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Leonard Bernstein: The Little Drummer Boy [DVD] [2007]


Price: £13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Leonard Bernstein: The Little Drummer Boy [DVD] [2007] + Leonard Bernstein: Reflections (A film by Peter Rosen) [DVD] [1978] [2009] + Bernstein: The Gift Of Music [DVD] [2007]
Price For All Three: £48.51

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Product details

  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Colour, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, DVD-Video, PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English, German, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, German, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, German, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Universal Classics & Jazz
  • DVD Release Date: 16 July 2007
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QCQ71S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 63,849 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

This television essay from 1985 was written by Leonard Bernstein to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Gustav Mahler's birth. Recorded in Israel, Vienna and later in London, it is punctuated by biographical interludes and illustrated by musical examples drawn from the cycle of Mahler's works recorded by Bernstein. Bernstein talks, plays and conducts various orchestras (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Philharmoniker) and soloists (Janet Baker, Christa Ludwig, Edith Mathis, Lucia Popp, Walton Groenroos) in performances spanning 17 years. Leonard Bernstein also examines the roots of Gustav Mahler's inspiration. The programme also features music from the nine symphonies, 'The Song of the Earth' and the 'Wunderhorn Cycle'.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Aug. 2011
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Bernstein lived his life in the public eye from his 1947 radio debut conducting the New York Philharmonic with only a few hours rehearsal for the indisposed Bruno Walter to his death in 1990, he was the "Maestro par excellence" - a composer (with a foot in many camps), conductor, educator, political activist, polymath - an inspiration. To have him (and others) as a guide to Mahler, a composer whose music he loved and performed while others did not, is the best.
Mahler's music with its huge canvas - symphonies should include the whole world, he said - and its musical complexities are a challenge to all.
Produced by Deutsche Grammophon, the quality is (as one would expect from such an illustrious source) superb, especially considering its genesis as a 1985 televised essay.
Like all the best teachers, Bernstein loved an audience but not everyone is able to perform to the cold camera lens as Bernstein could; he was obviously able to look through the unfriendly lens to see the huge audiences looking admiringly up at the stage. It comes accompanied by a slim volume (German and English) and on it, chain-smoking most of the time to add to that already deep, gravelly voice, Bernstein talks straight to the camera (making the viewer feel quite intimate with him), performs examples on the piano or conducts the London Symphony, Wiener Philharmoniker and the Israeli Philharmonic orchestras in further examples or performances.
With such a glittering cast under Lennie's inspired baton, it could only inspire. It does.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tintagel on 29 Aug. 2012
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I have been reading Fischer's recent biography of Mahler and was, as a result, a little concerned that a broadcase originally made in the 1908s would be dangerously out of date. With a number of points from Alma Mahler now discredited I was concerned that there would be a lot of erroneous material in this film.

But the good news is that it is - I really shouldn't have been surprised - about Mahler's music. Bernstein's style of communication is oh-so appropriate and his conviction is infectious to say the least. Just in a small, 90 minute period you will learn so much about the actual interpretation of Mahler's music, which will in turn help you to understand Bernstein's motivation as a Mahler conductor. The idea of how Mahler's internal contradictions find their expression in the music is give a really nice spin here. Most of the ideas are not necessarily revelations in themselves, but the way that Bernstein stitches it together really is! How interesting to hear of Bernstein's views about the true identity of the Little Drummer Boy and the child singing about their imagined Heaven.

So if you couple this with the various documentaries in Bernstein's Mahler Symphony Box set you will be given a very interesting perspective in a comparably short period of time. The impact that this has now had on my Mahler listening has been enormous - truly an example of a small investment of time paying extensive dividends. 'Ewig', indeed. Watch the film and you will know what I mean.
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By Bruce on 23 April 2013
Leonard Bernstein was an excellent teacher. He communicates his knowledge with enthusiasm, neither talking down to his audience, nor dumbing down his subject. If you want an example of him at his best watch this nearly 90 minute TV film introducing Mahler. Sitting at the piano on which he illustrates many of his points (others are illustrated with extracts from his filmed performances of Mahler Symphonies & SongsLeonard Bernstein: Mahler - The Symphonies [DVD] [2005] [NTSC] Mahler: Songs (Leonard Bernstein) [DVD] [2007]), and delivered through clouds of his trade mark cigarette smoke, this is an absolute must not miss lecture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Learn at the feet of the master 3 April 2008
By Mr John Haueisen - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Wow!--I just finished watching "The Little Drummer Boy."
Previously I had thought that I knew quite a bit about Gustav Mahler, but Leonard Bernstein showed me more.

What Bernstein does is show you--through biographical commentary and excerpts from Mahler's music--just what it was that made this masterful composer and conductor so obsessed with Life and Death.

Yes, part of it was Mahler's being born Jewish, and part was seeing so many of his brothers and sisters die so early in life. But Bernstein shows us how Mahler was, like most of us, striving to try to come to terms with life--to understand why death has to come and deprive us of the joys of life.

To give you an idea of how concrete, knowledgeable and specific this program is, Lenny takes a few minutes, using musical excerpts, to illustrate how there is a funeral march in each of Mahler's nine symphonies.

If you like Mahler, and would like to understand him better, get a friend to watch this with you, and learn at the feet of the master. This one is a must for those who love Mahler or Bernstein!
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Mahler & Bernstein 4 Mar. 2009
By Michael J. Cook - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Leonard Bernstein knew Mahler's music incredibly well. Bernstein was also one of the the best musical educators to have lived. I have a deeper appreciation of Mahler and his own life experiences that shaped his music thanks to Lenny. View this first, then view his recorded dvd performances of the Mahler symphonies. Listen and be moved. This is great music and Bernstein has made it more approachable, meaningful.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
excellent present 18 Aug. 2010
By rks - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I bought this video as a present for a friend who enjoys Mahler's music. There are many videos out there featuring Mahler but this one has a unique flair to it due to Bernstein's participation.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Review of "Drummer Boy' 11 May 2010
By H. Karp - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a riveting review of of many aspects of Mahler's life of which I had only surmised completely without data. I recommend this for anyone that thinks of themselves as a "Mahelerian".
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
None 25 Feb. 2011
By C. Thomas Work - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Superlative production featuring one of the last century's preeminent music educators. Lenny's musical examples are superb and greatly aid intelligent listening of challenging music.
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