The Art of Violin: The Devil's Instrument / Transcending The Violin
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A documentary history of the violin in the 20th century featuring archival footage of many of the instrument's greatest players. Includes contributions from Yehudi Menuhin, Ida Haendel and Hilary Hahn.
A documentary film by Bruno Monsaingeon devoted to the 20th century's greatest violinists, The Art of Violin really cannot be faulted. The same, incidentally, can also be said of the similar volumes that cover the piano and singing, so there's never been a better time to collect a personal audio-visual archive of some wonderful historical performers. The added dimension provided by the painstakingly collected film material (here featuring no fewer than 20 outstanding soloists) is of exceptional value when observing violin technique, and the diversity of approaches presented here in loving detail is in itself a subject for endless comparison. The material mixes archive performance footage, much of which one might never have dreamed existed, with interviews and documentary commentary. However, rather than turn the project into a museum piece, Monsaingeon includes contributions from contemporary figures such as Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn. An absolute must. --Roger Thomas, Amazon.co.uk
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Top Customer Reviews
You are in for a treat. I'm half century old and I have two boys, 10 & 12yo. They've been playing violin since 4yo. Now they also play fiddle music. We are not a musically inclined family, by any stretch of the imagination, other than a half hour visit to an accordion school in Logan Square when I was five yo. I still remember event. Believe it or not, it actually inspired me for down the road. Digressing. Sorry. We have violin in our lives for no other reason but to simply enjoy its companionship. Everyone should learn to play an instrument. Watch the video and you too will be sold.
I actually found out about this video at my sons piano lesson in late 2010. The piano instructor had this playing on TV (PBS), so I learned about many great violinists and watched their performance. Indeed! A treat. Enjoy.
The film is engagingly hosted by Itzak Perlman, with commentary also from Hilary Hahn and Ida Haendel, and another person who is not adequately identified. The sound quality is exceptionally good in most instances, given the limitation of technology at the times these were recorded. Most moving to me were the clips of Yehudi Menuhin, whose great heart is plainly evident in his playing of Bach's "Erbarme Dich" from St. Matthew's Passion and the Chaconne from the D-minor unaccompanied Sonata. But they are all dazzling and fascinating in their unique ways.
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