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Leonard Bernstein: Debussy (Images, Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune, La Mer)

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

'I truly admire this orchestra and hope it becomes better known abroad,' confided Leonard Bernstein in 1989 to the audience in Rome's Auditorio Pio before his concert of works by Claude Debussy (1862-1918) with the prestigious 'Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia.' In the words of Rome's 'Il Giornale,' Bernstein served up a 'Debussy that is neither ethereal nor shapeless, but uncommonly vital, caught in the full light of noon.' The concert begins with 'Images,' Debussy's last orchestral work and one of his most colorful scores. It consists of three separate pieces: the rather doleful 'Gigues,' the 'Rondes de printemps,' which incorporates a French nursery tune, and 'Ibéria,' a vibrant homage to Spain, complete with tambourines and castanets.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Leonard Bernstein, Debussy, Orchestra Dell'Accademia Nazionale de Santa Cecilia
  • Directors: Horant H. Hohlfeld
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: C Major Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0035WARXU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,243 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 30, 2010
Format: DVD
When one thinks of Leonard Bernstein one does not automatically think of Debussy. He did conduct Debussy, of course, but music of the French master was not one of his frequent choices. However, he did talk knowingly and creatively about Debussy in his lauded series of 'Young People's Concerts' lectures, and he certainly had superb ability to conduct impressionist music. When he did so he tended to lead performances with more spine, more edge, more form than is often the case with music of that genre.

One does not tend to think of the Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, Rome, when one thinks about great orchestras. They are probably the best orchestra Italy has to offer, but let's remember that Italy is not the natural home of purely orchestral music. And when one thinks of the combination of Bernstein and the Santa Cecilia one would not naturally think of the music of Debussy. Yet, here it is -- a full concert of three Debussy masterpieces: Images for Orchestra, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, and La Mer. And quite good, too, particularly for a live concert given only once with no chance for the producers and video and sound engineers to patch together the best bits from several concerts.

The concert opens with the Images for Orchestra, Debussy's last orchestral work. Bernstein alters the order of the three sections, playing Gigues, then Rondes de printemps, and finally the tripartite Ibéria with its exciting finish. He's not the first to do this and indeed one wonders why Debussy chose the order in which they were published. It takes Bernstein and the orchestra a little bit of time to settle in with Gigues, probably the most evanescent of the three sections, but once they do they give an effective performance. The same is true for Rondes de printemps.
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This is a quite decent performance of these three terrific pieces by Debussy. The orchestra plays very well and Lenny keeps them at it. Very pleasing.
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Excellent quality. Showcases a wonderful performance. Thank you.
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Great
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A very exciting and revealing performance of the Debussy. Debussy's impressionism's harmony and melodies bridges the late Romantic and the early modern music genre. His tone poems evoke pictures in your mind of the story through his imagination.
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