Europa Konzert from Lisbon  [NTSC] [DVD]
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Pierre Boulez conducts the Berliner Philharmoniker and pianist Maria Joâo Pires in this concert featuring selections by Bartok, Mozart, Ravel and Debussy recorded live at the 'Mosteiro dos Jerónimos', Lisbon in 2003.
Maria Joao Pires was spellbinding. In Mozart's anguished Andantino, the tension was almost unbearable. Since Clara Haskil, I cannot remember playing of such intimacy, tenderness, and simplicity. --The Independent
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Being a great admirer of Arrau and Argerich, I put Pires in the same bracket, and currently am collecting her recordings.
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Other Amazon reviewers have commendably reviewed the concert, so there is not need for repetition. A few observations though: Boulez, a master of passionless excellence, surely designed this concert lineup giving it a twentieth century modern French feel. Ms. Pires is the centerpiece of the concert and a deserved hit with the Portuguese audience. Albrecht Mayer, principal oboist for the orchestra, competes with Ms. Pires as this is the night of the woodwinds for sure.
Lastly, the film director must be commended as the canny mix of the music with the lens makes this performance an exquisitely beautiful concert experience. The camera angles, the beauty of the lighted pillars, the timing of the long distance of shots keyed to the score, underscore a cinematic artistry expected in these EuroArts DVDs.