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Berliner Philharmoniker/Riccardo Muti: Schubert/Martucci/Verdi

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Riccardo Muti conducts the Berlin Philharmonic with soprano Violeta Urmana in works by Verdi, Martucci, and Schubert at the awe-inspiring Teatro San Carlo.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Riccardo Muti, Violeta Urmana, Berliner Philharmoniker
  • Directors: Michael Beyer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002MVO2IG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,177 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2009
Riccardo Muti has almost as many detractors as fans, possibly because he is sometimes felt to be 'cold' or 'pedantic' in his conducting. This feeling comes, probably, from his insistence on hewing to the letter with operatic scores, removing accretions of tradition (including long-held high notes, traditional cuts and the like) from performances of operas by Rossini, Verdi and others. (One is reminded of Mahler's famous dictum: 'Tradition ist Schlamperei' ['Tradition is slovenliness'].) In fact, though, although he is a thoroughgoing classicist, he can be a sensualist, too, as anyone who has heard his Scriabin recordings can attest. This recorded concert is one of the so-called 'Europa Concerts' of the Berliner Philharmoniker for which they visit some European metropolis to present a gala concert. Examples of these include the concerts at Istanbul European Concert From Istanbul, Palermo Europa Konzert From Palermo, or Lisbon Europa Konzert From Lisbon / Pierre Boulez, Maria Joao Pires, Berliner Philharmoniker. This concert was filmed beautifully at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples.

In this concert Muti begins with a fiery reading of the Forza del Destino Overture of Verdi, followed by the almost unknown 'La canzone dei ricordi' ('The Song of Memory') by late-romantic Italian composer Giuseppe Martucci (1856-1909), a collection of seven poignant songs about lost or faded love.
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There can be no doubt about the musical values of the concert and if that were the only thing to consider, it would get the 5 stars that two other reviewers have awarded it.

However, there is a problem and also a bit of a mystery! Why have other reviewers not mentioned it as EuroArts have confirmed the problem to me?

My copy, and presumably all others, is badly out of sync. This is particularly apparent in the song cycle where it is obvious that the lip movements do not match the sounds we hear. The problem is present throughout the disc although not so obviously. Muti closes the playing at various points with dramatic sweeps of his arm - but the orchestra have already finished! The timpanist has a set of timpani that sound when his sticks are in the air but are silent when contact is made. Quite magical! Watch the fingering of the brass and wind players - they don't match the notes being played (I am a retired musician who watches fingering!)... and so it goes on.

I have spoken to EuroArts about this and it has been agreed that the problem exists. Unfortunately it is too costly to completely re-work the whole production to rectify the matter - particularly as there are those who are unaware it seems. I simply cannot watch the song cycle but can cope with the rest - so long as I don't watch too carefully!

This is a good enough concert to be issued as a Blu-ray - but I would hope that the process in that stage of production would provide the opportunity to rectify the problem. Otherwise we would simply get a clearer picture of the same problem. Two stars off for this from me.
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Verified Purchase
I made an error. I thought I was ordering Carmina Burana by Riccardo Muti. However, I was very pleased with this symphony and was glad to have it. However, you cannot go wrong with anything played by Mr. Muti.
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Riccardo Muti returns to the Berliner Philharmoniker after 17 years with this live recording of the Europe Concert 2009 at the beautiful Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. The concert is captured in very good sound (hardly compressed) and film. Verdi's blockbuster La forza del destino overture is presented with aplomb and finesse. I had not heard Martucci's song cycle La canzone dei ricordi before, but it is a gem to be explored further. Soprano Violeta Urmana performs these delicate late-romantic pieces poignantly and shines out within the expert support of the Berliners. I find Schubert's "Great" Symphony in C major the concert's high point. The work is long and somewhat repetitive, and it can badly drag in the wrong hands. I listened spellbound with a smile from the first bar to the last and marveled at the sensitive, inspired and strong reading. Muti often steps back and seemingly lets the Berliners play on their own accord. This is touching to watch, as he is apparently not in good health and, at the same time, living down his reputation as a severe taskmaster. A winner.
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