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Violin Masters: Two Gentlemen Of Cremona (2012)

. , John Forsen  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Violin Masters: Two Gentlemen Of Cremona + Jascha Heifetz: God's Fiddler + Heifetz Master Classes
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Product Details

  • Actors: .
  • Directors: John Forsen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2012
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007T40GL8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,079 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, two violinmakers from the same small town were making the most sought-after violins ever created. Everyone has heard of Antonio Stradivari, but few know the name Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù. This documentary tells the story of these two violin masters and why the stringed instruments they sculpted 300 years ago are worth millions of dollars to musicians and collectors today.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This BluRay + DVD presentation draws on the deep knowledge of today's greatest violin experts and an A-list of violin virtuosos to tell the story of Antonio Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù, the two greatest violin makers the world has ever known. We learn who these remarkable men were, about their lives and times, about their amazing instruments and how today's great virtuosos feel about their instruments.

The film addresses the most frequently asked questions about these men and their violins: "Who was Guarneri del Gesù?", "Why are their instruments great?", "How much are they worth?", "What was Stradivari's secret?", "Why can't we make Strads today?", "Which is better, a Strad or a del Gesù?"

This lavishly illustrated production presents the most recent findings about the lives of the two men and their instruments. It presents neither breathless secrets nor crackpot theories: just the best information available from the most knowledgeable experts and historians.

Appearing are Charles Beare, generally acknowledged as the world's greatest violin expert, classical violinists Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Vadim Repin, Midori, Elmar Oliveira, Cho-Liang Lin, conductor/violinists Peter Oundjian and Loren Maazel, and jazz violinist Regina Carter.

The film is notable for its beautiful, high definition images and recorded sound of many of the most magnificent violins of these two great makers.

Narration is provided by actor, Alfred Molina, winner of numerous awards. Mr. Molina is well known for his roles in films like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chocolat, Prick Up Your Ears, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Spider-Man 2, and Maverick among many others.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well balanced and compelling January 25, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This documentary explores one of the great mysteries of art and science: why 300 year ago two violin makers achieve a level of instrument making that has arguably never been equaled? The film examines this mystery in a compelling fashion without exaggeration or dramatic excess. For those of us who have a long standing interest in Stradivari and Guarnieri, the film is a nice review of the history and various theories regarding these great instruments. For those new to the mysteries of Cremona instruments, it should be a fascinating journey. The term "Strad" is commonly used to describe anything that is at the pinnacle of its field. This film provides an entertaining explanation why that term expressed that thought so well.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - I never knew! October 13, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my high school daughter, who plays violin. Since it is a PBS documentary, I thought it would be informative and well researched. We sat and watched it together and I have to say, I learned a lot! Most people have heard about Stradivarius violins. I always wondered why they were so highly prized. It was especially interesting to hear the different famous performers talk about which violin they like and why. We have begun sharing this video with other string students we know. I highly recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent video January 7, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very informative.....great even if you are not a string instrument nut. Highly for anyone who is even remotely curious about the history of the two greatest violin makers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic June 6, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Really entertaining and informative, in equal doses!! I've recommended it to friends who aren't violinists, even friends who aren't musicians!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Violinist January 27, 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
How can you go wrong with PBS presentations. This DVD is ever so inspiring. Every violinist will want a copy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Very poor quality.
Poor video quality. Why? This is not a video from the 1990s. Should be decent sd if not better. Worst video I have bought for 10 years. Content was good though.
Published 7 days ago by Ray
5.0 out of 5 stars the best of the best
a very entertaining and informative story of the greatest violin makers who ever lived. the sounds of the instruments and the meticulous design and workmanship is astonishing... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Irwin Tallarico
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful work on the history of the best of the violins
This was an excellent video, one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It forcuses on the two reknown violin makers of Cremona Italy and what is known of them and their instruments, which are... Read more
Published 3 months ago by James D. Crabtree
3.0 out of 5 stars Luthiers bigtime
A bit disappointed in this DVD ... I don't think it gives you as much to ponder and it would seem appropriate to fill the tape with more history in accordance with the fine... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bryan Pike
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 men from Cremona
Interesting story and entertainingly told. Possibly a bit esoteric unless you are a string player, but certainly worth the time to watch, in my opinion.
Published 10 months ago by Joan M Edwards
2.0 out of 5 stars Same Old Stories
I thought this documentary provides modern technology examinations on why these million $ violins' sound considered superior than others : sound spectrum analyzer (see Yamaha... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jonatan Sutrisna
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