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Vladimir Jurowski Conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra [DVD Video]

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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(Feb 26, 2008)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD documents Jurowski's first appearance as principle conductor of the London Philharmonic in 2007, which was also the first filmed concert from the newly restored Royal Festival Hall. They perform works by Wagner, Berg, and Mahler with soloists Dav

Review

Jurowski leads a program of modernism and its antecedents. His way with Wagner's Prelude to "Parsifal" is so voluptuously patient that it seems drug-enhanced. Mahler's early cantata "Das Klagende Lied," with good solo singers, sounds aptly like modernism itching to get out of its Romantic clothes. The fever dreams of Alban Berg's Three Orchestral Pieces come alive with rich playing and mellow surround sound. Although from 1914, Berg's Expressionistic intricacies still demanded 75 percent of Jurowski's rehearsal time. He reveals this in a 50-minute interview in which he also lays out his philosophies for a 21st-century orchestra with charismatic warmth. -- NJ Star-Ledger, Bradley Bambarger

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: German (Dolby Digital 5.1), German (PCM Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Ideale Audience
  • DVD Release Date: February 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 258 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0012K53TU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,265 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Vladimir Jurowski, son of conductor Michail Jurowski, debuted as chief conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, a post he still holds, with this concert in 2007. Their partnership has since produced a series of recordings on the orchestra's own label. The program combines the works of three composers of the Austro-Germanic lineage, each of whom admired his predecessor as the best composer of that generation. All three were steeped in opera and developed texturally rich, dramatic styles in a relatively small body of masterpieces.

Wagner's Prelude and Finale from the opera Parsifal (1882) moves in slow, undulating waves of chorales, and the LPO gives a finely shaded rendering of this luminous music. Jurowski maintains a tempo that captures the solemnity of the piece without dragging.

Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra (1915) form a passionate post-Mahlerian symphony of sorts in three movements: an introduction, a scherzo that slips between duple and triple meters, and a march. Each is longer than the preceding and develops out of the motifs of the others, creating a constantly evolving web of interconnections such as one finds in Berg's models, the later Mahler symphonies (especially the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth) and the works of his teacher, Arnold Schoenberg. Jurowski leads a riveting performance of the work that allows all of the complex counterpoint to come out of the dense web and explodes with expressionist fury at the climaxes. The orchestra handles this difficult work magnificently.

Mahler's cantata Das Klagende Lied is a rare enough piece in the concert hall and on record, but this disc captures it in its rarest form, the unrevised version of 1880.
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Apart from the 'labelling problem' pointed out by the earlier reviewer, this double disc package containing the 'inaugurating concert' of Vladimir Jurowski as London Philharmonic's new principal conductor has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses.
The weaknesses lie not so much in the concert itself, which is a choice of a rather rare programme but nonetheless well-chosen.
The strength of this package is the addition of a 'conductor camera' feature that allows viewers to have a continuous view of how the concert was being conducted.
The weakness lies in the static camera shots in the two sections of the 50-minute interview of the orchestra's new principal conductor. The interviewer not being the most eloquent, the interviewee's long responses to each question posed were not aided by any visual modulations in the shots taken. The end-result is a deathly boring account of an otherwise in depth and interesting dialogue.
The Concert itself fared much much better.
Jurowski's greatest strength lies obviously in the choral piece that comes at the end, though the Parsifal Overture(s) and the three Berg pieces are by no means sub-par performances.
The orchestra and chorus (together with vocal soloists) give a dramatically-charged account of the Mahler composition. The boy-soprano who portrays the ghost of the dead brother gives a wonderful performance in this eerie piece of work. I don't think any mature female singer would be able to handle the role as competently as this lad, a part definitely reserved for boy sopranos or countertenors. The orchestra and the chorus responded splendidly to the conductor's directions, which are precise and economic, without lacking in one drop in musical and dramatic insight and instinct.
So, for the Concert itself, 5 stars, the interview, 3 stars.
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The sound on this video is excellent - particularly in the little heard Mahler. Video camera angles are good without being intrusive.
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This is a DVD featuring Vladimir Jurowski and The London Philharmonic in works by Wagner, Berg and Mahler.
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