DVD of the Month: Dudamel


Gustavo Dudamel.

I enjoyed listening to “The European Concert” DVD yesterday. In that recording, Gustavo Dudamel leads the Berlin Philharmonic in works by Brahms, Haydn, and Beethoven.

The concert is presented in the old Viennese Spanish Riding School, which is also a setting for cultural events in the city. It’s a beautiful place for music.

The program begins with Johannes Brahms‘ Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a. It turned out later that this theme was actually called “St. Anthony chorale“‘ and Brahms composed a series of eight variations on this theme that his public really admired.

The second work on this CD is the Haydn Cello concerto number 1 in C-Major, and it is beautifully played by cellist Gautier Capucon. This was totally elegant playing, and it showed us fine ensemble work between the orchestra and the soloist.

I noticed that Berlin Philharmonic seemed to be “seeded” with a number of players whom I did not recognize, mostly in the string sections. Perhaps these were members of Mr. Dudamel’s South American Systema orchestra (?).

The program closes with an excellent reading of Beethoven’s Symphony #5, also conducted from memory by Mr. Dudamel, as were the previous works. I have heard Beethoven’s Fifth symphony hundreds of times, but never quite like this version. Gustavo Dudamel’s interpretation brought a directness and freshness that gave new life to this old “war horse”.

This is a fine concert that I will listen to again via the excellent DVD recording technology.

Here is Gustavo Dudamel conducting Beethoven’s 5th symphony – 1st movement:

Tags: Gustavo Dudamel, Brahms, Haydn, Beethoven, DVD of the Month, April 2015