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Library Journal October 1, 2006 Beethoven DVD Review

COPYRIGHT 2006 Reed Business Information, Inc. (US)

Beethoven and His 32 Piano Sonatas: A Musical Universe. (Great Composers). 2 vols. color. 2 hrs. Great Composers) LLC, dist. by 2005. Ha. vol: $24.95. Includes: Vol. 1: Sonatas #1 and #14; Vol 2: Sonatas #21 and #28. MUSIC

Ludwig van Beethoven lived from 1770 to 1827, and by the time he died in Vienna he had become a public figure--10,000 people attended his funeral. He had not been a purveyor of music to the nobility but had lived into the age of the artist as hero and the property of humankind at large. Distinguished pianist Mark Salman has made a specialty of performing the composer's works, and famed educator and broadcaster David Dubal is a recognized authority on music for the keyboard. Together, they present a broad perspective, numerous insights, and beautiful renditions of four of Beethoven's major piano sonatas. The camerawork is professional, providing the necessary dynamic elements to a film basically of two men in discussion. Reviewing the entire world of the Beethoven sonatas, commonly believed to form one of the most important collections of works in the whole history of music, these experts address the salient musical, biographical, and historical points. This fine set is recommended for music sections of public libraries, as well as appropriate special libraries.--Adrienne Fischier, Harvard Lib. in New York

Fanfare Magazine, May/June 2006 

Beethoven and His 32 Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1: Sonata in f, op. 2/1; Sonata in C#, op. 27/2, "Moonlight" Mark Salman (pn); David Dubal (nar)  GREAT COMPOSERS 27 12 90001 (DVD: 64:00)

Beethoven and His 32 Piano Sonatas, Vol. 2: Sonata in C, op. 53, "Waldstein"; Sonata in A, op.101, Mark Salman (pn); David Dubal (nar)  GREAT COMPOSERS 27 12 90002 (DVD: 72:00)

The main idea behind these releases --the first two in what is to be an exploration of Beethoven's complete piano sonatas-- is a fine one, and praiseworthy. Its obvious intent is to offer to the more than casually curious a deeper understanding of these crucially important works by presenting a narrative background on the music itself, and overview of events in the composer's life concurrent with the writing of each sonata, and the playing of demonstrated examples. Following each lead-in, narrated by David Dubal and further explained by pianist Mark Salman, we hear (and see) a performance of the full work.

I enjoyed these disks, and the believe that the motivating idea behind them is one that ought to be encouraged...So, a great idea, excellent performances by Salman...--Jerry Dubins, Fanfare, May/June 2006.


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