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  • Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 [Blu-ray] [Import]


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Product Details

  • Directors: Andreas Morell
  • Format: AC-3, Classical, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • Release Date: Oct. 28 2008
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001F1YBP8

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 28 2009
Format: DVD
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"The Brandenburg concertos are the purest products of Bach's polyphonic style. Neither on the organ nor on the clavier could he have worked out the architecture of a movement with such vitality; the orchestra alone permits him absolute freedom in the leading and grouping of the obbligato voices."

The above quotation (by Albert Schweitzer) is found on the inner case containing this DVD that has not only the music of Johann Sebastian Bach's (1685 to 1750) six Brandenburg concertos or concerti but also shows the musicians creating this music.

These concertos are considered by many the most beautiful and best known from the Baroque period (1600 to 1750). Baroque composers produced two types of concerto: the solo concerto and the concerto grosso. The concerto grosso was based on the opposition between a small group of instruments (the concertino), and a larger group (the tutti or ripieno).

Bach captured the spirit of the concerto grosso, in which two groups vie with each other in what might be described as "sonorous flights of fancy," in his six Brandenburg Concertos. This set was written for presentation in 1721 to the Margrave (military governor) Christian of Brandenburg, Germany.

Here are the particulars for what's presented:

ENSEMBLE: Orchestra Mozart (created in Nov.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David M. Goldberg TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 10 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Stephen Pletko has provided a very useful review that anyone contemplating a purchase of this DVD should read. But as I happen to disagree with him strongly on several important points, I hope that they will also read the present text. Those that don't may come to regret it. The key issue is whether you are looking for a minimalistic approach to this music, or a more full-blooded version; and whether you favour period instruments over their modern counterparts. Let us deal with the latter first. This is uniformly magnificent music, among the greatest orchestral masterpieces of all time. They deserve nothing but the best, in performers and in the instruments on which they perform. The sound here, especially from the strings, is thin and scrawny. It is not the fault of the players who, technically show tremendous skill and musicianship, but they are severely limited by their instruments in what they can achieve. I have no doubt that if Bach were alive today he would prefer to write for the modern orchestra, and would be greatly relieved to hear his work played accordingly. Going back to the first criticism, the situation is made worse by the sparseness of the players in any single concerto: as few as seven in No 6, and no more than 16 in any other, although Abbado had 19 strings available to him as well as 10 wind instruments. Seven players make up a septet, not an orchestra. They can make pretty sounds, but they can never achieve the texture and grandeur of a fuller ensemble. These works have been played in concert by some of the world's greatest symphony orchestras, and the results for me have been altogether more satisfying than the lean cuisine offered up here. Next, to Abbado himself.Read more ›
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By Alex Cheng on April 12 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
no fancy menu, no intro, it jumps right into the action...

blu-ray quality,, can't ask for more

for hard-core musician
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 31 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Bach Brandenburg on Blu-ray Jan. 9 2009
By Horn Blower - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This is an excellent DVD from start to finish. Its all well played, filmed, and recorded. With the Blu-ray version you can read the time on the first horn's wrist watch, in Roman Numerals! There are a couple of places where the sound is not quite in sync with the video. This is very minor, not distracting, and was probably due to some editing or patch work that needed to be done. You have to be watching very closely to spot it.

The best players are used throughout and are well guided by Maestro Abbado. Be sure to watch the last movement of the #2 concerto played a second time as an encore. Piccolo trumpet Reinhold Friedrich nails it both times taking the last note up to a high F during the encore!

This is a very exciting DVD. You will be as glad to own it as I am.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely astounding! Jan. 7 2009
By Cdn Redbird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I have several Classical Music & Operas in my DVD collection. Enjoying all of them. I found the Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 BLU-RAY while browsing the internet and decided right away to purchase it assuming it would be superior to a DVD both in picture and sound. To my amazement, this Blu-Ray "knocked my socks off". I had recently purchased a largescreen TV and WOW, the PQ and the sound quality was superb. Claudio Abbado is one of my favourite conductors and watching the "super clear" expressions on his face and the faces of the musicians is really exciting to watch and hear. I would highly recommend this Blu-Ray DVD to anyone.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Delightful Concert of all the Brandenburg Concertos Nov. 1 2008
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Claudio Abbado, surely one of the great conductors working today, formed a small orchestra, called Orchestra Mozart, in 2004. This group consists of several world-renowned instrumentalists and a number of exceedingly fine young players, mostly from Italy. Among the 'names' in the orchestra are Michala Petri, recorder; Giuliano Carmignola, principal violin; Reinhold Friedrich, trumpet; Jacques Zoon, flute; Alois Posch, bass; Alessio Allegrini, horn; and Ottavio Dantone, harpsichord. In their early seasons they concentrated on music by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and Schubert. But in 2007 they prepared all six of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and toured them throughout Italy, with concerts in Bologna, Ferrara, Pisa, Prato, Reggio Emilia, Venice, Modena, Verona and Bolzano. This DVD is a live recording of the April 21, 2007 concert they played in the visually gorgeous and acoustically excellent Teatro Municipale Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia.

The players (except for cellos and harpsichord) stand for the performances. Consequently there is considerable swaying of bodies and generally greater animation of the instrumentalists. I mention this because in a visual medium like a DVD this makes for more engaging viewing. The video of this concert focuses almost entirely on the instrumentalists; we rarely see Abbado. I like this approach as I'm much more interested in what the players are doing. One does notice, though, that Abbado is conducting without score. And indeed he's not even conducting at all in the Sixth Concerto -- that's the one without violins; its group of seven players are truly a chamber ensemble.

The principals couldn't be better. I was immensely impressed, as I have been in other recordings, by Allegrini, who has to one of the finest horn players around. As well, I loved the blending of Petri's and Nikolaj Tarasov's recorders in the Second. That concerto was played last on the program -- the sequence was Concertos 1, 3, 5, 6, 4, 2 -- and in response to the enthusiastic applause of the audience, the group played the final Allegro assai of the No. 2 and this time Petri substituted a sopranino recorder for her usual instrument, a piquant touch. Carmignola's lickety-split violin obbligato in the opening Allegro of that concerto has to be seen and heard to be believed.

Dantone was superb in the supremely virtuosic harpsichord part in the Fifth Concerto. The audio didn't bring out the sound of his instrument as much as I would have liked, but I rather suspect it was true to the actual sound in the hall. And I did lean forward to hear it better, which one often actually does in live performances in my experience.

Abbado's approach with the concertos is to take them fairly briskly. He does fairly often slow down slightly for cadences but there is not much else in the way of tempo variation. Usually, frankly, I felt he set the opening tempo and then these excellent musicians played as chamber musicians would, making subtle adjustments to the playing of their colleagues. This is not a criticism of Abbado; rather it is a commendation of his lack of ego and his willingness to let his musicians play together in their own way.

I cannot recommend this DVD highly enough. Often, when I've listened to or attended concerts featuring all six of these works I've lost attention somewhere along the way. This time I was energized for the entire 100 minutes of the concert. (Indeed, as I write this I'm listening again to the delightful No. 2.)

Time: 100mins; Format: NTSC 16:9; Sound PCM Stereo, Dolby 5.1, DTS 5.1; Region: 0 (worldwide). The disc is also available in Blu-Ray format Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concertos 1-6 [Blu-ray]

Scott Morrison
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A concert to delight the ears!!! March 27 2009
By Stephen Pletko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
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"The Brandenburg concertos are the purest products of Bach's polyphonic style. Neither on the organ nor on the clavier could he have worked out the architecture of a movement with such vitality; the orchestra alone permits him absolute freedom in the leading and grouping of the obbligato voices."

The above quotation (by Albert Schweitzer) is found on the inner case containing this DVD that has not only the music of Johann Sebastian Bach's (1685 to 1750) six Brandenburg concertos or concerti but also shows the musicians creating this music.

These concertos are considered by many the most beautiful and best known from the Baroque period (1600 to 1750). Baroque composers produced two types of concerto: the solo concerto and the concerto grosso. The concerto grosso was based on the opposition between a small group of instruments (the concertino), and a larger group (the tutti or ripieno).

Bach captured the spirit of the concerto grosso, in which two groups vie with each other in what might be described as "sonorous flights of fancy," in his six Brandenburg Concertos. This set was written for presentation in 1721 to the Margrave (military governor) Christian of Brandenburg, Germany.

Here are the particulars for what's presented:

ENSEMBLE: Orchestra Mozart (created in Nov. 2004 and consists of eminent chamber musicians and young instrumentalists)
CONDUCTOR: Claudio Abbado (who achieves the rare feat of ensuring that the performance has a common thread to it while at the same time allowing each top musician a chance to display his or her abilities to the fullest)
FEATURED PERFORMER: Giuliano Carmignola (who many say is the leading Baroque violinist of the present day)
RECORDED: Live at Teatro (theatre) Municipale Romolo Valli, Reggio Emilia (in Northern Italy)

These concertos are not presented in order but instead as follows:

(#1, #3 ,#5, #6, #4, and #2)

Concerto #3 is the shortest at about (10 minutes, 30 seconds) while concerto #5 is the longest at about (19 minutes). All concertos consist of three movements except #1 which consists of four.

Finally, the DVD (released Oct. 2008) is perfect in picture and sound quality. Technical specifications:

Picture format: NTSC, 16.9 anamorphic
Sound formats: LPCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1
Region code: 0

In conclusion, this is truly an unforgettable presentation of the Brandenburg concertos. Encore! Encore!!

(2007; 1 hr, 40 min; wide screen; 22 scenes)

<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and bubbling with enjoyment on modern instruments July 29 2012
By I. Giles - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
This set of the Brandenburgs is performed in authentic style but on modern instruments. Abbado seems to do little except set the tempo, leaving the skilled and highly experienced players to get on with the details of the performances - surely the best solution to having a conductor in such music and in such company. Indeed, in the 6th concerto Abbado is not present on the stage at all. No doubt there has been much discussion beforehand with an agreed approach. The recorded performance here was one of several held during a concert tour of Italy.

The most abiding impression left by this set of performances is the one of joy and exuberance. The tempi are all on the faster side and these make considerable demands upon the individual and corporate virtuosity of the players. This group of Abbado's Orchestra Mozart is well up to these demands with glances of pleasure passing between the players from time to time. There is also a strong sense of dance and this has a greatly positive effect throughout but especially for me in the first concerto which is the most enjoyable account I have ever heard. However, much the same can be experienced throughout the whole set of six concertos and, except for purists who may quibble with the use of modern instruments, this comes over as a very authentic set of performances - one that I am sure would have delighted Bach himself.

Although this is a 'live' set, any sense of an audience being present is avoided until the last item - the second concerto, which ends in applause and an encore of the last movement. This encore is given with a sopranino recorder being used instead of the lower-pitched, and more normally used, treble recorder which is used in the preceding complete concerto performance. Both are effective in their different ways. The trumpet's last note is raised somewhat further than Bach wrote but to good bravura effect - an effect I have not heard since Denis Clift, my own trumpet teacher, did the same on the old EMI Menuhin recording of about 1960.

The recording quality is excellent both sonically and visually. The imaging is both crisp and involving, vividly capturing the delight of the players. The sound is presented in PCM 5.1 and stereo.

This set, complete on one disc, is both generous and highly enjoyable. For many it will be tempting to think of it as close to definitive if such a description could possibly be made. It seems only reasonable that it should receive a full 5 star rating therefore.


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