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Birthday Concert for Pope Benedict XVI [DVD Video]

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Filmed at the Vatican on 16 April 2007, this concert formed the centrepiece of Pope Benedict XVI's 80th-birthday celebrations. Also included are the welcoming speeches and the Pope's words of thanks in German and Italian. The concert programme, in part selected by the music-loving Pontiff himself, brings together two of classical music's brightest young stars for their first joint appearance - American violinist Hilary Hahn and Venezuelan firebrand conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Mozart's G major Violin Concerto and Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony are two of classical music's best-loved masterpieces, neither of which had been recorded before by these artists. Their performances here received high critical acclaim in the press.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Hilary Hahn, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Directors: Gustavo Dudamel
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PUB2B6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,195 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Verified Purchase
Being a Hilary Hahn fan, I found this to be an interesting disc to try. I was not disappointed. This is a remarkable concerto. Hilary Hahn gives a wonderful performance of the Mozart Violin Concerto No 3, complete with her own extended cadenzas, which are amazing, and beautiful.

But the real surprising treat here is a fantastic performance of the Dvorak 9th Symphony "From the New World" under the baton of young conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Dudamel and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra hold nothing back in the way of power or artistry here. This young conductor has a bright bright future, and I had the feeling I was witnessing some history here. This work, amidst the striking architecture of Pope Paul VI Audience Chamber presents us with an memorable image. This Dvorak 9th is the very best that I have ever heard.

All the great music and the historic occasion of the concert make this disc well worth acquiring.
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Though I must confess that I AM a Roman Catholic.
This DVD records His Holiness' 80th birthday Concert in April 2007.
The programme, so it says, was chosen by the Holy Father himself.
The focus rightfully go to the two young musicians, but a considerable share of the camera also goes to the Orchestra itself.
Hilary Hahn, the violin sensation from Curtis Institute who has in recent years yielded classical music's brightest stars (Hahn, Juan Diego Florez and Lang Lang),spends no time here to prove her impeccable virtuoso. Her delivery is clean and precise; her tone full and sumptuous. At times one yearns for a slightly less focused tone colour, especially in the slow second movement. The camera's focus on the predominantly female woodwind section of the Orchestra blends in well with the visual impact on Hahn, tastefully attired in a silk embroidered gown. The cadenzas are all Hahn's, showing her great respect for the occasion and love for the Pontiff. They are all rather long, but show off her virtuosity to great advantage. The star conductor, Venezuela sensation Gustavo Dudamel had a job competently done by giving the necessary orchestral backing in a way no more and no less.
The showtime for the conductor comes in the second half. Dvorak's New World Symphony is passionately rendered, with the piece suiting the young star's conducting style to a T.
The audience's elation is obvious, and the Concert ends in a high point with the Gabrieli's brass composition.
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By Luba on February 14, 2012
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I am a great fan of Gustavo Dudamel! His musicality, the joy he exudes when he conducts, the performances he elicits from the musicians under his baton are deeply moving. Hilary Hahn's playing is sensitive and very beautiful. I cannot help but think that if this performance had been held in a secular venue that the entire audience would have risen to its feet and cheered! What a birthday gift to the Pontiff! The sheer beauty of the music must have added years to his life.
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On 2000, we visited The Vatican in Italy and we were enchanted by the peace provided by the visit. Every 25 years, 4 times per century, the holy doors are opened and those who get to walk through them have a special blessing. At the time, Pope John Paul was still alive and we heard his voice as he addressed a congregation of over 350,000 faithful followers visiting to get his blessing.

When we saw this DVD become available, filmed at the Vatican on April 16, 2007, we knew we would love to relive the experience of seeing such a magnificent place. The concert is in celebration of Pope Benedict XVI's 80th-birthday celebration and it incorporates words from our Holy Father saying thanks to all.

Violinist Hilary Hahn and conductor Gustavo Dudamel of Venezuela delight us through great music, and we find that anyone watching this DVD will enjoy the superb rendition of classical music. A must see!
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This concert was so great that I wish I was in the audience, but the Pope didn't look too pleased to be there. As the camera cut to him during the performance of Mozart's 3rd Violin Concerto, he looked like he was in physical pain - that's too bad. Anyway, I really enjoyed Hilary Hahn's amazing performance, the excellent Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Dudamel's perfect interpretation of Mozart. The camera work during this concerto was also exemplary. I loved how members in the orchestra were focused on, especially the very sweet face of a female oboe player. Her adorable expressions helped counter the Pope's pained ones.
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If you want to see and hear a flamboyant recording of Dvorak's 9th get this dvd ! The image is very good for a dvd and the sound is superb.Pity Benedict xvI din't seem so enthralled , everybody is soooo serious in the audience !!
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I bought it because of the music and the Pope's words which were all good. The Mozart violin concerto with Hilary Hahn's cadenzas was especially inspiring. The other dignitaries speeches were superflouous to me.
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I recommend all products from this DVD company. The contents are what I expected, the information is clear and the edition of the concert even that is live recored was excellent edited and the sound magnificent.

I will look for more products from the same company, the include a catalogue that let me check for more that they do.
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