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Mahler: Symphony No.1/ Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]

 Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Mahler: Symphony No.1/ Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.3 [DVD] [2010] [NTSC] + Mendelssohn In Verbier (Sextuor Op. 110; Piano Concerto No.1; Symphony No.3) [DVD] [2010] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: EuroArts
  • DVD Release Date: 28 Jun 2010
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003OT6I28
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,223 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

'Like a cry of Nature'': thus the expression mark that opens Gustav Mahlers First Symphony and the programme of the Festival 2009 which takes up Nature as its guiding theme. Mahler, in the First Symphony, shaped the cry of nature into a musical vision of an entire human life in four stages from a spring-like upsurge of feelings through desire and suffering, to the end of earthly existence and the entrance into Paradise. The opening treats listeners to a spectacular début as the twenty-two-year-old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang plays Sergei Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto. In her Lucerne appearances she displays the full range of her artistry as Prokofievs Third Piano Concerto demands not only lyricism and intimacy but brilliance and virtuosity. Claudio Abbado has realised a dream with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra. The orchestra consists of an exclusive ensemble of handpicked musicians like Kolja Blacher and Sebastian Breuninger, Natalia Gutman, Clemens Hagen and Jens Peter Maintz. Claudio Abbado is undeniably a supreme Mahler conductor and his best selling recordings with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra symphonies No. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 9 have already been released on EuroArts have set new standards in interpretation of works by Gustav Mahler.

Product Description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mahler/Abbado treasure 20 Aug 2010
I discovered Mahler through his Symphony no 1 followed by no 4, but it took some time before I was, let's say, ready for the mammoth symphonies. Compared to his other symphonies, no 1 is often a little neglected, unjustifiably. However, it is interesting that Abbado and his superb Lucerne Festival Orchestra have recorded for DVD almost all of the other symphonies before arriving at no 1 (no 9 should be recorded this year, and is it asking too much for no 8 next year?) Therefore it is always nice to come back to the work where it all started for me, and for many others.

Abbado conducts both works (the symphony is coupled with Prokofiev's piano concerto no 3) without baton, the first time that I see him do this.

The symphony is played superbly. The music pulsates forward with incredible impetus and vitality. Abbado's interaction with the orchestra and his minimal movements just show that this is a magic combination. Their relationship has clearly reached maturity now. My favourite movement of this symphony is the third movement. The combination of Frere Jacques in a minor key, and the almost cabaret style music make for magic moments.

The Prokofiev Piano concerto no 3 with Yuja Wang will inevitably be compared with Abbado's recording with Martha Argerich, the first recording he ever made for Deutsche Grammophon. Wang is a great pianist already, and life as a young artist does not get much better than with an endorsement from Claudio Abbado. Look at what he has done for other artists like Christine Schäfer, Jonas Kauffman and Anna Netrebko. It is amazing to watch Wang play this concerto with such calm, hiding how immensely difficult it really is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Mahler and astonishing Prokofiev 21 Nov 2011
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Abbado has the enviable reputation of being one of the world's finest Mahler conductors. This has been further reinforced by his set of performances held at Lucerne with his hand-picked orchestra constituting the Lucerne Festival orchestra.

This very large orchestra, apart from containing musicians of outstanding individual abilities, also lays great stress upon their empathy and experience with the world of chamber music. Thus is achieved the unusual combination of orchestral size allied to individual and corporate sensitivity. This suits Abbado's particular vision of Mahler and this is apparent throughout this recording which many would describe as close to definitive.

The upcoming series planned by Chailly, also on Blu-ray, might become a serious competitor to Abbado however. Chailly's Mahler 2 and 8 are now available. Some find Chailly preferable as an approach - being a degree less overtly emotional and more orchestrally cohesive rather than sharing Abbado's expanded chamber music approach perhaps. I personally find both approaches equally satisfying in their different ways (see my Chailly review of Mahler 2 for further details).

The Prokofiev for me however, is the complete revelation. Yuja Wang brings an astonishing level of artistic and technical perfection to this piece - and especially and unusually - sheer joy! Like Sarah Chang, the violinist, her delight in the music and her performance is illustrated time and time again by fleeting expressions and smiles of pleasure or amusement flitting across her face. No technical worries here, even at times of breakneck speed. A tremendous range of expression from delicacy to incisive power and all with total rhythmic mastery.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master 7 Oct 2010
My favorite artist is Claudio Abbado, and this is another great performance by him and his wonderful orchestra. If you like classical music, this is the best in the world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great mahler, wild prokofiev! 8 Aug 2010
By Clive S. Goodwin - Published on
This program has been on You-Tube for a while, so for me it was a no-brainer to buy it upon release.

Prokofiev first:-.Yuja Wang is a 23 yr. old phenom, and this performance of the Prokofiev 3rd. piano concerto will take your breath away. Subtle it isn't, thrilling it is! To see the fingers flying here almost blurs the picture. Abbado and the Lucerne somehow manage to keep up with her, but it isn't easy. Recording and picture are excellent. I played this three times on the day I got it!

Now the Mahler:- Other than the eighth, which I hope Abbado will eventually record,he has done all the completed symphonies, which are uniformly outstanding. This first will not disappoint. It is full of little touches of rubato and balance which escape most conductors. The Lucerne (with some new members) is great as usual.Only two little caveats:- In the second movement Landler opening, he doesn't emphasize the little upward portamento "scoops" on the strings, as others do and at the end of the finale, the camera shows Abbado's face, rather than the two tympanists making that tremendous climax.

Other than Bernstein and Haitink, which are older, the newer versions of #1 to compare are Luisi and Dudamel, both rather idiosyncratic. The Dresden orchestra plays perfectly for Luisi; I was less taken with the L.A. Phil. for Dudamel (some balance issues). Abbado is much more straightforward, and doesn't do as much major tugging the music about as these two guys.

This is a dvd to play again and again. You will see and hear fresh details each time.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing 6 Sep 2010
By Kip Montgomery - Published on
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This DVD hardly requires a review: fans who count the seconds until the next Abbado/Lucerne Mahler release will hardly need any impetus to acquire this extraordinary release.

This is the most amazing performance of Mahler 1 I have ever heard. For many, many years, my favorite has been the Tennstedt EMI recording from 1991 (from live performances with the Chicago Symphony in May and June of 1990). This performance, to my amazement, surpasses even that sublime recording. Abbado holds this performance on edge until the very end: the multitudes of motives and gestures that appear in the first movement are given an extraordinary life and presence; later, they are heard in a beautiful and moving apotheosis in the last movement, which climaxes like nothing I've ever heard before. I don't know of another performance which has so movingly connected this work's beginning to its end. Abbado knows and feels Mahler in such profound, life-changing ways; it seems almost trite to try to find ways to describe the depth of his expression. I'm not surprised that he saved the First Symphony for performance near the end of his Lucerne Mahler cycle, and I'm incredibly grateful for this performance.

Fans of previous Abbado/Lucerne Mahler releases will note some changes in the principal chairs in the orchestra: gone is Kolja Blacher, Albrecht Mayer, and Sabine Meyer, among others. The orchestra does not suffer; indeed, they play with an intense sense of ensemble, and the camera catches many occasions during which players smile and nod at each other. As always, these players realize they are part of something extraordinarily special (witness the hugs and kisses stand partners and principals bestow on each other long into the audience's ovation--a wonderful European tradition that I see only occasionally in American orchestras). Mahler 1 fans will delight in seeing the horns stand in the final minutes (as Mahler instructs), and all will delight in seeing (for the first time, if I'm not mistaken, in any previous Lucerne release) Abbado coming out for a solo bow (to exuberant fans who were probably clapping and cheering for half an hour!) long after the orchestra has left the stage (another truly European experience for American viewers who have never witnessed anything like it).

All in all, an extraordinary addition to the already overwhelmingly beautiful Abbado/Lucerne Mahler collection.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First choice Mahler's 1st....and Prokofiev's 3rd Piano as you have never heard it before ! 16 Nov 2010
By Chhan Thuan Kiat - Published on
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When I am in a relaxed and expansive mood, my first choice of Mahler's 1st is that of the Chicago Symphony and Tennstedt. It is slow, expressive and builds up powerfully to an impressive release at the climax. The section alluding to the funeral march is completely idiomatic to my ears and evocative of the mystic Romanticism on which this symphony is broadly based. Not for nothing has Tennstedt earned his credentials as a peerless Mahlerian. But at other times I do wish for a slight upping of tempo and more brio. After all this was the work of the composer in his zestful youth.
And now here comes Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and after the first listen, you know this will be the first preference for many, many people who love the 'Titan'. Fresh as a zephyr, it zips along at just the right tempo, nuance and emotion and with superlative playing from his hand-picked Orchestra, Abbado has a winner.The slow movement is stirring, the 'storm' passage ripping and the conductor whips up the whole of his forces to an rousing finale. Yes, the youthful Mahler, the impetuous Mahler at last. Sir Simon Rattle will be conducting Mahler's 1st with the Berlin Philharmonic in Singapore on 24th November (I'll be there and can't wait to witness his take on the symphony...will he out-Abbado Abbado ?)
As for the Prokofiev 3rd Piano Concerto, the other work on this disc, I will stick out my neck and say that you have never heard it played this way, this fast.Yes, typhoon Yuja Wang is at the keyboards and sends the Lucerne Orchestra scurrying after her in arguably one of the most exciting piano concerto playing I have ever heard live or in a recording ! Abbado manages to keep all under control, but only just I would say. Dazzling speed and technical wizardry would be of just passing interest if only that, but the young pianist also impresses with her musical interpretation. Frankly the audience was left non-plussed at least for the first half a minute after her final flourish judging by the polite applause but soon it dawned on them that they have indeed heard something extraordinary and the ovation thundered.
A wonderful concert disc. Buy it for the Mahler, buy it for the extraordinary Prokofiev.....this is just 5 star performance all the way !
Postscript: Sir Simon Rattle's live performance in Singapore on 24 November 2010 exceeded all my high expectations. The BPO was in top form. Mahler's Titan was expressive and expansive when it needed to be and youthful, gripping and spirited when appropriate Stunning, just stunning. And the good news is that it was filmed in 3D for future DVD release. So if the sound and video engineers don't slip up ( like they did with the Blu ray for Abbado's Mahler 2nd Symphony), who knows months from now we may have a fantastic 3D version of Mahlers First. Intriguing ??
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 10 Sep 2010
By Roberto Oliveira Flores - Published on
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JUst talk about The Malher first. I've heard many Mahler's First since 1995 when I began listening Mahler.This recording ,for me, is the best . Abbado has proved to be the ONE when you thing about the mahler's synphonies.
The great orchestra goes smoothly following Abaddo's face and hands and what emerges is pure music.
If you like Mahler this DVD is all you need to understand the beatifull First.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whatta Yuja Performance! 9 Nov 2010
By Christopher S. Curdo - Published on
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There are numerous selling points to this disc. For most, it will be Abbado conducting Mahler with the fine Lucerne Festival players. For me, it is the Prokofiev 3rd Piano Concerto - the snappiest concerto out there. It does not wallow in the Romantic swoon of so many of its predecessors. It has showy virtuosity and rhythmic drive and quirky, leaping melodies and great give and take between soloist and orchestra. Normally, I am not obsessed with watching the pianist's hands in a concerto, but in this piece it is great fun to do so. Aside from some trivial balance problems, where occasional wind soloists are not heard so well over the piano, this is as good a production as one could hope for. And the performance by the prodigiously gifted young pianist, Yuja Wang, stands tall next to the justly famed Abbado at her side. As an aside, I want to explode the overtly well-healed Swiss audience for their limp applause at the end of this energetic performance. I have always thought that pieces like this, and the Rite of Spring, would enthrall so many young minds, if they only knew they existed...
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