Daniel Barenboim leads The Chicago Symphony with special guest Placido Domingo through selections written by Jean Sibelius and Manuel de Falla on this DVD. The disc offers a standard full-frame transfer. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo and PCM Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, making it difficult to recommend this disc to anyone other than a classical music enthusiast.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I am commenting on the De Falla Nights in The Gardens of Spain. This is the finest version I have heard since I was introduced to this piece perfomed by the great Clifford Curzon, a half century ago. Barenboim seems to have an uneerie understanding of the piece and of de Falla in general. Placido Domingo manages the baton over the Chicago Symphony Orchestra well and has the Spanish input the piece deserves(suspect that Barenboim rehearsed this to perfection with Domingo and the Orchestra before the concert) As for the final piece, de Falla's Ritual Fire Dance, the Orchestra under Barenboims direction are simplly electric. I love this DVD Video and consider that it is one of the best buys I have ever made.
I am reviewing the Sibelius portion only, since it is the reason I purchased this disk. Impressions: Vengerov IS music. I have watched the Sibelius on this DVD many times and continue to be amazed by this incredibly emotional, musical, and highly expressive performance. This DVD has been delightful and even insprirational. Case: The beautiful construction and design shows quality. The DVD case is probably the best I have seen. Sound: The audio sounds just as good as (or even better than) that of a CD. Be sure to try both audio track/channel options from the main menu; The 'Dolby Digital' track sounds better with my system's configuration than the 'Stereo' track. Playing: Again, the playing is superb. Vengerov shows that technique is there to express music. His characteristic grand corporal movements are tasteful and add to the musical experience. A very moving performance. Additional comments: Vengerov plays Sibelius with a natural 'ocean' feel: the music flows like water and sounds grand (like looking out to an ocean). The phrasing gives the lines a wave-like quality (you will have to listen to it to understand), especially in the second and third movements. He even adds a comic-relief to the third movement by cutely bouncing the harmonics! The encores include Bach's Sarabande from Partita Nr.2 and the Ballade of Ysaye's Sonata Nr.3. After the vigorous Allegro ma non tanta of Sibelius, it is quite amazing to hear Vengerov play Bach with a very different style, sounding as if he was playing on a baroque violin. The Ballade is incredible; both musical and virtuosic. Conclusion: A DVD that deserves its fancy case. Highly recommended!