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You Cannot Start Without Me: Valery Gergiev, Maestro

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD offers views an intimate look into the demanding life of the conductor, widely acclaimed as one of the leading conductors of our time. This rich musical film offers rare insight into the talent, training, and concentration require. Included are s

Review

Bel Air Classics DVD documentary of Valery Gergiev is fascinating, although the title You Cannot Start Without Me doesn't make much sense. The video was directed by Academy Award winner Alan Miller and offers a glimpse into the frantic life of one of today's busiest conductors, who currently plays a major role with the London Symphony, Metropolitan Opera and Mariinsky Theatre, along with numerous guest conducting assignments. Gergiev, who was born in Moscow May 2, 1953, can be seen traveling, during rehearsals, in administrative meetings, and excerpts from performances, along with scenes with his young wife Natalya whom he married in 1999, and their three children. Extras include a number of brief interviews and excerpts from performances. One cannot help but wonder how much longer Gergiev will be able to maintain this incredible schedule. -- Classical CD Review, R.E.B., August 2010

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Valery Gergiev, Rene Fleming, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Yefim Bronfman, Anna Netrebko
  • Directors: Allan Miller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Russian
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bel Air Classiques
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002YOJC0E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 9, 2010
From the time of his emergence on the scene in Western Europe and North America, conductor Valery Gergiev has been controversial. His almost spastic conducting style, his incredibly full schedule seemingly more than one man could fulfill and, most of all, the musical results of his efforts have led to divided opinions among music lovers. This documentary, made originally for New York's public TV station WNET, does a pretty good job of drawing a portrait of the man, delving into such things as his origins, his devotion to the music and culture of Russia, his rehearsal style, and his hectic professional life (and resultantly meager private life). There are ample clips of rehearsals and performances including concert performances of Mussorgsky's Russian Easter and excerpts from many other Russian standards by Stravinsky, Rimsky-Korsakoff, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. Among the extras are sections about the reconstruction of St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater, the Moscow Easter Festival and the like, as well as Gergiev holding forth on topics such as conducting, opera, ballet and management of musical organizations. He is clearly shown to be a force of nature both within and without his native Russia. There are commentaries by his manager, members of the London Symphony, soprano Anna Netrebko and others.

The visual aspects of this DVD are delightful. I had some difficulty understanding some of the spoken parts of the film, at least partly because Gergiev himself has a rather low-pitched gruff voice and his English, while fluent, is highly accented and there are no helpful English subtitles for his spoken English. There are subtitles for the non-English portions of the film.

I would recommend this film to those who are already fans of Maestro Gergiev.
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I've been following Maestro Gergiev since he first came to the United States with his company years ago, where his Marinsky Theater musicians & singers helped to bring about a renaissance of Russian opera in the United States. Gergiev is famous for multitasking and you will see that very clearly in this video, which shows him sitting in his cramped office at the Marinsky, watching a sports show on tv, while a ballerina is complaining about a production issue, rehearsing orchestra musicians, and rehearing with a now-famous Anna Netrebko, one of the Marinsky singers who still maintains a presence at the Marinsky, despite having a big international career. You also get to see the Maestro at home with his young wife & cute kids, whom he probably doesn't get to see too often. Gergiev doesn't have the same presence at the Met in New York anymore, but maintains a very busy international career all over the world. With music documentaries being aired less and less on American tv, you really have to buy a dvd like this in order to see it. I rerun it every so often and am glad I have it in my video library. His contributions to Russian opera are immense -- not only did he single-handedly raise money to save the Marinsky Theater during a tough time politically in Russia, he has spearheaded the recent renovations made to the theater by convincing the Russian leaders that modernization had to be done and by travelling all over the world, he has convinced international donors to help out the Marinsky. So I find him fascinating and believe his contributions to Russian opera will be historic.
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The rehearsals are the best part of this DVD, particularly Stravinsky's Rite of Spring with the London Symphony Orchestra. Educational.
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By Marcela on February 10, 2015
Very interesting documentary... A must for anyone who is interested in conducting
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