Drum roll, fanfare, marching band, etc., etc.! I’m really pleased to be able to tell you that, along with the Naxos Music Library, we are now able to offer our customers the Naxos Video Library which is full of marvellous operas, concerts, ballets, documentaries and even a couple of Shakespeare plays from the New Globe.
Here are just a few things that instantly attracted my attention:
This extraordinary production of Jean Philippe Rameau’s opera, Les Paladins, has to be seen to be believed! With William Christie and Les Arts Florissants in the pit and a host of fabulous singers and dancers onstage, director/chroeographer Jose Montalvo created one of the most astonishing multi-media extravaganza’s to have graced any stage in a very long time. Magical transformations occur almost continuously whilst Rameau’s gorgeous score flows on like the most beautiful stream of musical consciousness; and the ubiquitous dance scenes (so essential to French Baroque opera) are a total joy!
There’s something quite special about watching a great orchestra under a great conductor performing a great piece of music, and a live concert filmed in Vienna with Leonard Bernstein conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in the 5th Symphony of Sibelius ticks all of those boxes very nicely. It’s hard to believe that Bernstein died as far back as 1990 as his reputation as both a conductor and composer continues to soar. He was working on this filmed cycle of Sibelius symphonies during his final years (it remains sadly incomplete) but we are fortunate to have this ravishing performance of this most wonderful work. And for the trivia buffs out there, which 1970s pop song quotes the big brass theme from the symphony’s 4th movement? (the answer can be found below).
One of the ballets available through the database is Kenneth MacMillan’s extraordinary telling of the tragedy of Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria and his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in 1889; a supposed suicide around which mystery continues to swirl. This Royal Ballet revival from 1990 stars Edward Watson as Rudolf and makes for astonishing, if grim, viewing; classical ballet is not always pretty!
If jazz is your thing then there’s a growing number of films to choose from, including a surprising array of concerts from Melbourne’s own BMW Edge. This documentary from the Masters of American Music series includes a host of fascinating interviews, clips and photographs to tell the story of jazz from its earliest days through to its preeminent position as “America’s classical music”.
And thats just the tip of the iceberg, with more being added in that regular Naxos way! You can log on from any terminal if you’re in the Library, and if you’re a Victorian registered user you can go exploring from the comfort of your own home.Not bad at all……