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 NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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5.0 out of 5 stars So that's how it is done! Sept. 11 2010
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
I purchase this based on previous reviews and listing to this on the local radio station. I was surprised how well it plays (both sound and visual) on the big screen TV. Even though I recognized the pieces and the titles, I had not really put them together until this film. The best thing about this is you can play it repeatedly. I wonder how they made such a great selection.

The main presentation is the Violin Con Concerto in E Minor by Mendelssohn. Of course Yehudi Menuhin (Violinist) performing and conducted by Antal Doati.

Hungarian Dances No. 5 in G minor by Johannes Brahms (makes you see gypsies and pentagrams on your palm).
In addition, Hungarian Dance No. 4 in F sharp minor.
Malaguena (Spanish Dances Op.21, No.1 by Pablo Sarastate. And No. 2, Habanera
Calabrese, Waltz in E minor, Op. 34. By Antonio Bazzini

In addition, a couple of bonus features.

Monochrome, Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1, 1947 recording form Charlie Chaplin studio in Hollywood.
The Bonus Burton feature is 1997.

The Great Violinists: Recordings from 1900-1913
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yehudi Menuhin Plays Mendelssohn Violin Concerto March 9 2010
Given the date of the recording (1947), the sound and video are very good. This is a rare video recording of the violinist in monochrome and monaural sound, expertly performing the Mendelssohn violin concerto. There is also an interview on the DVD. This is a very enjoyable DVD for inclusion in any classical music collection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Treasure for Menuhin Fans and Violin Students Nov. 22 2005
By Alejandra Vernon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This DVD features an historic performance of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, and much more. Virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) plays with Anatal Dorati conducting a symphony orchestra comprised of some of the finest studio musicians in Hollywood, who played the big film scores of the era. Recorded in the Charlie Chaplin Studios in the Fall of 1947, the footage shows some age in the audio as well as the visual, but is still fantastic, and a joy to listen to as well as watch. The presentation and staging are very simple, as Menuhin was not a flashy performer, but rather a thoughtful one, with his aesthetically beautiful, chiseled features maintaining a calm serenity. The Mendelssohn concerto was the piece Menuhin played in his first public performance, at the age of 7, so this concerto has special significance in his life.

The disc also includes encore performances, and these have been filmed in a room, with piano accompaniment, and they are:
Johannes Brahms: Hungarian Dances, No. 5 in G minor, and No. 4 in F sharp minor.
Pablo de Sarasate: Spanish Dances, Op. 21, No.1, Malagueña, and No. 2, Habanera.
Antonio Bazzini: Calabrese, Waltz in E minor, Op. 34.
The pianist for the Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 4 is Anatal Dorati, and for all the rest, Adolph Baller.

There is also "A Violinist in Hollywood," which is a conversation between Menuhin and his biographer Humphrey Burton, and another segment, "On the Encores," where they discuss the encore performances. There is no date given for these interviews, but Menuhin is quite elderly in them. Menuhin has been a hero of mine since childhood, for his superb musicianship, his artistic daring, and the humanity he expressed throughout his life. Running time for the performances is 44 minutes, "A Violinist in Hollywood," 36 minutes, and "On the Encores," 11 minutes. The DVD package contains a booklet with liner notes and 2 photos. Menuhin admirers will adore this DVD, and certainly violin students will learn much from it.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Wonderful Menuhin Document Nov. 25 2005
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
It is just so wonderful to have these old films of Yehudi Menuhin playing in his prime. He was thirty-two when this present film was made in Hollywood. I completely agree with what Alejandra Vernon has said in her review. I just want to add that the Mendelssohn Concerto performance, for all its being with a pick-up orchestra and recorded, according to Menuhin, in just one afternoon, is one of the most exhilarating I've ever heard. The middle movement especially is wonderful with Menuhin's pianissimi simply ravishing. [I wouldn't swear to it, but I'm almost certain that the principal cellist in the orchestra is the young Eleanor Aller, Leonard Slatkin's mother. I couldn't see the orchestral violinists well enough to tell if his father, Felix Slatkin, was among them.]

I had reviewed the earlier DVD - 'Concert Magic' - but in it Menuhin had to share the spotlight with some second-rate artists. Not here. His accompaniments, both orchestral and with piano, are excellent. I particularly loved seeing Antal Doráti playing the accompaniment of the Brahms Fourth Hungarian Rhapsody (in Joachim's arrangement). And he played without score, I noticed.

For all you Menuhin fans out there, this one is a keeper.

Scott Morrison
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was wonderful Feb. 26 2006
By Joseph Hart - Published on Amazon.com
I dreaded buying this DVD because either one or two reviewers 1) made it sound like Menuhin was a braggart, and 2) said that he was all lush and mush and Rachmaninov (the only good composer the 20th Century produced) and could not play virtuoso pieces as Heifetz could. What a relief! The playing was marvelous. The interviews (as "written and directed by ..."???) were priceless. Menuhin is the man I'd like all my heroes to be. Gentle, wise, humorous, warm, intelligent, non-nationalistic, non-religious, good (and you can throw in childlike which covers it all and especially applies to his face and comments when he was seeing for the 1st time himself playing the encores he had filmed in 1947). In the interviews Menuhin talks about many things, his life, his values, world politics and situations, WWII, other performers, there is even toward the end an invaluable piece of instruction for prospective violinists that my violin teacher never told me. It has to do with the thumb. I recommend every minute of this wonderful DVD.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful collection of classical musical shorts from 1948 May 3 2010
By Steve Ramm - Published on Amazon.com
Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was practically born with a violin in his hand. He starting playing at age four (!) and was making his first recordings at age 12. He was promoted by Victor as a child prodigy. He was still playing - though not regularly - into his 80s. Though born in the US, he became a Swiss citizen in the 1970s and later changed to British citizenship.

In 1948 Hollywood Producer Bernd Bauer decided that there was an audience for short filmed classical performances shown on large movie theater screens. He rented Charlie Chaplin's studio in Hollywood and filmed Menuhin performing short pieces by Brahms (including the Hungarian Dances # 4 and #5), Bazzini and Sarasate, as well as the 25-minute Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn. He titled these films "Concert Magic". The films were discovered in 1997 and were aired on German TV. The 43 minutes of "Concert Magic" are supplemented on this DVD (produced in 2005, but released only this year - 2010- in the US) by two interviews with the violinist, conducted by Humphrey Burton, which describe the filming as well as Menuhin's professional relationship and friendship with conductor Antol Dorati. The interviews (35 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively) add to the enjoying on this disc. Menuhin was always a quiet person and needs to be drawn out of his introverted shell. Burton is obviously a fan.

The short films were done with a full orchestra and with just piano accompaniment. The quality of the print is excellent. Though there were early musical shorts of classical artists as early as 1928 - Vitaphone shorts - film technology had improved greatly by 1948 and, while Menuhin's performance is sometimes stiff - and the camera angles a bit weird - it is still great that these performances can be enjoyed by audiences in the 21st century.

Bravo to Euroarts (and US Distributor Naxos) for making this DVD available.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellence is it's own reward and it is humble March 24 2013
By deirdre - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The music is transcendental, but the interview is just delightful. Having Menuhim evaluate his playing and criticizing himself is truly a fun and above all an intimate experience. If you're into perfectionism, just indulge.
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