The final eight Mozart piano concertos receive virtuosic rendition by legendary pianist/conductor Daniel Barenboim and the Berliner Philharmoniker. These late 1980’s films may not be the last word in high definition picture or high resolution sound but the performance quality trumps any technical reservations.
Archives for May 2012
Mathieu Kassovitz has created a modern masterpiece of French cinema verite in La Haine, a searing portrayal of the aimless existence of disenfranchised youth living in the projects outside of Paris.
Hondo is a vintage John Wayne western pitting the settlers and cavalry against the native Americans. This film has the typical elements that make for an enjoyable watch in spite of less than stellar sound and picture quality.
This CGI-heavy account of the Tuskegee Airmen misses the mark on story, effects, and picture quality.
Patty Schemel, former drummer for Hole, tells an honest story of drug abuse, inner band politics, and the tumultuous rise to stardom in the halcyon days of grunge in this raw, honest, and powerful documentary.
BFI’s Flipside series brings horror director Andy Milligan’s long lost early art house film Nightbirds to home video fully restored for the first time.
Brutal, raw and brilliant sum up Ralph Fiennes’ adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play, Coriolanus.
Die Frau Ohne Schatten, is Richard Strauss at the top of his operatic game. Generally cast from strength and well conducted, this Salzburg Festival production is undermined by a bizarre directorial conceptualization.
L’Incoronazione di Poppea, considered one of Monteverdi’s best operas, receives an updated production at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. The cast is generally outstanding, led by early music specialist Harry Bicket. Soprano Miah Persson exudes sexuality, making it easy to understand how Emperor Nero was enticed into leaving his wife, Ottavia.
Claudio Abbado leads his Lucerne Festival Orchestra through a strong reading of Bruckner’s sonorous and lengthy fifth symphony. Audio and video recording qualities are excellent.