WAGNER: Tristan and Isolde.
SAINT-SAËNS: Carnival of the Animals. RAVEL: Mother
Goose. PROKOFIEV: Peter and the Wolf. BRITTEN: Young
Person's Guide to the Orchestra.
VAN GOGH AND JAPAN - The Untold Story of VanGogh's Art
Music of particular interest to children is featured on this Naxos DVD with Marin Alsop both as conductor and narrator with the excellent Britten-Pears Orchestra. This ensemble was formed mo than four decades ago by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears as a training group for young artists. They often perform in the warm acoustics of the UK's Snape- Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, The program features Saint-Saën's Carnival of the Animals, with texts by Genevieve and Rebecca Helsby, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf with the composer's text adapted by Alsop, and Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra. A suite from Ravel's Mother Goose, without narration, completes he program. Alsop is an old-hand a narration; as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony she prefaces many concert performances with comments about the music, and she is perfectly at home in these works directed towards youthful audiences. The orchestra is superb, excellent video spotlights he many youthful musicians. audio is excellent stereo; it is surprising this wasn't recorded multi-channel. Subtitles are provided in four languages.
When Japanese art first arrived in France in mid 19th Century, it had a profound effect on many painters including Monet, Degas and Van Gogh. Although the latter never visited Japan, that country's art influenced many of his works, and this fascinating DVD focuses on works created under the Japanese influence. High quality photos from various museums are featured along with Van Gogh's personal letters, accounts by friends. contemporaries and and museum authorities, we experience the great artist's work. An important issue, for sure.
R.E.B. (January 2020).