought we knew -- as in Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei (the choral version of the Adagio for Strings) and their haunting rearrangement of Prokofiev's "The Field of Death" (from "Alexander Nevsky"). This artfully designed DVD features 18 audiovisual poems based on these performances. The choir's transformation of Debussy's piano prelude "Footprints in the Snow" only seems more magical when seeing the singers spread among balcony-like stairwells, bathed in silver-blue light as digital snow falls. -- NJ.com, The Star-Ledger, Bradley Bambarger, December 30, 2008

This beautifully designed DVD doesn't just provide an audiovisual document of Accentus' perfect tuning and willowy grace in this material. The film is a series of 18 visual poems to amplify the ravishing blend. Director Andy Sommer juxtaposes concert footage with imagistic shots of the singers arrayed in architectural spaces, filling the montage with arty lighting, impressionistic scenery and Gallic hustle-bustle backstage. The result is as fresh as the transcription project itself. It enhances the strange re-experience of the Debussy to see the singers spread among balcony-like stairwells, bathed in silver-blue light as digital snow falls. -- NJ Star-Ledger, Bradley Bambarger, April 2008

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Barber, Mahler, Vivaldi, Accentus
  • Directors: Laurence Equilbey, Andy Sommer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Naive
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B00120S8AG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,982 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

I yield to no one in my admiration of the French choir Accentus and their marvelous director, Laurence Equilbey. And the singing on this DVD is simply wonderful. But I could not stomach the oh-so-arty visuals that accompany it. Whoever is responsible for them should be banished to outer darkness, largely because of the overuse of shallow focus closeups (and I mean CLOSEUPS: picture watching the disembodied mouth of a woman -- all you can see are the lips, flecked lipstick, the workings of tongue and teeth -- whose motions are not exactly synchronized with what one is hearing on the sound track). There is also a good deal of completely irrelevant scenery, shot mostly with soft focus or out of focus. What is the point of seeing a ship sailing across the screen while the choir is singing Wagner's 'Im Treibhaus' ('In the Greenhouse')? Why do we watch Mme Equilbey (at least I think it's Mme Equilbey) in silhouette drinking a cup of tea or coffee while looking out a window at a misty scene? Or a scene of her lying, fully clothed, on her bed? And speaking of mist, even the indoor scenes seem to have been shot through mist (or dry ice fumes -- I wonder how that effected the singers' throats). It's beautiful in a gauzy way, but irritating ultimately.

For those who haven't been dissuaded by the previous paragraph, I will at least list the musical contents of the DVD, all transcriptions (with added lyrics in most cases) of works not originally for choir and all sung with impressive artistry. The listing is not in order of their appearance on the DVD, but by composer.
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