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1. Seiji Ozawa: Russian Night
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2. Ozawa
$14.98 $8.95
3. Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for

1. Seiji Ozawa: Russian Night
list price: $19.98
our price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6304290373
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 61902
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Description

An electrifying evening of Russian classical masterpieces performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker under the baton of the great Seiji Ozawa.

V.I.E.W. Video is proud to present this concert-beneath-the-stars, filmed live from the stage of the Waldbuhne Berlin and captured in all of its fiery glory with eight cameras and impeccable hi-fi stereo sound.

SELECTIONS

Rimsky- Korsakov
Russian Easter Overture

Tchaikovsky
Nutcracker Ballet Suite

Borodin
Polovtsian Dances

Stravinsky

The Firebird

Tchaikovsky
"1812" Overture

Khatchaturian
Sabre Dance

Tchaikivsky
Waltz from Serenade for Strings

Johann Strauss
Radetsky-March

Lincke
Berliner Luft ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent video!!!!
We got this video for Christmas a few years ago and just love it!!! The selections played are some of our favorites (including Sabre Dance, 1812 Overture, Nutcracker Ballet Suite)! I would highly recommend this video to anyone who loves classical music!!! ... Read more


2. Ozawa
Director: David Maysles, Susan Frömke, Deborah Dickson, Albert Maysles
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6301606175
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 58462
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3. Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note
Director: Susan Lacy
list price: $14.98
our price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6305178143
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 36471
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Originally aired on PBS's American Masters series, this evocative biography of the American composer, conductor, and de facto musical evangelist Leonard Bernstein offers a compelling balance of musical scholarship and personal insight. It's a fitting approach to the brilliant--and emotional--life and art of Bernstein, who elevated Broadway musical theater, demystified and democratized classical music for two generations of American children, and brought a true New Yorker's vigor and directness to his conducting.

Writer-director Susan Lacy establishes the film's sympathetic tone in its opening shots of Bernstein's funeral cortege as it passed along Manhattan streets in 1990. Underscoring the footage is the elegiac second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, the final piece conducted by Bernstein at his final performance months earlier at Tanglewood. Scenes from that last concert (and a return to that slow, funereal march) are the inevitable conclusion of Lacy's film, which finds ample drama over the course of approximately two hours.

Lacy traces the arc of Bernstein's career from his earliest triumphs as a young conductor through his Broadway successes (culminating in West Side Story), his historic network television outreach, the frustrations encountered over his "serious" compositions (often derided, ultimately vindicated), and his autumnal work abroad conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.Bernstein's private demons--anguish over the tradeoff between a conductor's glory and a composer's productivity, the ridicule invited by his impassioned political activism, the conflict between his devotion to his family and his bisexuality, bouts of depression suffered in his later years--are addressed as well.

Excellent archival footage and a literate script are enhanced by interviews with his brother and children; collaborators including Jerome Robbins, Isaac Stern, and Stephen Sondheim; and conductors including John Mauceri, Seiji Ozawa, and Michael Tilson Thomas. --Sam Sutherland ... Read more

Reviews (8)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good but a little white-washed
This PBS documentary is loaded with clips from Lenny's long career, and captures many of his great moments on film. There are also the requisite interviews with people fawning over him. No mention of the extremely negative (often deservedly so) reviews he got in his early days at the helm of the NYPO, or the sordid story of how he wrestled the top job there away from Dmitri Mitropoulos by "outing" him when he himself was flagrantly bisexual. What he did to his wife, emotionally, in her final years, is only briefly hinted at. The whole Tom Wolfe/Radical Chic incident is also only glossed over in about a minute, and the effects this and other "anti-Lenny" incidents had on his psyche are barely mentioned. His depression is talked about, but the reasons behind it are not. But TV documentaries usually skim the surface this way, and the real treat is in the performances and interviews captured here. This is a great two hours for any Bernstein lover. They may not learn anything new, but they'll have a wonderful time reliving the old.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Lenny in Retrospect"
Leonard Bernstein is perhaps one of the greatest men to stand on any podium, anywhere in the world. One gets a sense of how much larger than life he was through watching this video. The video provides a poignant look into his family life, and how much of his work was influenced by his personal life. Like any man Bernstein had to grapple with outward, and inner personal turmoil which is highlighted in this video. The Chichester Psalms allowed him to get further in touch with his Jewish roots, something that he was very proud of. Clips from rehearsals around the globe are included, as well as personal family home video footage. This video is a must for any home library, and especially for any Bernstein fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Reaching for Lenny
"They don't make 'em like they used to." This phrase can certainly apply to Leonard Bernstein: conductor, composer, teacher, humanitarian, and complex individual. Bernstein worked hard to knock classical music and opera from their pedestals and make those genres accessible to ordinary people, while according popular music and jazz the same respect as classical and opera. Whether it was his charisma, sense of humor, good looks, "Renaissance Man" attitude, or a combination of all these elements, Bernstein still has no peer in attempting this feat. Maybe it's just not "lucrative enough" in our corporate-oriented, essentially conservative, times.

Accompanied by interviews with friends, collaborators, and his children, "Reaching for the Note" provides a compelling portrait of Bernstein. This could have been a conventional documentary, but it instead captures a flavor for Bernstein's life. Rather than just covering "major events," this documentary also explores the struggles of being Leonard Bernstein. Beginning with footage from his funeral cortege (accompanied by the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony), this documentary contains many unforgettable and moving moments, such as Bernstein's chiding of the Vienna Philharmonic for giving an indifferent rehearsal of Mahler ("I don't care about your 'eight hours.'"); building morale for Israel in the Six Days' War by performing Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony (which, in view of the atrocities committed by Israelis against Palestinians, may begin to seem as politically incorrect as Wagner's anti-Semitism); and the montage of home movie footage from the Bernstein family's "golden years," which seems even more poignant when one realizes how it collapsed under the weight of Bernstein's personal struggles in his later years. Most striking are the ambiguities of the man: a conductor who also wanted to be remembered as a composer; a humanitarian who could become temperamental; a family man who struggled with his bisexuality. Was it indecision, or simply a desire to live life to its fullest in the material and spiritual realms?

Whatever one may think of the man, Bernstein's legacy has made him a musical titan. And until someone else as well-read, charismatic, godlike, and human comes along in conducting, Bernstein is guaranteed a top spot alongside such legends as Herbert von Karajan and Sir Georg Solti.

One decade after his death, Lenny is still sorely missed. Who knows what else he could have done had he smoked a few less cigarettes, downed a few less bottles of scotch, and had been productive into his early eighties? He would have recorded Benjamin Britten's "Peter Grimes," or written his planned symphony about the Holocaust. But Lenny is gone, and we won't see the likes of him again. But, as one person said, maybe Lenny's spirit is now in the body of a bright and talented ten-year-old. Perhaps s/he will compare the angst in Mahler's symphonies and the music of nine inch nails, or rail against the corporate oligarchy, mean-spiritedness, and political conservatism that's slowly devouring our country. One can only hope that Lenny will live again. If not, then he has left us with much to contemplate, both about music and ourselves.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected
I was a bit disappointed by this release., especially considering PBS' impeccable credentials. The very beginning set my expectations very high : slow-motion, artsily fuzzy sequences from Bernstein's funeral cortège through the street of NY, touchingly commented by his son. Very intense, but also very telling of the overall approach of the movie : the man first , and then the musician. It's not an easy task because, as those interested into this great composer-conductor know well, Bernstein was a very complicated, troubled and sometimes puzzling man. In this respect the video is very nicely done: it's pretty straighforward about potentially controversial issues like L.B.'s depressions or bisexuality, without sounding gossipy or trashy. All these aspects are described though lenghty interviews with L.B.' s son and daughters. This has obvious advantages but also shortcomings : I would have liked to hear somebody from outside the family, somebody less viscerally involved, so to say. I also liked the way the video gives us, through the Bernstein family's home movies, a fascinating idea of the life of the post-war American cultural elite. There are flaws, though. First of all, to apply the definition of "motion picture" to this documentary is, sometimes, kind of a stretch: the viewer spends decidedly too much time staring at vintage photographs with an audio commentary not especially related to them. This is actually baffling, because I don't think there has ever been a more filmed or recorded artist than L.B. and it's hard to believe that PBS could not obtain the rights on more video performances from Deutsche Grammophon, Sony/CBS and whoever else. Through the narration we learn about L.B.'s ascent to prominence and his lifelong internal struggle between the great conductor he was and the great composer he desperately wanted to be, but there aren't enough visual demonstrations of the great music that flowed from this troubled soul. And we don't get much of the legendary impact of a Bernstein performance either. In this respect the few interviews to musicians don't help much, being for the most part ridicolously brief (average 2 minutes) : a world-class maestro like Andre' Previn is just allowed the time to say that "L.B. was the figure who had the greatest influence on American music". Thank you very much. I don't want to seem harsh on this video: it's what I would call a "classy" product, and

probably a totally comprehensive Bernstein portrait is far beyond the possibilities of a 2-hour video, but if it's Bernstein the musician that you really want to get to know, you'll learn much more from the 10-minute part devoted to him by the marvelous Teldec video "The Art of conducting".

5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential American Musician
For many of us growing up, Leonard Bernstein *was* American music. This excellent, thrilling PBS biography captures the essence of Bernstein. He was flamboyant as an actor at the podium, but it never seemed forced. And his performances seemed to intensify the music--he was like the speaker in "Spinal Tap" that went up to 11 instead of just 10. Watching this, you begin to feel as music-intoxicated as Bernstein himself must have been. This documentary doesn't whitewash his dark side--substance abuse, ridiculous radical-chic politics, a certain predatory sexuality, and the deep unhappiness that struck him in middle age (after he had the world at his feet.) As he turns 70, you can see the dissipation written all over his face. But he was a man with great musical gifts who changed American culture, and this fast-paced video captures that very well. ... Read more


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