We live in an age where classical music is more readily available, and more cheaply, than ever before. Alongside recordings by living conductors such as Simon Rattle, there is a plethora of C.D.'s of great performances by Toscanini, Barbirolli, Karajan and so on. And many of us have collections featuring such great artists. But how many of us have ever seen these greats in action, so to speak?
This DVD provides the opportunity to see in rehearsal and/or concert such legendary figures as Furtwangler, Mengelburg, Toscanini and our own beloved Beecham and Barbirolli, amongst others. Some of the footage is short, but what we see is extraordinary. The icy glare of Fritz Reiner searching over the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Furtwangler standing there and shaking his arms like a rag doll's, Richard Strauss for all the world looking as though he couldn't care less- radically different approaches yet all somehow getting fantastic responses from their diverse orchestras. This disc examines the variety of approaches, and tries to explain how a conductor weaves his magic. Telepathy seems to be the only explanation...
Sound and picture quality is excellent, especially considering the age of some of the material. Commentary by-especially-Isaac Stern adds further illumination to this fascinating subject. And there's a booklet included.
Just to see these names from the past is a treat. This DVD should be in any self-respecting classical C.D. collection. Snap it up!