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Speak the Music

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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(Dec 03, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Robert Mann has been a vital force in the world of music for more than seventy years. As founder and first violinist of the Julliard String Quartet, and as a soloist, composer, teacher, and conductor, Mann has brought a refreshing sense of adventure and discovery to chamber music performance, master classes, and orchestral performances worldwide.

In Speak the Music, the 93-year-old Mann shares personal anecdotes from his childhood and musical training, archival performance footage, candid interviews and glimpses into his private lessons with today s most promising violinists. A living legend, Robert Mann is in turn, funny, angry, tactful, persistent, and always searching for the most human expression he finds inside the music. Speak the Music pulls no punches: Mann describes the dark side of quartet life, including often intense differences with colleagues.

Featuring rare rehearsal and dazzling performance excerpts from Mann's 50 years with the Juillliard String Quartet, Speak the Music is at once an exciting insight into the art and personality of a monumental chamber musician, and the story of the growing importance of chamber music in the second half of the 20th century.

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Review

"If you wanted the Juilliard Quartet to play a Haydn quartet, you heard something...that made the music come alive..." --Elliott Carter, Pulitzer Prize Winning Composer

"There are few authentic legends in any generation, in any endeavor. In our corner of the music world, Robert Mann is justly one of those legends." --Leon Botstein, President of Bard College

"When I think about the Beethoven quartets, I think about Robert Mann...the drama - he was able to do it in such a successful way that it was totally contagious to the other players." --Itzhak Perlman, Violinist

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Mann, Lucy Mann, Stephen Hough, Elliott Carter, Itzhak Perlman
  • Directors: Allan Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: December 3, 2013
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00F5BGQTS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,066 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Pamela B. Foard on August 6, 2015
Verified Purchase
"Speak the Music" is a lovely tribute to the original first violinist of the renowned Juilliard String Quartet. Robert Mann spent a lifetime bringing the great quartets of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Bartok, etc. to the world, and concurrently bringing his knowledge and joy of music to hundreds of students. An unlikely choice for the position, he spent his younger years, at his own admission, finding ways to not practice. But, after assuming (or almost falling into) the position with the Juilliard, his submersion into this great repertoire pulls his career in that direction, and he realizes he is ideally suited for, and is passionate about, the work. There are some wonderful scenes of performance in the movie, and of Mr. Mann teaching. The title refers to his philosophy of using music to tell a vivid story: don't play it, speak it, and your audience will understand what you're trying to say.
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The DVD, Speak the Music, filmed by Allan Miller should fascinate any chamber music player. The historical footage is so well-mastered and the sound is so good that it seems to have been recorded yesterday. But the best parts are the excerpts from master classes and rehearsals. You see Mr Mann simply pouring energy and knowledge into the students. At one point, Mr. Mann stops the quartet and tells a young violist, "You're a nice guy, I can tell." The violist smiles. Then he mischievously adds, "That's not a compliment! You need to force the second violin to play out over you."
Allan Miller started his career as a musician, and was a conductor himself in his early years. He is extraordinarily sensitive to the music and the story he is telling about the musicians, their histories, and the meaning of the music.
Quote excerpted from ACMP-The Chamber Music Network Newsletter review.
Kitty Benton
ACMP Newsletter Editor
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I usually love this kind of thing,but this was somehow lackluster, not terribly interesting and didn't really delve very deeply into the musical mind of Robert Mann.
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xcellent
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