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In Rehearsal and Performance: Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (1997)

TV Movie  |  Documentary, Music
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 5 users  
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Title: In Rehearsal and Performance: Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (TV Movie 1997)

In Rehearsal and Performance: Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra (TV Movie 1997) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Valery Gergiev ...
Conductor
Alexander Toradze ...
Piano Soloist
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Documentary | Music

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User Reviews

 
A feast for the ears and very fascinating too
12 December 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What a treasure this documentary/performance was. The documentary elements are fascinating, we learn a lot about Prokoviev(mainly through his son Oleg's commentary as well as from Valery Gergiev, who comes across as somebody who could talk about Prokoviev all day if he could) and the context of the pieces featured. While you may know a lot about Prokoviev and his work biographically, to hear and see somebody very close and personal to him talking about him with enthusiasm and affection indicates that you have learnt more than you already did. The photos of Prokoviev, the Scythian artifacts and Ossetian mountain scenery are a delight to see, while the programme is very professionally shot and recorded. The four pieces featured are treats in themselves, none are personal favourites as of now but they are very clever pieces(especially Prokoviev's Scythian Suite) and it is a real feast for the ears. The Scythian Suite is the most prominent of the four and for good reason, the attention to orchestration, energy and atmosphere in all the movements is quite remarkable. But we mustn't forget Stravinsky's Fireworks and Piano Concerto and Debussy's Le Martere De Saint Sebastien either. The performance and rehearsal footage of the Scythian suite is where In Rehearsal and Performance: Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra really excels. Gergiev's comments on Prokoviev are most insightful and his instructions/teachings to the orchestra are clear, well-thought out and funny and you can tell the Rotterdam Philharmonic are taking on board everything he tells them to do. Gergiev's conducting is incisive yet nuanced allowing the energy, weight and darkness to come out without the piece coming across as little other than lots of bombastic noise. He feels the music in his bones and clearly understands it(apparently Prokoviev is Gergiev's favourite composer and you can tell not only by his work here but also by how prolific Gergiev's work in Prokoviev is), which accounts for the amount of depth that we can hear in the interpretation. He also brings out the lyricism of the Debussy surprisingly well too, the Piano Concerto fares the least of the four pieces but that means little, it is still beautifully played and the solo playing just as good but it doesn't show Gergiev's strengths as well as the other pieces do. The Rotterdam Philharmonic play wonderfully, the brass and percussion in the Scythian suite are enough to blow the socks off while the strings shimmer and swirl beautifully and the woodwind provide a haunting but melodious sound. Overall, if you love Gergiev, Prokoviev or classical music in general then In Rehearsal and Performance: Valery Gergiev with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra is not to be missed. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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