David Fray: J.S. Bach - Swing, Sing and Think
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This absorbing 95-minute documentary is about the young French pianist Fray, directed by filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon. Included is live footage from audio recording sessions of Bach concerts. Issues discussed on screen with Fray, an artist of formidable in
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he plays with react to his suggestions is both great fun and magical. He is able to coax some great playing from the orchestra which is composed of
older musicians than he is. The slow movement of the Bach is gorgeous. Highly recommended!
It's easy to see why Monsaingeon made this film: Fray's a character. Young, handsome, and talented but extremely melodramatic. As he plays piano, he wears his emotions on his face, from gloom to rapture to heartbroken to basically coital, much to the amusement of the veteran musicians of the Kammerphilharmonie, who amiably attempt to follow the variously vague, flowery, and obtuse musical instructions of this young, passionate French stereotype.
The music that emerges from these sessions is great-- a very fresh take on familiar music. For all his intense facial expressions, Fray is an immensely talented pianist with deeply sophisticated interpretations of Bach. But the film's greatest success is capturing the imprecise art of musical collaboration and the synergy that emerges here DESPITE the core tension between Fray and the Kammerphilharmonie.
Fray's a talent worth watching and this DVD is, too.