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Israel Philharmonic Orchestra 60th Anniversary [Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim] [Euroarts: 2012744] [Blu-ray] 
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Zubin Mehta Daniel Barenboim
Isaac Stern (violin) Pinchas Zukerman (viola) Itzhak Perlman (violin) Shlomo Mintz (violin) Gil Shaham (violin) Maxim Vengerov (violin) Menahem Breuer (violin) Ariel Shamai (violin)
The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in the world, celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a Gala Con-cert in 1996 conducted by Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim
The Gala, featuring world acclaimed soloists Isaac Stern, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and Shlomo Mintz, begins with a touching speech of Isaac Stern, who looks back on the early days of the orchestra.
Repertoire: Carl Maria von Weber Overture to the opera Oberon Johann Sebastian Bach Concerto in D minor for two vio¬lins and orchestra Antonio Vivaldi Concerto in B minor for four violins and orchestra Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sere-nade No. 6 in D Major K239 Johan Halvorsen Passacaglia and Sarabande with variations on a theme by Handel Johannes Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D Major, op. 73
Material has been restored and upconverted with state-of-art techniques and with the greatest care for sound and image.
Picture format Blu-ray Disc: 1080i Full HD - 16:9
Sound formats Blu-ray Disc: PCM Stereo
Region code: All (worldwide)
Booklet notes: English, German, French
Running time: 94 mins
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There is no question regarding the level of talent displayed over the last 100 years by jewish musicians and this video is no exception. Some of the finest violinists in the world are showcased including Vengerov, Perlman, Zukerman, Shaham, Mintz, and Stern.
Carl Maria Von Weber - Overature to Opera Oberon conducted by Daniel Barrenboim - This is the first piece performed by the IPO back on Dec 26 1936 by Tuscanini. The piece has a delicate opening with almost Mozart like themes throughout and is guided well by the hands of Mr Barrenboim. He obviously has strong ideas about how the piece should sound and has a strong sence of dynamics and intensity the way he directs this orchestra.
Dvorak Romance - Shaham - Mr Shaham simply spoke with every note, how truly sad this is but a clip and not a full performance but we do get a good chance to see him produce the most gorgeous Strad tone I ever heard, complete with Heifetz-like slides and gut wrenching intensity and beauty.
Bach Concerto for 2 Violins - Stern, Shaham - Mr Stern spoke of the early days of the IPO and how music became as necessary as bread. The first violin part of the first movement was played by Mr Stern and many of the phrases played by Mr Stern were out of time and not in tune. Overall, the first movement was lacking in intensity and accuracy. The second movement featured Gil Shaham on first violin and the playing was lovely and heavenly although the two violins did not seem well balanced to me very much. The third movement picked up in intensity and this is normal, sometimes it takes a few minutes to get warmed up. I found that Mr Stern was still missing notes which is understandable given his age at the time of recording. Overall, I seem to prefer the video of Stern and Perlman playing the Bach Double.
Mozart Serenade #6 in D K239 - Zukerman, Shamai - Mr Zukerman then spoke of music as a bond that unites us in times of chrisis and of the tradition of the violin as an unspoken necessity. Mozart wrote music that he thought alot of people would like and would sell well so he dealt mostly with melodies and simple themes that people could remember. This is indeed gorgeous music and bears an undeniable resemblance to the first movement of the fourth violin concerto. We get to see the back of Mr Zukerman's incredible violin which happens to be my favorite sounding DelGesu I have heard. Later in the Vivaldi we get to see the back of Shaham's violin which is my favorite sounding strad Ive ever heard so clearly there are some of the finest tones on display here.
Halvorsen Variations on a Theme of Handel for Violin and Viola - Perlman, Zukerman - This is one of the best violin viola partners ever. They spoke of when they first met, how Zukerman sat on and snapped Perlman's violin bow and their early days at Juillard. We also get yet another example of Mr Perlman's wit when he proclaims I hope we can handel the halvorsen or we'll have to go into haydn. :) This is two movements that begin with pure and singing melodies and then go into the most hair-raising virtuoso variations you can imagine, it is a real treasure to see this being performed.
Ravel Tzigane - Vengerov - Sadly, we only get to see the tail end of this video clip. It is my opinion that Verngerov's tone is similar to Milstein in that is is kind of a lean tone coming from a strad that is well executed and well articulated. Here is a great display of virtuosity and shows Mr Vengerov's ability to play even the mopst difficult violin works little or no effort at all. Why even Ravel himself wondered if it was too difficult to preform.
Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins in B min RV580 - Mintz, Vengerov, Shaham, Breuer - I didn't even know this was on the video and it is what I liked the most. Im a really big Vivaldi lover and I had never heard this prior to viewing this video. The work is flowing and full of stimulating and creative themes with each soloist sharing a chance to play solos. Simply put this was a wonderful and unexpected preformance of music I have never heard before.
Brahms Symphony #2 - Mehta - Im not really that into orchestral works but Brahms is my favorite composer, other than Chopin and Rachmaninoff. The music is moody and is much like a brooding storm cloud rolling slowly in the distance and I enjoyed this very much. Mehta is a great conductor seething with intensity and sensitivity to even the smallest dynamic in the music.
For me, the Vivaldi was worth the price alone.
Is the sound, its only available in Stereo. Also the picture is not up to full Blu Ray standard!