I'm not quite sure why people are willing to pay for a 55 minute ad for Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic unless they are fans but since I'm able to return it to the library, I don't feel I lost any money.
Not that we aren't dealing with a worthy ensemble and conductor and, at the very least, one gets some insight into how the various section leaders transmit the conductor's wishes as, for example, the concertmaster who tells his players how to bow the section or demonstrates it himself after hearing Salonen's corrections.
In this case, the work in question is Debussy's La Mer (The Sea.) which Salonen calls "One of the greatest works ever written". As great as Bach's B minor Mass or Beethoven's Ninth Symphony? How does one measure such things? And this after E-P.S's colleague Ernest Fleishmann (Executive Vice President and Managing Director) says that with him there is "no B.S." (I abbreviate, of course! His remarks are uncensored.) OK, what about "hype"? Maybe everything they say is true but I'm not sure this DVD really proves it.
Maybe on such a short DVD they could also, on showing footage of two little girls, explain who they are. (No doubt his daughters, there is a shot of their shoes early on, but still...) Or Debussy's letter to a friend defending La Mer but is it too much to ask them to identify the friend?
I, for one, was not charmed!
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