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Sheherazade: An Oriental Night with the Berliner Philharmoniker [DVD Video]

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

This 2006 Oriental night with the Berlin Philharmonic features music by Mozart, Nielsen, Rimsky-Korsakov, Grieg, Massenet, Saint-Saens, Fucik, and Lincke. Violinist Janine Jansen, soprano Marita Solberg, and mezzo-soprano Ingebjorg Kosmo are featured. Nee

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Berliner Philharmoniker, Janine Jansen, Neeme Järvi, Ingebjorg Kosmo, Marita Solberg
  • Directors: Andreas Morell
  • Producers: Dorothea Diekmann, Oliver Rieger, Paul Smaczny, Yoshihiro Hasegawa
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Danish, French, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PE0JJ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,173 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sheherazade: An Oriental Night with the Berliner Philharmoniker [DVD Video]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. Fisher VINE VOICE on December 1, 2008
Format: DVD
This is from a concert by the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Waldbühne ("Forest Stage") in Berlin. The Waldbühne is Berlin's answer to the Hollywood Bowl -- a nice outdoor concert venue that is less formal and more relaxed than an indoor concert hall. At the same time, there are compromises in sound (at least this concert doesn't have helicopters flying overhead -- which was the case at my last visit to the Hollywood Bowl!).

Neeme Jarvi, formerly of the Detroit and New Jersey symphony orchestras and now chief conductor at the Hague's Residentie Orkest, puts on a great concert here, a nice evening with kind of an "Arabian Nights" theme. It features a very lyrical reading of Rimsky's "Scheherezade", in which the BPO's first Koncertmeister Daniel Stabrawa (not Janine Jansen) takes the solo parts.

Janine Jansen comes on for a brief but spectacular Meditation from "Thaïs" by Massenet and a great "Introduction and Rondo capriccioso" by Saint-Saens. Her appearance clocks in at only about a quarter hour, however, so you may want to think twice if you are buying it for her (looking fabulous in her red dress, by the way).

There are also Scandinavian pieces that somehow fit into the European fantasy-Middle-Eastern theme very well -- excerpts from Grieg's "Peer Gynt" and from Nielsen's "Aladdin". The whole thing kicks off with the overture from Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio".

The exotic theme fades out for the finale, a short "Berliner Luft" by Lincke, but that is made up for by the fact that the Berliners in the audience go nuts and start whistling and dancing like maniacs. So does Jarvi, for that matter -- dancing, although not whistling.
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The Berlin Philharmonic, considered to be one of the five greatest orchestras in the world, plays a pops concert on this DVD. The evening opens up with a Mozart overture played with great charm by the BPO. Next comes a short work by Nielsen that is interesting but hardly inspired. It features some outstanding brass playing.

The first two movements of Sheherazade by Rimsky Korsakov are next followed by three excerpts from Grieg's Peer Gynt. Two of them feature female vocal soloists and both performances are quite wonderful. Next comes Janine Jensen in the Meditation from Thais by Massenet and the famous Introduction and Rondo Capriciosso by Saint-Saens. Her performances are as passionate as you will ever hear. Sheherazde's last two movements follow the three soloists and the concert concludes with three encores.

Although I loved this DVD, I felt the programming was strange. All the soloists were magnificent but only Ms. Jensen spent enough time on stage. It was nice to hear Sheherazade but why was it broken into two parts? Just a few quibbles. I still highly recommend it.
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After listening to the many versions I have of "Sheherazade" by other orchestras and conductors, THIS one is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and thrilling. Neeme Jarvi and the always superb Berlin Philharmoniker play with such obvious joy and passion that it is hard to keep from moving to the music. This DVD is a testament to the idea that a work that is performed so often CAN be fresh and new. Just observing the attitudes of the various players is proof that being in this orchestra is the best thing going! Each member is a consummate artist in his or her own right. They can do anything.
As with all of the Berlin Philharmoniker's DVDs, I am impressed with their delight and pride in being a part of such wonderful music-making. This orchestra is not a collection of impersonal and detached automatons sawing away at a "job", but a group of flesh and blood human beings. I am beginning to know the names and faces of individual players and watch for them as I would old friends. The Berlin's web site provides pictures and brief biographies of each player, enabling one to become more familiar with them as individuals.
In addition, the visuals of the audience are a welcome treat. Children, older people, young lovers, and whole families are shown thoroughly attentive and having the time of their lives. The Waldbume venue accommodates 22,000! The festive and casual nature of these concerts must be a thrilling experience for these lucky people. A far cry from "His Legacy", these DVDs are a living testimonial to the brilliance of the Berlin "family". The producers and directors of the performances are to be seriously complimented for these magnificent presentations. SIX stars!
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This was a great concert. Despite it being outdoors the video and sound quality were both excellent. I found it a bit strange that Sheherazade was broken up into two parts -- for me it disrupted the emotional continuity of the piece. However overall I was pleased. One of the things I really like about the DVD recordings done at Waldbuhne is the lovely fade from afternoon to evening and into the dark of night. I suspect that even with large flood lights this presents a significant video recording challenge, yet the video image quality remained high the entire performance.
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