MOZART: The Abduction from the Seraglio Overture. NIELSEN: Oriental Festive March & Negro Dance from Aladdin. GRIEG: Excerpts from Peer Gynt. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV: Scheherazade, Op. 35. MASSENET: Meditation from Thaïs. SAINT-SAËNS: Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso. FUCIK: Florentine March. LINCKE: Berliner Luft.
Janine Jansen, violinist; Marita Solberg, soprano; Ingebjorg Kosmo, mezzo-soprano; Berlin Philharmonic Orch/Neeme Järvi, cond.
EUROARTS DVD VIDEO 2055318 TT: 112 min.
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PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 5 in B flat, Op. 100. STRAUSS: Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24.
Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI/Sergiu Celibidache, cond.
OPUS ARTS DVD VIDEO OA 0979D TT: 77 min.
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WAGNER: Overture and Venusberg Music from Tannhäuser. Overture to Rienzi. Dawn, Siegfried's Rhine Journey and Funeral March from Götterdämmerung. Prelude to Die Meistersinger. Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre.
London Philharmonic Orch/Klaus Tennstedt, cond.
EMI CLASSICS DVD VIDEO 3 91008 TT: 80 min.
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Euroarts' DVD is another of those fascinating outdoor summer concerts presented in the Waldbühne outside Berlin. The concert June 18, 2006 was called Sheherazade - An Oriental Night, with the Berlin Philharmonic, Neeme Järvi on the podium. The program featured Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade in a dazzling, virtuoso performance—although it was presented in two parts, the first two movements separated from the third and fourth by excerpts from Grieg's Peer Gynt, the Massenet Meditation and Saint-Saëns' Introduction & Rondo capriccioso, the latter two featuring star violinist Janine Jansen. Soprano Marita Solberg and mezzo-soprano Ingebjorg Kosmo sang exquisitely in the Peer Gynt excerpts. Järvi and the BPO seemed to be having a great time, as did the audience, particularly during Fucik's brilliant Florentine March, and the closing encore, Paul Lincke's Berliner Luft in which the audience whistles repeatedly. The sound of thousands of people whistling is one to remember—and audio quality on this issue is state-of-the-art, remarkable considering the problems of outdoor acoustics. This is a superb DVD in every way.

Opus Arte continues their issues of televised concert performances with conductor Sergiu Celibidache and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI with this release of Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 and Strauss's Death and Transfiguration taped in 1970. The Romanian conductor's focus on detail is always apparent, but these performances are of interest primarily for admirers of the conductor. This probing interpretation of the Strauss symphonic poem challenges Sinopoli's as being the longest ever recorded, and the climax is less than transfiguration. The orchestra is not one of the best, photography is black and white usually with the camera in the right place, and original monophonic sound is "digitally re-mastered 2-track mono."

The Klaus Tennstedt Wagner DVD is a winner in every way. This apparently is a program the conductor and LPO took on tour; this concert was recorded in the warm acoustics of Tokyo's Suntory Hall, October 18, 1988, ten years before the conductor's death at the age of 72. The London Philharmonic is in top form, the camera focused for the most part on the conductor. Sound is advertised as 5.0 surround, doubtless artificially produced but effective.

R.E.B. (August 2007)

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