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8 Reviews
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational and Educational, 21 Oct. 2003
This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This documentary may not be to everyone's liking, but the chances are that as you're reading this, it will be to yours. An absolute must have for any serious violinist especially, but for people interested in music at any level too, this DVD shows some of the best talents of the modern day eulogising and analysing some of the great violinists from the twentieth centuries - performers with personalities that shone through their playing, rather than being stifled by it.
The enthusiasm of some of the narrators - especially Hilary Hahn and Isaac Perlman - is infectious, and their comments are insightful, logical and understandable. Having such clear commentary from contemporary violinists around footage of the greatest talents playing the greatest works, then you can see why this disc, and this documentary, becomes essential viewing.
The clarity of the content of this disc and the enthusiasm with which the narrators speak always motivates me to practice, and helps focus my practice too. The value of being very analytical with every aspect of playing is shown, with every factor involved with playing the violin being a parameter to be improved and altered to really change the music and bring it to life, rather than just practicing until the notes are clean and phrases developed. Such details would also be useful to other performers, and as I said earlier, should be of interest to anyone interested in music at any level.
Great music, legendary talents, famous performers, insightful and enthusiastic analysis on one fantastic, inspirational and educational disc. If it's not clear from the plethora of positive adjectives in the last sentence, my advice is "Get this disc".
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing, fascinating and a must for all violinists, 21 Mar. 2006
This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I have watched this DVD so many times I have lost count. Each time I discover something new about the technique and approach of each of the featured legendary violinists. The comparison of various passages played by different performers is an excellent feature, but what stands out in this brilliant film is the finely scripted commentary and in particular the intelligence with which Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and others assess their fellow performers.

There is a wealth of rare footage which alone is worth buying this superb DVD for. It doesn't matter that the sound quality (inevitably) doesn't match current technology...the sheer magic of watching footage of violin legends is enough.

I only wish there was a sequel to this outstanding film following the emergence of the new school of fiddle playing post Perlman.

In summary, I found this film to be the most absorbing documentary I have ever seen about music making, let alone violin playing and it will therefore appeal to anyone with a discerning view of the art of performing.

Outstanding and highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars glorious stuff, 24 Dec. 2006
By 
hillbank68 "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
I could write a very long and detailed review of these DVDs, listing the amazing segments of archive footage of the very great players represented here. There are some particular highlights, but suffice to say that everything is worth seeing, the commentary, with the excellent contributions from concert virtuosi, in particular the very engaging Ivry Gitlis, fiddle on lap ready as a tool to demonstrate what he says, are wonderful, and it's hard to imagine that this kind of historical survey of violin playing could be better done. The story is triumphant in places - Heifetz, Milstein (some amusing informal footage here), Kreisler, Francescatti doing a wonderful 'Ronde des Lutins' and talking engagingly about his love of gardining - wistful (Ferras) or even tragic (Rabin) in others, but always compelling. It is absolutely indispensible for connoisseurs of classical violin playing, and I just wish I could give it more than 5 stars.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see for all interested in seeing the old greats, 25 Jun. 2001
This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
For all those who have forgotten what real violin violin playing sounds like compared with today's perfect but uninsparational players this will be a joy to watch. The sequence of various greats playing the Mendelssohn violin concerto is very well crafted and most interresting. The Bach Double concerto with Mehnuin and David Oistrakh was absolutley fantastic despite the short extract. Commentry from Hilary Hahn, Perlman and Glitis is interesting but I felt it would have been more so if they had shown extracts. Child prodigies such as a young Ricci are also jaw dropping A thoroughbly enjoable watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a production!, 4 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The Art Of Violin is an extraordinary documentary about the violin and its masters. With so much talent and virtuosity on display one almost takes for granted the way in which this documentary has been made. By this I mean the care of selecting televised material of a particular work performed by the world's best players and editing it in such a manner that the music flows seamlessly while all the players appear back-to-back on screen for us to marvel at.

I watched this jewel a couple of times, once even with my eyes closed. Just hearing the music made me appreciate this production even more. I am not a musician but I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD. Highly recommended for all ages either as an introduction to the violin or as a work of reference.

If I had to name a drawback I would say that Perlman and Hahn's comments, although charming, remain a bit wanting in originality. By comparison, Gitlis has a more spirited and individual approach and even compares a tall violinist to a string of spaghetti(!) Such a comment always elicits a big smile on my face and helps to inject a little comic relief into a subject that inherintly suffers from snobism. In a way, Perlman and Hahn furnish the contrast by wich such a comment stands out even more. All in all an accomplished documentary that certainly would age well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fascinating History, 7 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This was an immensely enjoyable film to watch,coupling as it did, marvellous recordings of great artists with interesting and, at times, very amusing interviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Frustration!, 19 Jan. 2010
By 
Mr. Brian Barber (Worcester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001]
This is a wonderful compilation of fascinating archive film of some of the "Greats" from the history of violin-playing.
Most of what needs to be said has already been written by other reviewers.
What I missed, however, was any reference to the significant amount of narrative from contributors, such as Ivry Gitlis, which is in French! I so wanted to follow what was being said, but looked in vain for a few subtitles. This seems to be a disappointing omission by the disc producers.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must for violin players, 23 Jun. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Art Of Violin [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This was interesting to watch from the violin players point of view, to see the technicalities of playing and the speed was most facinating, also seeing the amount of sounds you can make this small instrument make was nice.
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