Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Wednesday, 6 October 2010

image for Sibelius/Leonard Bernstein - DVD review

Symphonies - No 1, in E min; No 2 in D; No 5 in E flat; No 7 in C.

Vienna Philharmonic/Leonard Bernstein.

Pierre Noxious writes:

Bloody hell! I just heard on the radio - just this second on Radio 4's Midweek - that the guy who wrote Amazing Grace was a vicar and a slave trader!

What you can learn, eh?

I like to listen to Radio 4 when I'm writing - or last night's Radcliffe & Maconie on Radio 2. They're a laugh, aren't they.

Anyway, Bernstein conducting Sibelius on DVD...

Hmm. Can't see the point of making DVD's like this. I can't concentrate on them.

I mean, it's bad enough at a concert: I'd never heard the expression 'bingo wings' before seeing some American orchestra at the Barbican years ago. It was the missus who pointed them out on a violinist.

And I'm always fascinated when the horn players start rotating their instruments - when they're not playing, obviously - to get the spit out. I can't help thinking that some poor bugger's got to clean that up!

What about the percussionists? I was at a gig once when the guy on timpani had so long to wait - nothing to do until the fourth movement - he fell asleep! Brilliant!

And of course the conductor's shenanigans. Some of those guys really like to dance, don't they.

So - put all that on the telly, and I won't be listening to the music.

But. Well, it is Sid Baylius. And it is Bernstein. What's not to like, I suppose?

Just don't watch the drummers!

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