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Topic: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

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  1. #1

    Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    It's often mentioned that the revolution in today's orchestral sampling libraries means there are a lot newcomers to orchestral compositions who didn't do the "masters degree in composition" thing, and are probably self-taught composers who's never had the chance to be close to a real symphonic orchestra. I'm one of those people, and I've been collecting DVD's of concerts conducted by famous conductors. I find these DVD's to be very educational because it allows me to get very close to each player in the orchestra and watch how they perform various articulations, and also how different conductors interpret the same pieces of music differently. Of course, this can't ever replace working with players in real life situations, but for people like me who don't have that luxury, this is the closest thing.

    So, I was wondering, do you guys have some recommendations of DVD's that you rate highly?

    I have some of Claudio Abbado, plus a whole bunch of other conductors (Igor Markevitch, Nichols Carthy, Leonard Berstein, Leopold Stokowski, Pierre Boulez, Herbert Von Karajan, Kent Nagano, Yuri Temirkanov..etc )conducting various composers' works (Ravel, Debussy, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Gershwin, Stravinsky, Bartok, Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Brahms, Shostakovich, Wagner..etc).

    The one I have of Francis Poulenc is particularly interesting, because before watching the DVD, he was just a name--a legend, but seeing him telling jokes in front of an audience--kinda takes away the myth that all composers are anti-social stern men. The restoration of the footages/sounds are also excellent.

    Ennio Morricone's Arena Concerto is also very interesting, especially the orchestral versions from westerns like The Good, the Bad and Ugly--where you see woodwinds played in a very un-classical manner to mimic the original feel of the piece.

  2. #2

    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Nice thread...could you post links to where to get the one's you mentioned already?

  3. #3

    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Quote Originally Posted by spectrum
    Nice thread...could you post links to where to get the one's you mentioned already?
    What Eric said x 2!

    Darren

  4. #4
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    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    I've got a now very old video series of Andre Previn interviewing John Williams, Aaron Copland etc. Hour long interviews each and definitely the most interesting I've ever seen probably because its one master talking to another. I've not seen them on DVD though. But for anybody interested the series was called 'Personal notes' and it was made back in the mid '80s. They're not performing but you get to see what makes them tick.

    My personal favourite above everything else is "The Golden age of the piano" which allows us to see historical greats like Paderewski and Cortot performing. OK, its not orchestral, but if you're a serious pianist its fascinating.

  5. #5

    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Anybody ever check out www.dimeadozen.org


    Lots of stuff there that you can't buy anywhere. Last week I dl'd a Miles thing from '67 with Hancock,williams,carter, and shorter and also a '74 performance of Keith Jarrett with the Belonging band. All kinds of stuff like that on there.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Lunatique, this is a nice idea :-)

    I have a DVD called "the Art Of Violin" which is very inspiring; chock-full of stunning performances and interpretations from great master virtuosi of the 20th century, with informative and stimulating commentary. It's thrilling and moving, I can watch it over and over.

    In the same series, the are 2 DVDs called The Art Of Conducting which contain fabulous performances (these are going on my christmas list ;-)).
    (edit -oh, maybe these are the DVDs you're talking about?!?)

    There's also an Art Of Piano DVD.

    Oh, and the Enrico Morricone concert DVD Arena Concerto is supposed to be really good (that christmas list is getting bigger).

    "Leonard Bernstein - Young People's Concerts", a boxed set, has always been highly thought of as "a series of music appreciation classes", if you will, certainly not just for kids.

    All these are available via Amazon.


    Well, anything which stimulates your musical brain is good...!

    Nigel

  7. #7

    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Quote Originally Posted by spectrum
    Nice thread...could you post links to where to get the one's you mentioned already?
    Some are available on amazon in their DVD > Genres > Musicals & Performing Arts > Classical section (they seem to have all the Abbado ones I have, and a bunch of Karajan as well): http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...858523-6806325

    But over half of my collection isn't available on amazon. For example, the Francis Poulenc one. I did a search and found it here though:
    http://www.virginmegastores.co.uk/en...iends-dvd.html

    The Tchaikovsky 150th Birthday Gala in Leningrad I have has Itzhak Perlman and Yo-yo Ma, but it's not available on amazon.com either. This place has it only on VHS:
    http://www.choicesdirect.com/templat...ductGuid=11788

    I tend to buy for the composers and not the conductors, so that way I get to hear different interpretations and performances of the same pieces I love. Ravel, Debussy, Stravinsky..etc are highest on my list, so I have a bunch of different DVD's featuring their work, all by different conductors and orchestras.

    I watched the Waldbuhne 2000 Rhythm & Dance one conducted by Kent Nagano last night, and I was disappointed by the choice of Susan Graham. IMHO, Gershwin should not be sung by a classical soprano screeching through the pieces without any jazzy soul. Why couldn't they have gotten a jazz vocalist? The Chinese performers also seemed to be noticeable inferior in their technical skills compared to the Berliner Philharmoniker (then again, we're talking about one of the best in the world--hard to live up to their standard). The Japanese taiko drumming was pretty cool, but gets a bit monotonous as it's just one guy banging away. I'm more into complex drumming by multiple drummers when it comes to ethnic drumming.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nigel W's Avatar
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    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunatique
    I watched the Waldbuhne 2000 Rhythm & Dance one conducted by Kent Nagano last night, and I was disappointed by the choice of Susan Graham. IMHO, Gershwin should not be sung by a classical soprano screeching through the pieces without any jazzy soul. Why couldn't they have gotten a jazz vocalist? The Chinese performers also seemed to be noticeable inferior in their technical skills compared to the Berliner Philharmoniker (then again, we're talking about one of the best in the world--hard to live up to their standard). The Japanese taiko drumming was pretty cool, but gets a bit monotonous as it's just one guy banging away. I'm more into complex drumming by multiple drummers when it comes to ethnic drumming.
    Yeah, it's sometimes like that with those crossover event, they can be disappointing...there are few real multistyle-capable performers (Bobby McFerrin-good!!) but nonetheless it's good to explore the boundaries...

    Nigel

  9. #9

    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    The word is going around that Lucas Film is going to release rather specific material of the Star Wars music - nice for all us Williams fans. Myself I've heard that it will contain all movies (lower image quality) without dialogue and sound fx, amongst alot of other composer-candy and commentary tracks. Not yet released though and I'm not sure of when, but this should generate alot of interest I think.

    EDIT: In one of the Epidose III Webdocs you can extract the following info:
    It's a DVD with 70 mins of material, project-name is "A musical Journey" and Williams states "It will allow us to tell the whole story musically from all 6 episodes with all the principal material and how it all connects together and interweaves ."

    Meaning I was misinformed about the above ..
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  10. #10

    Re: Great DVD's for composers to collect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomke
    The word is going around that Lucas Film is going to release rather specific material of the Star Wars music - nice for all us Williams fans.
    Interesting news, thanks for sharing it!

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