Daniel Barenboim - Jubilee concert in Buenos Aires/Portrait: Multiple Identities
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART (1756-1791)
Sonata in C major K330
Sonata in C major K545 - andante
Ludwig van BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Sonata in F minor, Op. 57, Appassionata
Isaac ALBÉNIZ (1860-1909)
Iberia Books I and II
Domenico SCARLATTI (1685-1757)
Sonata in D minor K9
Alberto GINASTERA (1916-1983)
Danza de la moza donosa (Danzas argentinas No.2)
Heitor VILLA-LOBOS (1887-1959)
O Polichinelo (A Prole do Bebê, Book I)
Franz SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Moment Musical in F minor D780 No.3
Fryderyk CHOPIN (1810-1849)
Waltz in E minor Op. posth.
Nocturne in D flat major Op.27 No.2
Waltz in D flat major Op.64 No.1
Etude in F Minor Op.25 No.2
Moriz ROSENTHAL (1862-1946)
Papillons (Mariposas)
Robert SCHUMANN (1810-1856)
Des Abends (Fantasiestücke Op.12)
Aufschwung (Fantasiestücke Op.12)
Daniel Barenboim (piano)
rec. live, Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, 19 August 2000
Documentary: Multiple Identities
Produced and directed by Paul Smaczny
Picture format 16:9, Sound formats DD 5.1, DTS 5.1 PCM Stereo (concert) DD 2.0 (Documentary); Region Code 0 (Worldwide); Subtitles EN, DE, FR
EUROARTS DVD 2050427 [140:00 concert + 90:00 documentary]
A reissue of a DVD first released in 2004, this set was first reviewed on MusicWeb International in March 2005. I didn’t read Jonathan Woolf’s review before writing my own; there are no apparent differences between the two versions, other than the cover. It features Daniel Barenboim as pianist in a jubilee concert held in Buenos Aires in 2000 to celebrate his fifty years of performing. It also offers a 90-minute documentary about his life. Altogether, this two-disc set features nearly four hours of content.
First the concert. Barenboim plays an eclectic range of music, from Mozart and Beethoven, to Schumann and Chopin, by way of a number of other composers. Some of them have only brief appearances - a single Scarlatti sonata, for example, takes about 3 minutes; a piece by Villa-Lobos is less than 2 minutes; and there’s only one 3-minute work by Schubert. This is essentially a long series of encore pieces.
Barenboim comes on stage in an attractive theatre, the Teatro Colón, and, after some brief applause, starts playing Mozart’s Sonata in C major K330. Interestingly, there are groups of people sitting on the stage on either side of the piano; about fifty people on each side. The filming is as expected from this type of concert: efficient and unobtrusive, though it is certainly less innovative than Barenboim’s set of Beethoven recitals in Berlin recorded in 2005 - not as yet reviewed on MusicWeb International. There is a wide variety of shots, from close-ups of Barenboim’s hands as he plays to long shots including him, the piano, and the spectators. There are even views from up in the cheap seats. It seems as though there were a dozen cameras filming the concert.
The sound is quite good, with the two surround-sound mixes giving realistic acoustics, though the piano sounds a bit harsh at times. Overall, Barenboim’s performances are as interesting as usual; he is a fine pianist, a master of his craft, and he plays, here, a selection of his favorite music. His Appassionata is powerful and emotional; Barenboim’s attachment to Beethoven is long and deep, and he performs this work with great energy. His Albéniz is subtle and lyrical, and his Scarlatti attractive. The series of shorter pieces shows the breadth of his musical interests and skills. The concert lasts two hours and twenty minutes, and, from the film, it seems that a good time was had by all.
The second disc is a ninety-minute documentary. In some ways, this is more interesting than the concert. You see Barenboim as he returns to his childhood haunts in Buenos Aires, then later in Tel Aviv, where he moved when he was ten. You see him working with orchestras in Cleveland and Berlin, and with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a youth orchestra make up essentially of musicians from different countries in the Middle East. You see how Barenboim has tried to cross borders and use music to bring about change. Notable in this documentary is amateur footage of Barenboim having the Berlin Staatskapelle perform a bit of Wagner in Israel in 2001, and the discussions that this involved with the audience. Above all, you see that Barenboim is one of those men for whom music is everything. 

This set gives a wonderful overview of Barenboim as musician and human being. While the concert is perhaps not the most exciting some of the performances, notably the Mozart and Beethoven, are excellent. The documentary gives you a glimpse into Barenboim’s activities beyond his pianistic endeavours. All in all, these are two enjoyable programs.  

Kirk McElhearn 

A summing-up of Daniel Barenboim’s musical career, through a concert and a documentary. 

see also review of orginal release (2050429) by Jonathan Woolf