, November 2012
…we get a fully dimensional portrait of one of the musical titans of the 20th century…
As a major bonus, we get a live 1977 concert recording with Solti’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra that features an all-Russian program: Mussorgsky’s Prelude to “Khovanshchina,” Prokofiev’s delightful “Classical Symphony,” and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1. This is repertory most sympathetic to the Solti style and the lucky audience in attendance must have returned home quite pleased.
Direct Wubbolt does a masterful job in weaving all of the various threads into a visually satisfying whole, with the present day interviews being crisp and clear. Few conductors of the era or even today had as much sheer physicality, almost balletic, on the podium. Thankfully, we get to see a good bit of this during the film.
The CSO live concert recording has quite decent sound for its era and conveys a taste of Orchestra Hall’s great acoustic.
I was lucky to have attended numerous Solti/CSO concerts during the prime of his tenure in Chicago. There was always palpable excitement in the air and this is particularly well conveyed by the excerpts presented in this film. No matter how one views his art, Solti was never less than engaging as a performer and, on many occasions, uplifting and even inspirational. This film gets it just right and, for that we must thank its creator. An amazing journey indeed, and one well worth the taking. © 2012 Blu-rayDefinition.com Read complete review