BIRTHDAY CONCERT/POPE BENEDICT XVI DVD-V 0734357

There is energy in abundance, to be sure. Dudamel¿s fingers are always working the emotional thermostat. The rhythmic vitality that comes through is as close as you can get to canning wildness. The last movement of the Beethoven Seventh takes off like a rocket. All three symphonies end terrifically. The culmination of the Mahler is enough to make one stand up and cheer the CD player . . . you can see why everyone is talking about Dudamel. The immediacy of his gestures seems to make the music exist in four, rather than three, dimensions . . . I can¿t imagine a better 80th birthday present. In rejuvenating a hoary symphony, Dudamel seems to transfer that freshness to everyone around him. Maybe it¿s just my imagination, but when the pope walks onstage at the end of the concert to thank Dudamel, Hahn and the orchestra, he seems to have a spring in his step that wasn¿t there when he entered the hall . . . This is a document of Dudamel at 26 . . . The significance of the ¿New World¿ Symphony to a young man for whom the world is his oyster is apparent. And as we watch and listen to this marvelous performance, that world, for 45 fabulous minutes, is ours as well.

. . . conducted with great dash and style by Gustavo Dudamel, whose gestures at times resembles Claudio Abbado's. He also gives his all in a performance of Dvorák's evergreen "New World" Symphony, which . . . brings out the music's often violent dynamic contrasts to stunning effect. Hilary Hahn is also on sparkling form in the Mozart G major, as technically immaculate and poised as ever . . . Pinsharp picture quality and pristine engineering.

. . . the sound is actually quite stunning in its DTS 5.1 guise, brilliant and clear without losing a degree of warmth . . . Stuttgart RSO plays very well . . . the real interest in this DVD is to watch the excessively praised Venezuelan "Wunderkind" Gustavo Dudamel . . . With his gregarious and somewhat scary full-blown smile . . . you cannot accuse him of being uninvolved with his conducting . . . This concert is very serviceable in great sound and is a memento of the celebration at hand.

Make no mistake -- the "hype" about Gustavo Dudamel is fully merited. Anyone who doubts it should view this video . . . The concert was framed with the Stuttgart brass under Dudamel performing antiphonal works of Gabrieli, a wonderfully appropriate start and end to the music, and well played. But it is the Mozart and Dvorák that will get the lion's share of attention, and they represent music-making of a special nature. In the Mozart, conductor and soloist are of one mind . . . chamber music on a somewhat larger scale. The nature of the performance is warm and singing . . . extremely satisfying. Hahn's tone is rich and varied, her legato impeccable, and her own cadenzas are at once flashy and tasteful. The slow movement flows without a hint of a bar line, and one holds one's breath as the music unfolds. In the Dvorák we see, and hear, just what it is that makes the 26-year-old Venezuelan conductor special . . . he has intangible quality of podium presence . . . everything Dudamel feels about the music pours out of him. His face, his eyes, his hands, and his body are uniquely expressive -- showing what kind of sound he wants, what shape of phrase, what color, and what kind of attack . . . He also has a keen ear for balance and color -- bringing out various voices . . . I found this "New World" beautiful, exciting, touching, exuberant -- in short everything one hopes for in a performance . . . this is very important documentation of the beginning of what is likely to be one of the truly great conducting careers of the 21st century, and for that reason should not be missed.

Gustavo Dudamel ist ein "Senkrechtstarter". Das Modewort lässt sich bei diesem Dirigenten kaum vermeiden. Seine beiden ersten CDs (Beethoven und Mahler) rangieren nahe den Top Ten, sein Debüt in Wien machte Aufsehen . . . Zwei modellhafte Interpretationen. Die Hahn bietet Beseeltheit und innere Ruhe, technische Reinheit und herrlichen Ton, dazu eigene Kadenzen, die daran erinnern, dass Mozart ein Bach-Verehrer war. Dudamel lässt hören und sehen, dass er tatsächlich der geborene Dirigent ist. Die Dvorák-Wiedergabe hat Brillanz und Schwermut, Detailgenauigkeit und Feuer, ist eigenwillig, aber nie eigensinnig. Dazu Vatikan-Zeremoniell und Bläser-Canzonen von Gabrieli. Sehens- und hörenswert.

Mit . . . Gustavo Dudamel hat die Deutsche Grammophon einen Shootingstar an Land gezogen . . . Ein Höhepunkt von Dudamels bisheriger Laufbahn war das vom Fernsehen aufgezeichnete Geburtstagskonzert von Papst Benedict XVI. . . . [im 3.] Violinkonzert Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts . . . [hört] man Hilary Hahn als uneitle, nüchtern musizierende Solistin . . . , die ihre besten Momente in der glasklar gespielten Kadenz des ersten Satzes hat. Das Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart präsentiert sich dem Anlass entsprechend von seiner besten Seite und punktet -- zumindest auf der klangtechnisch hervorragenden DVD -- durch ein sehr ausbalanciertes Spiel . . .

. . . une éloquence affirmée, où la moindre nuance est dosée minutieusement et où chaque coup d'archet révèle une plasticité presque mathématique. La violoniste fait le choix de ses propres cadences, d'une virtuosité impressionnante . . . La lecture bouillonnante et majestueuse de la "Nouveau Monde" du jeune chef vénézuélien Gustavo Dudamel s'avère des plus séduisantes. Son sens des couleurs, des climats (le Largo!) et des plans sonores, son impressionnante réserve d'énergie, son autorité naturelle ne laissent pas d'impressionner!