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Artemis Quartet: Strings Attached

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Strings Attached illustrates how a small group of top musicians, the young Artemis Quartet, live and work together with the aim of perfecting the world's most beautiful musical works. This film focuses on a single piece, one of the most ambitious and mysterious works of the string quartet repertory, Beethoven's Die Grosse Fuge.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Artemis Quartet, Verdi, Beethoven, Webern
  • Directors: Monsaigeon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Russian (PCM Stereo), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: February 24, 2009
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MUJSIM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,418 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Top Customer Reviews

By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2009
This DVD consists of two films done by the distinguished French music documentarian (and concert violinist) Bruno Monsaingeon. The first, and for me by far the more interesting, is a 2001 hour-long film, 'Strings Attached', consisting of intense rehearsal of Beethoven's Grosse Fuge by and interviews with members of the Artemis Quartet as it was constituted in 2001. (The group has since replaced the second violinist and violist seen in these films.) Watching and hearing the group work at the fine points of their conception of Beethoven's great work is instructive, not only for string players but for general chamber music lovers as well. This is followed by a complete performance of the work in which one can not only be caught up in the Grosse Fuge's marvels but also see how the rehearsals we witnessed affect its final shape. The performance itself is marvelous. It is a particularly fine-boned performance whose approach allows us to be aware of all the fugue's components without coming across as a clinical x-ray. I particularly liked the leadership of first violinist Natalia Prischepenko whose delicate playing has a steely interior spine. The quartet's pianissimi are a wonder. But when they come to the gutsier parts of the fugue they deliver, too.

The second film is of an hour-long concert done in the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Paris, on April 8, 2001. The program consists of Beethoven's Quartet No. 2 in G, Op. 18, No. 2; Verdi's Quartet in E Minor; and Webern's Six Bagatelles, Op. 9. As in the Grosse Fuge, the Beethoven quartet is played with delicacy and suavity. It strikes me as being somewhere between the performances of the Berg Quartet and of the Emerson Quartet, showing the Emerson's clarity and the Berg's expressiveness.
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Everybody knows: it's four balding old men sitting rather stiffly in a boring room playing even older instruments. Yawn.
Wrong! The string quartet is the most elegant form of classical music, whether it be Schubert's Death and the Maiden, Ravel, Debussy and Bartok, or Beethoven's Great Fugue, one of the most complex quartets ever written.
On this DVD we have two films by Bruno Monsaingeon in 1080HD showing a young Artemis Quartet rehearsing and playing the Great Fugue. There is nothing stuffy about this group and we learn a lot about playing string quartets from their interactions in rehearsal.
If you like this DVD, I think you will like the EuroArts DVDs with the Hagen Quartet, a young quartet from Salzburg.
For more details on this DVD, read Scott Morrison's excellent review.
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