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Strauss/ Dvorak: Kempe (Ein Heldenleben/ Symphony No.9) [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra , BBC Symphony Orchestra    Exempt   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Strauss/ Dvorak: Kempe (Ein Heldenleben/ Symphony No.9) [DVD] [2011] [NTSC] + Vaughan-Williams: Adrian Boult (Symphony No. 8/ Job: A Masque For Dancing) [DVD] [2011] [NTSC]
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Product details

  • Actors: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Format: Classical, Colour, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: ICA Classics
  • DVD Release Date: 9 Feb 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FFBMA8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,885 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The audio recording of the Dvorák 9 from this Kempe DVD has been released on BBC Legends, and was a Penguin Guide Rosette Winner. In this performance of Strauss, we witness Kempes mastery in securing issues of structure, atmosphere and emotional intensity (David Patmore), along with his unfailing musicality. According to the Times critic, Joan Chissell, Kempes performance of Heldenleben won him a heros ovation, and rightly Conducting without a score, Mr. Kempe gave detailed guidance to every player, yet at the same time retained the ability to stand back and view the work in perspective. The performance of Dvorák 9 a year later was described by Chissell as glowing enough to make you fall in love with its familiar strains all over again.

Product Description

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - BBC Symphony Orchestra - Rudolf Kempe, direction

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You BBC - at long last 6 April 2011
By Mjhood
Finally after 37 years, these magnificent performances have been released. I attended both concerts and have had to live in hope for decades that they would finally see the light of day.
Kempe was,without doubt,one of the greatest postwar conductors although he never had a publicity machine behind him to advance his career. Although he specialized in Opera for the greater part of his conducting life,he was Beecham's choice to take over as chief conductor of the RPO in 1961.From then on his orchestral career particularly in London in the 60's and the first half of the 70's was a great success.He was appointed chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1975 and had hardly begun with them before tragically dying the next year at the early age of 66.He was also chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the time of his death.
These two performances(both from promenade concerts)with "his" two orchestras are nothing short of magnificent.
Amongst his many attributes Kempe was THE Strauss specialist.The 1974 Heldenleben with the RPO is one of the finest performances he ever gave.The electric atmosphere gives an extra impetus to the music and the orchestra does sterling service for the occasion.
A year later, with his new orchestra, Kempe led a performance of the Dvorak that has developed legendary status.It is simply one of the finest performaces of this symphony ever given.
It has taken decades for these two performances to be finally released, however they are highly reccomended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars kepe dvd 24 April 2011
By bob
at last we have a chance to see why british orchestras adored this man.
all aspiring conductors must watch this. just the very best!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars outstanding performances, ok sound 13 Mar 2011
By Clive S. Goodwin - Published on
Verified Purchase
I have always been a fan of Rudolf Kempe. His interpretations of the the German repertoire were non-pareil in terms of clarity and nuance. This is the first video of him I've seen, and it's a doozy.

Ein Heldenleben (A Hero's Life) is a great piece, but hard to bring off unless it's by a very sensitive and non- bombastic conductor. Kempe fits the bill perfectly.

Dvorak's "New World Symphony" is treated to more than the usual run-through. Little touches of insight and dynamic nuance abound, and the enthusiastic Proms audience obviously loves the whole thing. Kempe doesn't turn the Adagio into a dirge, unlike some other conductors, and the movement flows beautifully.

As for the sound, I'm still wondering why this is not at least in stereo. The BBC was surely broadcasting in stereo in the mid-seventies? Mono it is, so I had to play with my various virtual surround options to give it some body. The sound itself is a little lacking in depth, and a bit screechy, but it is much better than the Solti/Elgar release on this label (ICA) from the same period. As a comparison, Bernstein's concert performances from that period were much better recorded. So it's 4 stars because of the recording, not the performance. Video is very good, and shows what a sensitive and genteel conductor Kempe was.

I was able to pick this up for under $12 from Classical Music Superstore on the one day they had it at this price, but it's well worth the regular $20 or so.

I hope we are offered more from Kempe with any of the British orchestras he worked with.
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