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Abreu;J/Dudamel;G-Bolivar;Simo [Import]

Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra , Caracas Children's Orchestra , Paul Smaczny;Maria Stodtmeier    NR (Not Rated)   DVD

Price: CDN$ 29.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Miracle Oct. 7 2009
By Linda McDougall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As I am in the music field in Mexico,trying with others to make the same project work here, I was able to see this extraordinary documentary several months ago. It was a private showing, and almost the entire audience, friends,maestros, musicians, were weeping through it - deeply moved and filled with hope.
They'd already seen or owned "Tocar y Luchar", the first beautiful film on El Sistema, but now Maria Stodmeier and Paul Smaczny have gone deeper, and have captured what is beyond words. Their general response of unmitigated admiration for El Sistema's founder, José Antonio Abreu whom Claudio Abbado calls "a saint".
And now, when you see what musicians, such as the true ambassador Gustavo Dudamel,the Simón Bolívar Orchestra, to mention just a few, have emerged from the project,you'll marvel at why it took more than thirty years for us in North America to catch on.

El Sistema has expanded since the first film exposure, and to me, part of the miracle is
how children play as if they were adults - no passage of time seems present. Their dedication - theirs and that of the teachers and staff who work with Abreu - is almost surreal. Where did all these old souls in children's bodies come from? Is this what happens when they're given a chance to experience classical music? When you listen to their wisdom, so beautifully reflected in the many levels of the project, you'll probably be speechless. And hopeful.

There's a great deal more to say about this remarkable documentary which I hope anyone with the least interest in changing the world, orders sight unseen. Paul Smaczny of EuroArts, who has produced the world's finest concert films on DVD, together with the brilliantly sensitive Maria Stodmeier, have done us all a great favour.
I thank them a thousand times over...and when you see some of the little touches - such as a hawk slowly hovering over dense and sprawling Caracas, free and soaring on the wind -
you'll understand the spiritual message of the film far beyond words.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spiritual Light for the future of children without hope Oct. 5 2009
By S. Haines - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I saw this film last night on Ovation television and I am buying the film now for my son and my two granddaughters to watch. It is awe-inspiring and a teaching instrument for adults that think they know about education.
I am amazad at the way classical orchestral training for untutored, uneducated, poor, hopeless children can lift these same children into the realms of spiritual betterment, professional quality instrument playing and the way to a better life. Some of the children are already traveling going to other countries to play in orchestras.
Superb.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving and Powerful Documentary Nov. 2 2009
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
I certainly can't comment from the 'inside' as customer reviewer Linda McDougall does -- read her review! -- but I wanted to add my unreserved enthusiasm for this DVD. Ever since conductor Gustavo Dudamel exploded onto the international classical music scene there has been mounting curiosity and interest about El Sistema and its founder José Antonio Abreu. This documentary, lovingly made by one of the best music documentarians, Paul Smaczny, and his partner Maria Stodtmeier, shows us from the ground up how El Sistema works. It takes us inside the homes, rehearsal rooms and the very lives of the children who are involved in learning to play music via the program and mostly in their own words shows us what a powerful force the program is. There are many clips of Abreu explaining his concepts about the importance of music in the lives of the children, not just for the explicit purpose of learning to play and instrument but how it teaches cooperation and discipline. The children themselves are marvelous ambassadors for the program because we can see how it alters their lives in positive ways.

I enthusiastically recommend the DVD to anyone who loves classical music, to anyone who despairs about the future of classical music, and to anyone who might some day have input themselves into the similar programs that are now popping up all over the world.

Running time: 100minutes, plus a 9min bonus about auditioning for the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra; Format NSC 16:9; Sound: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1, DTS 5.1; Documentary is in Spanish with subtitles in English, German, French and Spanish; Region Code: 0 (worldwide)

Scott Morrison
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another miracle for Venezuela - and the world Oct. 23 2009
By Linda McDougall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray
I reported as abusive, the comment made by an angry person who has no idea of the importance of this film. Paul Smaczny very kindly sent me a copy of the DVD months ago, as here in Mexico, we're starting the program using the El Sistema model.
Rather than give a review, I can only urge those who may have already seen Tocar y Luchar, have heard or seen Gustavo Dudamel, or have read about the genius of José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema, to buy and absorb this most excellent documentary. This model for the entire planet has been captured poetically and beautifully by EuroArts' Maria Stodmeier and Paul Smaczny, already a great master at producing classical music videos.
But the real stars are the children, who speak like old souls...who see the importance of being a member of an orchestra as life's most spiritual lesson.
That the project has rescued thousands of underprivileged children from a hopeless life, has produced Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra, to mention only a few of many talented musicians, utterly discounts any negativity those with an axe to grind might have.
I have showed this documentary to many friends, and the reaction has been the same: when and where can we buy it? Now you can...and order it NOW, before it gets sold out. The world is watching.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Documental imprescindible Dec 10 2009
By J. G. Corral - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
El documental está hecho con mucha sensibilidad y refleja muy bien la gran labor que lleva a cabo, entre otros, Jose Antonio Abreu. Es un ejemplo a seguir en todos los países del mundo. Harían falta unos cuantos como él y su equipo, las cosas marcharían mucho mejor. Este documental es imprescindible, deberían de verlo todos los políticos a ver si mejoran su sensibilidad y ganas de resolver los conflictos.

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