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European Concert 2001 Istanbul (Jansons, Bpo) [DVD] [2011]

 Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Castilian
  • Subtitles: German, English, French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Tdk Mediactive
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Feb 2002
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y0N4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 174,273 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



This European Concert is part of a series given by the Berlin Philharmonic in European venues of particular cultural significance: St Irene has the distinction of being the oldest church in Istanbul. These days it may be about as fashionable to play Haydn symphonies with a full orchestra as it is to venture out into the street wearing real fur, but the BPO are so well-disciplined that the results are never outlandish.

Mariss Jansons may not be particularly known in this repertoire but it’s obvious that he’s having a whale of a time, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Forces are reduced for the Mozart, and Emmanuel Pahud is reunited with his old orchestra (he was appointed Principal Flute at the prodigiously young age of 22). It’s easy to understand why he’s the top dog of his generation: his sound is ravishing and his phrasing is effortless; he breathes new life (literally) into this much-loved bon-bon. For the Berlioz, the orchestra is back up to full strength, Jansons powering his way through this extraordinary masterpiece, the colours dazzling, the harps placed unusually to the front of the orchestra (and to great effect in the second-movement Ball scene). The warmth of the audience reaction at the end says it all.

On the DVD: European Concert--Istanbul features pleasingly unobtrusive camera-work that avoids the temptation to spotlight individual players for the sake of it and offers a good perspective on the sheer scale of the venue. The sound is full and well-balanced and the concert is enhanced by an enticing 20-minute travelogue of Istanbul (narrated in German but with subtitles in English, German, French, Spanish or Italian). In addition, there are eight minutes of "behind the scenes" footage which is worth seeing once, and details of other TDK titles.--Harriet Smith

Product Description

Behind the Scenes documentary
A portrait of Istanbul
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, PCM Stereo
Picture: 16:9
Subtitles: GB, D, F, SP, IT
Region code: 0 (worldwide)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This DVD is of a live 2001 concert that was one in a series the Berlin Philharmonic has been doing, one concert per year in a European city of historic importance. It took place in the historic Church of St. Irene in Istanbul before a rapt cosmopolitan audience. It features the orchestra under the marvelous Latvian conductor, Mariss Jansons, who first burst onto the international scene perhaps twenty-five years ago with his recording of the complete Tchaikovsky symphonies with the Oslo Philharmonic. He has since been the conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony and just recently became chief conductor of the Bayerische Rundfunks Orchester in Munich. I well recall hearing him conduct music of Sibelius with the Royal Concertgebouw at the Barbican in London--one of my all-time great concert-going experiences.
The program consists of the 'Surprise' Symphony of Haydn (Symphony No. 94 in G major), the Mozart Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major, K. 312 featuring the current poster-boy of flutists, Emmanuel Pahud, and a sizzling Berlioz 'Symphonie Fantastique.' The Philharmonic is in top form and this is a very satisfying concert indeed. Pahud, who not only has movie-star good looks but has a huge tone and sophisticated musicality, plays the Mozart dazzlingly. The Haydn features some of the most impressive pianissimi one could ever hear from an orchestra. And the 'surprise' in the second movement does indeed surprise because of the dynamic contrast.
But the star of the show is Berlioz's symphony. The Philharmonic had been reduced to chamber size for the two earlier pieces, but here the whole compliment of this large orchestra is crammed into the raised area at the front of this ancient church.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This 2001 edition of the European concerts designed to celebrate the birth of the Berlin Philharmonic was held in the St. Irene Church. It features 3 major repertoire pieces and the full complement of the orchestra. The venue is very attractive but also very large, even cavernous, and must have been a major technical challenge for the recording team.

The concert opens with Haydn's 94th Symphony, the Surprise, so named because of the unexpected loud chord shortly after the start of the slow movement. This was reputedly designed to wake up an otherwise sleepy audience!. Haydn's symphonies are more often played by much smaller orchestras these days which frequently make use of 'period' types of instruments. That use changes the sound textures and the orchestral balances considerably. It also makes for fleeter performances than is usually possible with large modern orchestras. It is no small tribute to the BPO to report that this too is a fleet and agile performance and sympathetic to Haydn's period as a reading.

The same Classical period of music with the same considerations applies to Mozart's flute concerto. This concerto may well be more familiar to many as his oboe concerto. Mozart reputedly disliked the flute as a solo instrument and on this occasion made use of the same music for both his oboe and flute concertos. On this occasion the flute version is skilfully played by Emmanuel Pahud, taking a break from the position of first flute with the same orchestra.

The star item of the concert is undoubtedly the Berlioz Fantastic Symphony which receives a particularly fine performance. The answering phrases of the oboe to the cor anglais in the slow movement make the most of the space in the venue by having the answer coming from high up at the rear of the venue.
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