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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 13 July 2010
Let joy be unconfined! This was the smash hit of last year's Prom season so I put my order in as soon as I heard that due to popular demand it was being released on DVD. Who says the licence payers don't have any clout? I sat completely entranced when this was first broadcast listening to excerpts from some of my favourite musicals and it was wonderful to watch the enthusiasm of the John Wilson Orchestra who were clearly having an absolute ball, never mind the audience! John Wilson, in the words of Cole Porter, you're the tops! More please!!!
22 comments| 71 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This afternoon we've been watching this super DVD of the PROM from last year. Magic, just simply magic.

John Wilson re-orchestrated the scores from more than a year of watching the original films, after MGM had disposed of the 'ephemeral' original scores half a century ago, then he brought together this fantastic orchestra and chorus and singers, and presents it to us in this historic setting.

The DD 2.1 sound is superb on our system when synthesising surround mode, we really do feel like we are there in the audience. We were sitting there with silly grins, ignoring the tea-cups in hand growing cold, and enjoying the scintillating music.

The 16:9 picture is excellent on a 42" digitally connected screen even though it is from only a standard definition DVD.

Seth Macfarlane was a revelation, what a voice! I knew of Curtis Stigers and Kim Cresswell, and I have recordings featuring Sir Thomas Allen, and also Sarah Fox. All were wonderful, joining in with the spirit of the occasion. Some of the re-creations were uncannily accurate, and closing my eyes I could hear long dead voices all over again, brought back to life with loving care and attention to detail.

John Wilson has worked a miracle in gathering all this talent in the same place at the same time, and it is so obvious everyone is enjoying themselves, especially a rapt audience. The two hours just flies past.

The only downside is the occasional interruptions from the 'continuity pair' who I refuse to name-check. But even they cannot tarnish a five star performance like this.

If you enjoyed the film music of those classic MGM movies, then this enthusiastic re-creation is a must-buy.
66 comments| 91 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 21 August 2010
This was, as so many others have said, without doubt a musical treat like no other.

Fantastic orchestrations by John Wilson to accompany a hugely talented group of soloists, all leading performers in their own right, and splendid chorus to thrill you for two hours of the most glorious music and singing featuring so many of the songs that have filled theatres, concert halls and cinemas all down the years, with the music of our lifetime. Thank you the BBC for producing this - although they consistantly said for nearly a year that it would not be issued!

Am thrilled to have got tickets to see The Rodgers and Hammerstein, John Wilson Prom on 22nd August.

This dvd is one of the best purchases you will ever make!

Must concur, the commentary in between was obtrusive, vacuous and unnecessary, but does not spoil this fabulous evenings entertainment.

Encore, John Wilson, take a bow, cant imagine what a reception you will receive this year.
11 comment| 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 September 2011
BBC Marketing Executives must be total phillistines ! The BBC transmitted this concert in HIGH DEFINITION with 5:1 SURROUND SOUND, watched by 3.5 Million viewers.
So why has it not been released on BLU-RAY ?
It is so obvious that the sheer quality and popularity of the John Wilson Orchestra's sound, cries out for it to be released on the highest Quality DVD format presently available ! NOT in mediocre STANDARD Definition Video and in only TWO CHANNEL DD audio. I had high expectations for this DVD, but when I read the video & audio details I realised that it is exactly the same as the recording of the broadcast, that I have on the hard drive of my SONY DVD Recorder ! Come on BBC, the nations licence payer's, music lovers, HI-FI fans, audiophiles, and all those High Definition TV and High Quality Surround Sound System owners, demand better!
22 comments| 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 August 2010
What an amazing concert, I never tire of watching the DVD, this is an incredible night out and thank goodness the BBC thought to commit it to DVD for those of us on the other side of the world to enjoy.
However, this DVD only gets 3 stars overall due to the irritating and mindless commentating in the short breaks between musical numbers when a simple announcement of what was coming next would have sufficed. I notice that another reviewer has also brought this point up as spoiling one's enjoyment of a breathtaking concert.
Even as the credits were running, Clive Anderson was still spouting useless information, thanking "Debbie Wilson" for being with him, when the name on screen at that time tells us it was Debbie Wiseman.
66 comments| 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 July 2010
As others have commented before me, this DVD is a pure delight, and given the fact the BBC were inundated with requests for repeats, I guess they accepted this was *the* highlight show of the Proms Season.

John Wilson is a genuis, deserving of an Oscar or even a Knighthood, for his epic task in bringing all of this original score music back to life.

The orchestra was sublime. The vocalists truly showed their love for the music and lyrics, their enjoyment shone through. Particularly, I enjoyed the duet between Seth McFarlane and Curtis Stigers and I hope that a remake of 'High Society' is now on the cards, with these as the main male characters.

If only the BBC would use more of our licence fee to produce such spectacular entertainment as this more often, instead of endless celebrity/reality TV shows.

As an aside, John Wilson is involved in 'The John Lennon Songbook', which I saw in Liverpool last year and it was an amazing piece of work. Catch it if you can before it goes to China, which is where it heads later in 2010.
0Comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
My hope is that despite the seemingly unrehearsed and halting unscripted efforts of Anderson and co. to demonstrate their lack of knowledge concerning this timeless musical masterpiece. This broadcast will be remembered for a long time. A seminal moment when good music returned to the BBC. My copy arrives tomorrow. I now see, in the advertising, Anderson's name and groan inwardly. Their comments were not informative or in any added to the program, and on occasionas are obviously cut off mid sentence to prevent the silly woman in particular, from talking over some of the best music broadcast on the BBC ever. Anderson was nearly caught out in similar lack of broadcasting discipline. I hope the audio commentary track is now optional. If it were I would give this momentous broadcast 10 stars and then look out for more.
Bravo BBC, hopefully there will be other broadcasts similar in the future; this time please seek out someone who knows what they are talking about and knows when to shut up.
22 comments| 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 August 2010
The Proms are musical events most of us enjoy even if a little selective. But when John Wilsons Classic MGM Film Musicals was performed it was not only the music - but the sight of the musicians really enjoying performing and expressing this so clearly it was catching. John Wilsons hard work in preparing these musicals for orchestral performance is greatly appreciated and the DVD regularly provides me with an hour's injection of pleasure at the end of a hard day at the computer.
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on 17 July 2010
Loved it when first saw it, two hours of pure enjoyment. Now I have my own copy.Thankyou made my day.
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on 15 August 2010
Waited a long time for this. Best yet. Flying to London to go to this years.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse