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John Sunier
Audiophile Audition, September 2012

A long and delightful concert by the Berlin Philharmonic’s 12 cellists, plus a 59-minute documentary on their recent travels and interactions.

…the 12 cellists are joined by special guests soprano Annette Dasch and trumpeter Till Brönner… © 2012 Audiophile Audition Read complete review

Lawrence Devoe, August 2012

Here are pieces literally tailor-made for this group (Berliner Philharmoniker) with enough variety to hold any viewer’s interest for the 105-minute running time. If this were not enough, a one hour documentary on the group with interviews, snapshots of performance venues around the world, including Beijing, adds fascinating information. Well directed and beautifully recorded, this disc provides a truly spell-binding experience.

It is hard to praise director Michael Beyer’s work enough. What could have been a rather dull viewing experience in the hands of others becomes a terrific watch with just enough variety in camera work, shoot angles, and movement. The color palette is beautiful to behold.

The cello is a warm instrument so very close to the timbre of the human voice that it truly sings. Here the audio engineers work their magic and give us a wonderful idea of how beautiful these large instruments really sound.

Here are superb instrumentalists, each a virtuoso, playing together like an extended family. The program is varied and while it contains a number of favorite short works, like the Faure Pavane or the Ravel Vocalise, the real discoveries are the pop pieces that show how adeptly this group functions in crossover mode. While it is hard to pick favorites from so many good pieces, I must confess that the 12’s rendition of “As Time Goes By” just did me in. The cameos contributed by soprano Dasch and hornman Bronner just made everything even better. Really, not a weak link in the repertory chain, this concert is offered in nearly as good as it gets videography and sound recording. I would recommend that you let your curiosity be your guide and get this BD before it disappears…from the current catalog. You will be rewarded well beyond your expectations. © 2012 Read complete review

Robert Benson, August 2012

This DVD offers a concert commemorating their 40th anniversary, and it is a gala occasion presented in Berlin’s Philharmonie in March of this year. Their playing is impeccable, and they produce incredible sounds. There are two guests, soprano Annette Dasch in music of Debussy and Ravel, and German jazz trumpet virtuoso Till Brönner who gives a fantastic performance of Thelonious Monk’s Round Midnight. The lengthy documentary by Enrique Sanchrez Lansch is beautifully done, offering interviews with many past members of the 12 Cellist group, and an extended interlude with the charming Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina as she attends their rehearsal of a work they commissioned from her, Labyrinth. Video and audio are excellent throughout—this is a totally satisfying DVD in every way. © 2012 Read complete review

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7:13:41 AM, 9 October 2015
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