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Prokofiev: The Gambler [DVD] [2009] [2010]

Dmitri Tcherniakov    Exempt   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 25.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Directors: Dmitri Tcherniakov
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: Castillian
  • Subtitles: English, German, French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: c major
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Mar 2010
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003AGXH6K
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,685 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Conducted by Daniel Barenboim, the Staatskapelle Berlin performs THE GAMBLER, Prokofiev's moody, roiling opera based on a story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Review

''Dmitri Tcherniakov in Berlin has chosen to mirror the capitalist excesses of our own day and does so with tireless attention to detail, playing everything in the naturalistic style of a TV movie located in hotel lobbies and gaming rooms… Kristine Opolais as Polina and especially Mischa Didyk as Alexei both look and sound well... Strongly recommended.'' --Gramophone (DVD of the Month)<br /><br />Barenboim's crystal -clear pacing of the score is hard hitting rather than quicksilvery,but the the blue- lit look of it all-Tchernaikov designed it,too-works well. BBC Music DVD choice Performance ***** Picture and Sound ***** --BBC Music magazine,june 2010

''Dmitri Tcherniakov in Berlin has chosen to mirror the capitalist excesses of our own day and does so with tireless attention to detail, playing everything in the naturalistic style of a TV movie located in hotel lobbies and gaming rooms… Kristine Opolais as Polina and especially Mischa Didyk as Alexei both look and sound well... Strongly recommended.'' DVD of the Month --Gramophone


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a link to a fuller review 20 July 2010
Format:DVD
Until reviews of this particular edition are posted, I'll just point out that I've given my thoughts on the NTSC version on this site. The performance is exactly the same, and excellent in every respect. So with the proviso that there may be some difference in packaging and picture/sound quality (I doubt this version will be inferior - Kulture NTSC editions are notoriously bare-bones) I'd say that those interested need not hesitate.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I have three villages... 22 Dec 2010
Format:DVD
Director Dmitri Tcherniakov sets this opera in a hotel lobby although it looks more like a dentist's waiting room. All it needs is a flat-screen TV on the wall showing daytime television with the sound turned down. As far as I can see, Prokofiev never really comes to grips with Dostoyevsky's allegedly comic novel. It is unclear what all the characters are doing in the lobby and what their relationship is to each other. They are all well-dressed except the hero Alexy who wears an anorak and trainers. I discovered from the synopsis that he is the General's family tutor but I don't remember that information being conveyed in the opera itself.
The sound palette is recognizably Prokofiev. I kept on hearing bits that sounded similar to his symphonies and film scores. In fact, the overall impression is of a libretto set to film background music. I was so bored by all this that I stopped concentrating on what the principals were singing about and started to try to lip-read the extras sitting around the lobby, smoking and drinking. They seemed to be having a more interesting time.
The plot is tedious. I don't know if Prokofiev or Dostoyevsky is to blame for that. I hate stories where the hero wins at roulette 20 times in a row just for the convenience of the drama. The only amusing moment is when the General's granny, Babulenka turns up and proceeds to lose all the family's money on the roulette table. She tells him: "I'm still quite rich...I have three villages and two houses".
I will not mention any of the performers. I fear that they have suffered enough. On this evidence The Gambler is a justly neglected opera. I cannot recommend it. The Berlin audience apparently loved it.
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