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Salute to Vienna - A Strauss Gershwin Gala

4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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(Jun 12, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Now, for the first time on DVD, experience this exclusive, one-time only Salute to Vienna gala concert, featuring exuberant favorites by Strauss and Gershwin, as well as the music of Lehar and Copeland, performed by some of Europe's leading singers and musicians! This memorable event, hosted by legendary Academy Award winning actor Gregory Peck, also includes the historic world-premiere paring of the Vienna Boys' Choir and the Boys Choir of Harlem, as well as Peck's own show-stopping performance of the "Finale" from Copland's Lincoln Portrait.

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Anyone who has visited Vienna--and particularly anyone who has attended a concert in the splendid Musikverein Concert Hall--is likely to find Salute to Vienna: A Strauss-Gershwin Gala irresistible. Its special Viennese charm begins with the opening shots of a horse-drawn carriage entering a courtyard and the famous statue of Johann Strauss Jr. playing his violin (which is played by Peter Guth in this concert). The DVD is at its best when it focuses on the spectacle of the Viennese--musicians and audience alike--enjoying their city's distinctive light music: Martina Serafin sipping champagne and becoming progressively more silly in the "Annen Polka"; Eva Lind exulting in the sheer melodic glory of "Voices of Spring"; a percussionist deliberately ignoring the cue for a cuckoo sound effect in the "Im Krapfenwald!" polka; the Vienna Choir Boys in the "Chit Chat Polka"; and the whole audience clapping in unison to the rhythms of the "Radetzky March." The sense of joy is pervasive and infectious.

The Viennese musicians are joined by American colleagues in this program, which includes music of George Gershwin and Aaron Copland as well as the Strauss family and Franz Lehar. Gregory Peck's spoken segments, as host and as narrator in Copland's Lincoln Portrait, may lose their charm over repeated viewings while the waltzes and polkas continue to enchant. But the American- Austrian partnership works superbly: the Boys Choir of Harlem joins the Vienna Choir Boys in "The Blue Danube," there is a spectacular crossover in Georg Lehner's Viennese interpretation of "It Ain't Necessarily So," and Elizabeth Norman is exactly right in "Summertime." --Joe McLellan


Special Features

  • DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby 2.0 Stereo audio tracks
  • Includes excerpts from Strauss's The Merry Widow, The Gypsy Baron, and Die Fledermaus as well as Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Of Thee I Sing
  • Paul Groves, tenor; Georg Lehner, baritone, Eva Lind, soprano, Herbert Lippert, tenor, Elizabeth Norman, soprano; Martina Serafin, soprano; the Boys Choir of Harlem; Vienna Choir Boys; Henry Cuesta, clarinet; Peter Guth, conductor; John Morris Russell, conductor

Product Details

  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Vienna Choir Boys, Eva Lind
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: DVD International
  • DVD Release Date: June 12, 2001
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JD7K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #218,924 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 27, 2003
Verified Purchase
Great performances and a stellar cast. Gregory Peck is superb, and Maestro John Morris Russell breathes new life in American classics, performed in Europe's muscial mecca. Sparkling Austrian gems complete this entertaining and moving concert performance.
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It's the kind of concert that makes you determined to travel to Vienna to see it first-hand.
I love Strauss! But I am not some kind of long-hair who is completely hung up on the technicalities of music, conducting or interpretation. To me, the music of Strauss is to be enjoyed without much thought of such aspects as interpretation and style, and yet because this music is so familiar, there is a need to ensure that it does not become boring.
This concert is somewhat "chocolate box" in that it contains works which are popular and much loved. A selection of the best.
Gregory Peck as host is surprisingly stilted - reading carefully from his script. Easily excused given his age.
But the orchestra! Mostly smiling, all enjoying themselves. All loving the concert just as much as those of us facing them. Their reactions to the playful apsects of the various works is delightful.
The concert hall is beautiful - filled with flowers, beautifully dressed patrons and gorgeous decore.
The music is rich. The sound is high quality (5.1 Dolby) the (widescreen) video is perfect on my 42" plasma which tends to pick out the minutest faults.
I watched this DVD twice in two days. And I want to watch it again. I have just ordered the New Year's Concerts from 2000 to 2005 but sadly can't find a DVD of the 2001 concert!
If swirling fun-filled all-enveloping music is for you - you will love this DVD. Trust me!
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I'm totally impressed w/ video & audio quality. Esp when played in DTS mode, sound clarity is absolutely stunning. Only reason for **** rating is because I don't like Gershwin. Blue Danube at end is just beautiful.
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Excellent production values and Mr. Peck was wonderful hosting and reading famous quotes of Lincoln. Highly recommended, especially if you like Strauss and Gershwin.
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My new copy of the dvd was defective. It kept freezing throughout the performance. I purchased it for the Vienna Boys Choir and the Harlem Boys Choir as it was advertised. But, neither choir appears until late in the dvd. I wouldn't purchase it again.
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