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  • Van Cliburn - Concert Pianist (With Audio CD)
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Van Cliburn - Concert Pianist (With Audio CD)


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Product Details

  • Directors: Peter Rosen
  • Format: Classical, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: RCA
  • DVD Release Date: March 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00017HWLM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,845 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 54 people found the following review helpful By jack crossfire on September 8, 2004
Verified Purchase
What you'll get here: 45 minutes of brief statements from people who

know him, a lot of clips of him in various locations, and 15 minutes of clips

from concerts. There are no complete

performances and there are no complete interviews.

It's well known that Van hated making recordings, hated forever carving

in stone the way he did something. For all the microphones and cameras

that surround him on this DVD, he's allowed virtually none of it to get

released. That makes this footage all the more precious.

Nowhere else in the world are you going to see as much of the living

breathing Van Cliburn in your TV. Nowhere else is there more footage

of his Tchaikovsky competition gala and nowhere else can you glimpse

more of him in solo recitals. You can rest assured this is the

absolute most footage of him you'll ever see.

The performance clips are from 2 concerts he gave in the late 50's in

Russia. Although the video is blurry, the sound is incredibly sharp,

undoubtedly recorded on separate equipment for an album which he never

cleared.

The few minutes of concert footage here reveal a much more vibrant,

spontaneous Cliburn than any of his studio recordings. It confirms his

belief in recordings as pristene references, live performances being

the only suitable time for spontaneity.

It's no secret that Van's early recordings are extremely rigid and

straightforward. Here for the first time we see what he was doing in

live performance during that same time period, and it's like a different pianist.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By BLee on March 14, 2005
A very good biography of his great American pianist. It is good not because of what other people, musician or otherwise, say of him in this DVD as they are not very much to the point anyway. Instead, we are explained how a legend came into birth.

First of all, his musical background. Even though it is true that the finishing touch came from Mrs Lhevinne in the Julliard, it was his mother who taught him to play the piano until he was 17. His mother was not just any accomplished pianist: she was a pupil of Friedheim, himself a pupil of Lizst. There is a clip of Van sitting and listening intently to his mother at the piano: her playing was superb and the way he got spellbound was equally telling.

Furthermore, his rise came in the nick of time: he was the first American to win the International Tsaichovsky Competition ever. Moreover, the prize was won right in the midst of the Cold War. And yet the Russian audience were so spellbound by him, chasing after him bestowing on him all sort of presents in a way the far exceeded the warm reception Kissin experienced in London before or after his Albert Hall recital...

Here we have a glimpse of how he played, and also how passionately the audience applauded him and of how he responded to them on stage. From these clips we can see how spellbinding his playing was, and yet at the same time how witty he was and above all, what sort of personal charm this young artist possessed. His wit was highlighted by the short speech he made on arriving the US airport after snatching the much coveted prize.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By LuelCanyon on June 18, 2007
Verified Purchase
I remember Van Cliburn's Moscow triumph in 1958, and this modest and thoughtful documentary tribute to Cliburn strikes a harmonious note. The performance footage is super. Typical period Russian black and white film and some odd angles, but the playing is unforgettable, at times even moving. There are two long performance clips, not the whole pieces, but very generous cuts of Liszt's Mephisto Waltz and Chopin's Scherzo #3. There's a good deal of performance footage included. I had forgotten Cliburn's touch, and found myself reminded of Stephen Hough - a vivid roundness and intelligence, and playing that, if not profound, exhudes a surfeit of noble restraint that eluded many other pianists of Cliburn's generation. It's odd that the film never mentions the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, celebrated as it is. Get this film to hear again Cliburn playing live, it's something special. Sound is superb, the footage mix is excellent throughout: interviews with musicians and friends (a nice bit from Leontyne Price who was at Julliard with Cliburn), performances, family interviews and footage. A quiet film, much like its legendary subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amy on December 6, 2007
The first disc presents an hour long documentary on Van Cliburn, while the second is a 52 minute recital of breath taking expressive and technical scope. The documentary is riveting from beginning to end, including many clips of Cliburn, plus a fair amount of big names revealing their feelings about him. Leontyne Price, Marilyn Horne and pianist Alexander Toradze to name just a few. It is the clips of Van Cliburn the pianist that make this DVD special, though. As one watches him create a marvelously singing tone in Liszt's first Mephisto Waltz, one is simultaneously mesmerized by his hands. This is one of several extended excerpts that further add to the documentary value of this release. The importance of Cliburn as a cultural diplomat who showed that the power of music is much stronger then over politics in the wake of his Moscow triumph of 1958 is also shown. Cliburn played for every President of the United States in his lifetime since Eisenhower, a measure of the recognition accorded to his art. His nine year absence from the concert stage is mentioned, as is his eighteen city tour of the United States late in his life. The documentary is always gripping and one feels, at the end, deeply moved.

The complete works on disc 2 are:

1) Schumann-Liszt Widmung
2) Chopin Etude Op. 10 No. 3
3) Rachmaninoff Etude Tableau Op. 39 No. 5
4) Debussy L' lsle joyeuse
5) Brahms Intermezzo Op. 118 No. 2
6) Chopin Scherzo No. 3 Op. 39
7) Rachmaninoff Prelude in C Sharp Minor Op. 3 No. 2
8) Brahms Waltz Op. 39 No. 15
9) Liszt Mephisto Waltz

The second disc confirms the impressions we get of Van Cliburn after watching the documentary. Every single piece generates its own superlative, from the loving flow of Brahms' Op. 118 No.
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