Various: Classical Destinations [DVD]
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All 13 episodes from the first series of the classical music travelogue presented by actor Simon Callow. Episodes are: 'Salzburg: Birthplace of Amadeus', 'Across Austria to Vienna', 'The Real Song of Norway', 'Finlandia', 'St. Petersburg', 'Venice, Vivaldi and the Four Seasons', 'Prague', 'Germany 1: Eisenach and the Towns of Bach's Travels', 'Germany 2: Leipzig and Mainz', 'Vienna', 'Tuscany: Verdi and Puccini', 'Bonn and Berlin' and 'Return to St. Petersburg'.
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Top Customer Reviews
Each episode is excellent. It is well presented and well produced. There is never a dull moment. Each episode takes us to a famous location and we get to see some famous places and the history of those places and the composers that are associated with them.
Episode one takes us to Salzburg and we see the famous puppet shows, the Salzburg festival and many famous landmarks and the history of the city and of course Mozart. In further episodes we go from Salzburg to Vienna through the magnificent Austrian countryside and learn about Brahms, Mahler, Schubert and Haydn. We see the City and its great landmarks. Then through the mountains and ravines of Norway and onto Oslo learning about Grieg. Then onto Finland and Helsinki and snowy Lapland and Santa's workshop to the setting of the music of Sibelius. We visit Grieg`s house. Then onto St Petersburg home of Borodin, Glinka, Mussorgsky and Rimsky Korsakov. The journey would be incomplete without a look at Venice and Vivaldi. We see the canals, bridges and piazzas. Other composers such as Smetena, Dvorak and Mozart are also featured here.
The journey continues onto Leipzig. There are musical performances throughout the series and here we get part of Mendelssohn's Violin concerto. We look at Bach and the city of Mainz, There is a lot of detail about Mozart, Beethoven, and Johann Strauss in Vienna. We also look at Tuscany, Pisa, and Milan. Then Bonn and Berlin and learn more about Beethoven. Finally we end up back at St Petersburg and learn about Pushkin, Catherine the Great and Rasputin and the music of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky.
The series is magnificent to watch and is very informative.Read more ›
The soundtrack wanders off in mad directions, with synthesiser music and pseudo-classical muzak presumably written for the series. Even when authentic classical music is heard, often it is not the piece that is being discussed. Worse are the incredibly naff sequences where co-presenter Niki Vasilakis stands in historic locations, solemnly playing the series' muzak theme on her violin.
Ms Vasilakis's other contributions are pointless little moments where she delivers a single sentence to camera before the narration moves to her more competent colleagues, Matt Wills and Simon Callow.
For a programme that purports to combine classical documentary with travelogue, a surprising number of scenes flash past unidentified, and the camera ventures inside few concert halls.
The programmes are picturesque, but like a succession of canapes instead of what promised to be satisfying meals. Each one ends with the host redundantly telling us "I'm Simon Callow" two seconds before the credits inform us that the programme was presented by Simon Callow. In the closing moments of the final episode, for good measure, he told us his name twice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I couldn't bear the 10th-rate violinist, Niki Vasilakis, playing those dreadful pieces in all those beautiful locations. As a previous reviewer said, "naff". Bang on! Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kenneth Parkes
Very pleased with the dvd's, exactly what I wanted. Will use this company againPublished 23 months ago by 2uba man