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Sergiu Celibidache Box Set (Euroarts: 2059118) [DVD] [2012] [NTSC]


Price: £32.85 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Müncher Philharmoniker
  • Directors: János Darvas
  • Format: Box set, Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English, Dutch
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: 28 May 2012
  • Run Time: 511 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B007N0SVHE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 117,133 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

A five-volume set featuring the world-renowned Romanian conductor performing both in concert and in rare rehearsal footage. The works featured comprise: Schumann: Piano concerto in A minor, op. 54; Tchaikovsky: Piano concerto no.1 in B flat minor, op.23; Brahms: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 2; Dvorák: Symphony No. 9 'From the New World'; Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1; Ravel: 'Bolero'; 'Alborada del gracioso'; 'Rhapsodie Espagnole'; Debussy: 'Prélude à l'Après-midi d'un faune'; Iberia; Strauss: 'Till Eulenspiegel'; Rimsky-Korsakov: 'Sheherazade'. Celibidache is accompanied on the recordings by Daniel Barenboim on piano, Hans Kalafusz on violin, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gerhard P. Knapp on 24 Jun. 2012
Verified Purchase
This collection is primarily for Sergiu Celibidache fans, but also for those listeners who are interested in amazingly (at times excruciatingly) detailed and probing readings of these scores, readings that invariably reveal often unheard details - even to those who know the music very well. To my surprise, no Bruckner is included in the box: the composer most closely associated with this conductor who has given us memorable interpretations of his symphonies. But apparently another collection devoted to Celi's Bruckner as well as some individual DVDs are forthcoming. All in all, the video and (stereo) audio of these recordings (made between 1982 and 1994 [only the Strauss "Till Eulenspiegel" in 1965]) are somewhat dated, but mostly fine, with a few exceptions noted below.

DVD 1: Daniel Barenboim is the soloist in these technically quite good 1991 live recordings of the Schumann and Tchaikovsky (nr. 1) piano concertos with the Münchner Philharmoniker. The Schumann is played well: Barenboim sets a fairly brisk pace from the first bar onward, the solo part is both brilliant and sensitive to the music's romantic flair, and the Munich musicians play like angels under Celi's baton. This could be my first choice on DVD but for Martha Argerich (with Riccardo Chailly) who, at least for me, is even better attuned to the score. The Tchaikovsky is smashing: Barenboim is given free rein in his display of virtuoso fireworks, supported all the way by Celi and his Münchners. One of the best readings I have heard, and I have heard many.

DVD 2: Daniel Barenboim plays the two Brahms piano concertos with Celibidache and his Münchner Philharmoniker in these visually and sonically identical 1991 live recordings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Remarkable, but mostly for Celibidache fans 24 Jun. 2012
By Gerhard P. Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
This collection is primarily for Sergiu Celibidache fans, but also for those listeners who are interested in amazingly (at times excruciatingly) detailed and probing readings of these scores, readings that invariably reveal often unheard details - even to those who know the music very well. To my surprise, no Bruckner is included in the box: the composer most closely associated with this conductor who has given us memorable interpretations of his symphonies. But apparently another collection devoted to Celi's Bruckner as well as some individual DVDs are forthcoming. All in all, the video and (stereo) audio of these recordings (made between 1982 and 1994 [only the Strauss "Till Eulenspiegel" in 1965]) are somewhat dated, but mostly fine, with a few exceptions noted below.

DVD 1: Daniel Barenboim is the soloist in these technically quite good 1991 live recordings of the Schumann and Tchaikovsky (nr. 1) piano concertos with the Münchner Philharmoniker. The Schumann is played well: Barenboim sets a fairly brisk pace from the first bar onward, the solo part is both brilliant and sensitive to the music's romantic flair, and the Munich musicians play like angels under Celi's baton. This could be my first choice on DVD but for Martha Argerich (with Riccardo Chailly) who, at least for me, is even better attuned to the score. The Tchaikovsky is smashing: Barenboim is given free rein in his display of virtuoso fireworks, supported all the way by Celi and his Münchners. One of the best readings I have heard, and I have heard many.

DVD 2: Daniel Barenboim plays the two Brahms piano concertos with Celibidache and his Münchner Philharmoniker in these visually and sonically identical 1991 live recordings. The first concerto gets off to a sluggish start with the orchestral introduction taken painfully slow. Barenboim's entrance is tentative, though he tries to accelerate the music's flow, not always successfully. After the first movement, the push-and-pull fortunately ends and things proceed in stately harmony, but the impression remains that this is not one of the performers' favorites. The piano seems to be slightly under-miked here and is occasionally swamped in the orchestral tutti. The second concerto fares much better: it is played with charm (if this can be the right word for Brahms) and beautiful long lines, soloist and conductor for the most part in accord.

DVD 3: The 1991 recording of Dvorak's "New World" is tremendously impressive, though highly idiosyncratic. Audio and video are quite good. Celi's conception of the symphony is Brucknerian: slow and powerful with much loving detail and rubato. The Largo is much too ponderous for my taste, and the third and fourth movements belie their tempi indications (Scherzo. Molto vivace and, respectively, Allegro con fuoco). There is no attempt at Bohemian flair and lilt, and the dancelike passages drag. This may not be your first choice, but it deserves a hearing. The 1988 Prokofiev "Classical Symphony" is played with finesse, though audio and video are not up to par. About 38 mins. of rehearsal are included. Here, Celibidache's proverbial relentless attention to detail is amply demonstrated.

The 1994 very good live recordings on DVD 4 include five pieces by Ravel and Debussy, all played with panache and sensitivity for the French repertoire's idiom. My only objection is Celi's exceedingly slow reading of "Bolero" (some would call it funereal) and an annoying recording glitch at the very end which suddenly attenuates the sound. Thus the work's climax sadly becomes anticlimactic. This was obviously not apparent in the concert, as the applause shows.

DVD 5 has a fairly dynamic "Scheherazade", recorded 1982 (in somewhat dated audio and video) with the Radio Symphonieorchester Stuttgart, with a great solo part by the concert master Hans Kalafusz, and an early (1965 b/w) rehearsal - featuring a much younger, but already equally detail-obsessed Celibidache - and performance of Strauss' "Till Eulenspiegel": both more of historical than musical interest.

Depending on your taste for the pieces collected here and for Celi's interpretive approach, you may find the set rewarding. If, on the other hand, his way of italicizing every nuance does not appeal to you, refrain. I'd like to give it three and a half stars, but must settle for three, according to Amazon's rating system.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A mixed bag, best for Celi afficianados. 24 Jun. 2012
By Clive S. Goodwin - Published on Amazon.com
If you have a spare 30 bucks, this is not the worst way to spend it. This release is actually five previously published dvds packaged in a cardboard slip cover - so, $6 a piece. Not bad.

Now to the subject matter. Celibidache was a conductor infamous for his glacial tempi, almost anal-retentive attention to minute details in balance and score, and insistence on three times the practice time as normally allowed.(Good thing he never got hold of the Mahler 9 last movement - after the first hour, we'd all be falling on our swords!) This resulted in the majority of his performances being with the Munich Phil., which was one of the few orchestras able to put up with him. Nothing if not opinionated about his peer conductors, it is said that he had few friends in that group.

There are four piano concerti in this set, all played by Daniel Barenboim. It should be said that Barenboim is able to coax the tempi upwards, so pianistically these are not particularly ponderous. The Tchaikovsky is simply marvelous - very exciting with Barenboim pulling out all the stops. I also liked the Brahms 2, but was not as fond of the Schumann or the Brahms 1, the orchestral opening of which was much too slow for my taste.

The Dvorak New World is really slow, and loses its forward momentum. The Largo is a good 50% longer at 17" than most "normal" versions. Scheherazade is slow, too, but not much slower than the excellent recent Andris Nelsons' version. However, the Munich orchestra is no match for the Concertgebouw, who really nail the piece for Nelsons.

The fifth dvd features a Ravel/Debussy Spanish theme compilation, most of which I liked. Alborada del Gracioso, Rhapsodie Espanole and Iberia from Images are all very nicely done, but perhaps missing the perfect Spanish feel. Bolero starts off promisingly, with good solo effort from the woodwinds and brass, but completely falls apart at the end because the engineers totally fail to bring off the huge climax. What a shame.

There is also some black and white footage of rehearsals and performances of the Prokofiev Classical symphony and Strauss' Til Eulenspiegel. These do not show Celibidache as being the most congenial of self-absorbed conductors to work with.

However, these are fascinating documents, and you do tend to hear more details in a work when it is played very slowly - more attention by the musicians to note values. It's just that these cannot be your only versions of any of this music.

Sound is adequate, PCM Stereo, so surround sound freaks like me have to goose a little fake matrix surround out of their system.
Picture quality is quite good, probably satisfying all but BluRay stalwarts.

But all this music for $30 is still a good deal, whereas buying the dvds separately would probably not be cost-effective.
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